A project's cost estimate may lead to some unpleasant news in the shape of change requests. I say "unpleasant," because changes are rarely enjoyable. Changes can affect the scope in two primary ways when it comes to cost:

• We don't have enough funds to match the cost estimate, so we'll need to trim the scope.

• We have more than enough funds to match the cost estimate, so let's add some stuff into the scope.

All change requests must be documented and fed through the integrated change control system, as discussed in Chapter 4. What the project manager wants to be leery of is gold plating. Gold plating is when the project manager, the project sponsor, or even a stakeholder adds in project extras to consume the entire project budget. It's essentially adding unneeded features to the product in order to use up all the funds allocated to the project. While this often happens in the final stages of a project, it can begin right here during the project cost estimating. Gold plating delivers more than what's needed and can create new risks, work, and contribute to a decline in team morale.

If changes are approved, then integrated change control is enacted and the project scope is updated and the WBS and WBS dictionary are updated, and so on, through all of the project management plans as needed. The cost management plan needs to be updated as well to reflect the costs of the changes and their impact on the project cost estimate.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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