When projects are executed, changes are inevitable. As the project progresses, new discoveries are made, problems typically occur, and the project requirements often change. All of these have the ability to change the main restraints of a project: Time (the time project to be completed; Resources (people, money, materials, etc); Output (deliverables). Any change that affects one of these typically affects all of them.
Typically changes are not a single hit to the project, but a series of small steps throughout the project. Each small change taken individually is not a big deal, but when added up at the end of the project they seriously affect the outcome.
When changes take place they should be properly documented. This is important not only for the person implementing the project, but so that everyone involved with the project is aware of the changes. Both the client and the project team must be aware of the changes and how they will impact the project. The key things which should be documented are:
- Who is requesting the change?
- What change are they asking to be made? (Must be documented in great detail)
- How important is this change?
- What impact will this change have on the project? (Time, Resources, Output)
- Does the client approveof the change to the project? (Time, Resources, Output)
- How will the existing project plan change to incorporate the change?
- Who is authorizing the change? Just because the person is requesting the change, doesn’t mean they have the authority to approve the change. The project manager must get this request infront of the person with the authority to approve the changes.