This chapter talked about an interesting subject: change control. We started by talking about scope deviations and the various deviations you might expect to see: design, schedule, and cost. We determined that when you ' re presented with a scope deviation, you need to gather several items of information to assist you with assessing the deviation:

■ The cause of the deviation

■ A status report detailing the deviation

■ The impact on the project scope

■ A quantification of the deviation

■ The variances the deviation presents

■ Alternative solutions to the deviation

■ Who will handle the variance

■ A stakeholder approval plan

We then discussed change control. There are several different kinds of changes that you might be presented with:

■ Physical resource changes

■ Human resource changes

■ Schedule changes

■ Budget changes

■ Requirements modifications

■ Infrastructure changes

Change control is all about judging the effect the change will have on the tasks, activities, and phases of your project and how much the change will impact the scope of the project, in terms of budget and schedule.

We also talked a bit about scope creep. This phenomenon occurs when people, typically project customers, request a slight addition to a project without the benefit of running it through a change-control process. The cumulative effect of enough of these is a significant increase in scope. When working with these kinds of requests, it' s first important to determine whether you ' re dealing with a nice-to-have or a need-to-have request. You then assess the impact of the change, make your recommendations to the stakeholders and sponsor, and obtain their permission to make the change if it' s a go.

Often, you' l l deny the change request (because it ' s a nice-to-have and should appear in the next revision) but you' l l be overridden by the sponsor, whose employees are your customers. This situation requires skillful communication on your part.

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