Constructively respond to the following 3 Discussion board posts. Short responses necessary.
The original question:
Perhaps the most challenging task that can be handed a project manager is to request change to the final product while it is still be developed. So, the project calls for the development of a web site. Halfway through, the stakeholders request massive changes to the site in terms of appearance, utility, and performance. This can destroy some projects and some project managers. Discuss the various ways project change can be managed. In your discussion, be sure to include real world examples if you have experienced them Those experiences may help your fellow classmates.
Managing Project Change
Managing project change is a challenging task especially when the project is still being developed. In website development, changes maybe regarding improving utility, changing the physical appearance of the website as well as enhancing performance to create more traffic. How the change is managed determines whether the change will destroy or build the project or even the individuals involved in the change process. Project managers spend a lot of time planning and making changes to ensure that the work is done in the desired way to avoid failure. The following article focuses on how change can be managed while maintaining sanity of the project.
The first and most crucial step in change management is accepting that changes can happen at any point of project management lifecycle. With the knowledge that change can happen at any time, the stakeholders and managers can plan and allocate resources even before the change occurs. Having clear strategies to deal with change in advance is the best way to get every member of the team on board with what is going to be different (Morris, 1983). For instance, in 2012 Qtel changed them strategy from growth through acquisition towards growth through integration by pulling together their diverse telecom brands to one megabrand “Ooredoo” which gave them an opportunity to focus on what their telecom company wanted to deliver.
A well-structured change management process is very crucial to any given project and forms the basis of managing the change (Harrin, 2016). This includes obtaining information about the likely change, assessing the change, evaluating and recommending the worthiness of the change and making decisions whether to incorporate the change.
As described by Heldman (2016), change in a project is an inevitable part and it comes on the project for many reasons. It is the project managers responsibility to effectively manage those changes in order to save the project from falling into the negative consequences of the incoming changes (Heldam, 2016). Some of the critical consequences of project changes include scope creep, cost and budget overruns, project schedule delays, inadequate quality of the project deliverable, and stakeholders’ dissatisfaction (Heldam, 2016).
In any project, it is not mandatory to implement a change as soon as it is requested. First, the project manager needs to analyze the change requests to determine whether they are within or outside the scope and how are they going to affect the triple constraints: the scope, cost, and schedule (Heldam, 2016).
As a major part of the project management process, many organizations already have change control systems established. If no change management procedures available, below are few steps mentioned by Heldman (2016), that will effectively help in successfully managing change requests,
Establish a process to consistently identify changes, analyze and determine the effects of the change request in detail.
Prepare a documentation of the evaluation and provide recommendations.
The status of the change request should be effectively communicated to all the involved stakeholders to avoid any conflicts.
Establish a change management tool such as a checklist or a template change request form including the details of the “change requester”, “detailed proposed change”, “reason for the change”, “potential impact of the change”, and the “decision for change” to make the process more streamlined.
Establish a strict procedure where all the change requests should be submitted in writing to avoid any confusions and all the change requests should go through the formal change control system.
Establish a Change Control Board (CCB) to review all the change requests with full authority to approve or deny the changes. The members of CBB usually includes stakeholders, managers, and project team members.
Establish a system to document all the details of the change requests in a change log whether approved or denied.
Know that considering all the constraints it is certainly not possible to accommodate all the requested project changes. So, it is okay to say “No / Denied” in an appropriate way.
Real-time example from my work experience:
In one of my previous project, where we had to match the medical codes with a subscriber ID which in turn had to fetch the payment issued up to one decimal point. Just before 2 weeks of delivery, the client requested for a change in the requirement wherein the payment issued must be considered up to two decimal point. This required a major change in terms of the overall design, coding, and the project testing. So, the whole process of change was managed through the established changed control system which included almost all of the steps mentioned above.
In the presence of the CCB, we requested the client for a change in the delivery date which was denied, but after multiple rounds of discussions about the change impact the client agreed to compensate with an increase in the budget. This enabled us to hire a new talent and pay overtime to the existing team to complete the work on time.
Heldman, K. (2016). PMP, Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide. Wiley.
Poject changes cna make or a break a project manager. Project changes are often a risk that project manangers take on with an assignment. It is important to analyze the risk and benefits of drastic changes midway through the project..Some ways to negate these drastic changes include brainstorming and resenting alternatives that may not be as drastic. You cna also negate changes by shpowing the negative effects they may have not only on the budget but on human capital an other resources.Once I was asked to do a report on all salary across thirteen different program. After the information was gathered and midway through the compilation stages I was asked to include another region and break teh data down in hourly rates organized by hire dates and program. This was a change in the original scope of work that resulted i more work and the need for more people. I let the stakeholders know what the change required and they were more than accomodating.