The integrated change control process is performed from project inception through completion. Change control is necessary because projects seldom run exactly according to the project management plan. The project management plan, the project scope statement, and other deliverables must be maintained by carefully and continuously managing changes, either by rejecting changes or by approving changes so that those approved changes are incorporated into a revised baseline. The integrated change control process includes the following change management activities in differing levels of detail, based upon the completion of project execution:
■ Identifying that a change needs to occur or has occurred.
■ Influencing the factors that circumvent integrated change control so that only approved changes are implemented.
■ Reviewing and approving requested changes.
■ Managing the approved changes as and when they occur, by regulating the flow of requested changes.
■ Maintaining the integrity of baselines by releasing only approved changes for incorporation into project products and services, and maintaining their related configuration and planning documentation.
■ Reviewing and approving all recommended corrective and preventive actions.
■ Controlling and updating the scope, cost, budget, schedule, and quality requirements based upon approved changes, by coordinating changes across the entire project. For example, a proposed schedule change will often affect cost, risk, quality, and staffing.
■ Documenting the complete impact of a requested change.
■ Validating defect repair.
■ Controlling project quality to standards based on quality reports.
Proposed changes can require new or revised cost estimates, schedule activity sequences, schedule dates, resource requirements, and an analysis of risk response alternatives. These changes can require adjustments to the project management plan, project scope statement, or other project deliverables. The configuration management system with change control provides a standardized, effective, and efficient process to centrally manage changes within a project. Configuration management with change control includes identifying, documenting, and controlling changes to the baseline. The applied level of change control is dependent upon the application area, complexity of the specified project, contract requirements, and the context and environment in which the project is performed.
Project-wide application of the configuration management system, including change control processes, accomplishes three main objectives:
■ Establishes an evolutionary method to consistently identify and request changes to established baselines, and to assess the value and effectiveness of those changes.
■ Provides opportunities to continuously validate and improve the project by considering the impact of each change.
■ Provides the mechanism for the project management team to consistently communicate all changes to the stakeholders.
In addition, some of the configuration management activities included in the integrated change control process are
■ Providing the basis from which the configuration of products is defined and verified, products and documents are labeled, changes are managed, and accountability maintained.
■ Configuration status accounting. Capturing, storing, and accessing configuration information needed to manage products and product information effectively.
■ Configuration verification and auditing. Establishing that the performance and functional requirements defined in the configuration documentation have been met.
Every documented requested change must be either accepted or rejected by some authority within the project management team or an external organization representing the initiator, sponsor, or customer. Many times, the integrated change control process includes a change control board responsible for approving and rejecting the requested changes. The roles and responsibilities of these boards are clearly defined within the configuration control and change procedures, and are agreed to by the sponsor, customer, and other stakeholders. Many large organizations provide for a multitiered board structure, separating responsibilities among the boards. If the project is being provided under a contract, then some proposed changes would need to be approved by the customer.
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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.