Change Control Concerns

Perform Integrated Change Control, according to the PMBOK® Guide, is primarily concerned with the following:

■ Influencing the factors that cause change control processes to be circumvented

■ Promptly reviewing and analyzing change requests

■ Managing approved changes

■ Maintaining the integrity of the project baselines (including scope, quality, schedule, cost, and performance measurement baseline) and incorporating approved changes into the project management plan and other project documents

■ Promptly reviewing and analyzing corrective and preventive actions

■ Coordinating and managing changes across the project

■ Documenting requested changes and their impacts

Factors that might cause change include project constraints, stakeholder requests, team member recommendations, vendor issues, and many others. You'll want to understand the factors that are influencing or bringing about change and how a proposed change might impact the project if implemented. Performance measures and corrective actions might dictate that a project change is needed as well.

Managing changes might involve making changes to the project scope, schedule, or cost baseline, also known as the performance measurement baseline. This baseline might also involve quality or technical elements. The performance measurement baseline is the approved project management plan that describes the work of the project. This is used through Executing and Monitoring and Controlling to measure project performance and determine deviations from the plan. It's your responsibility to maintain the reliability of the performance measurement baselines. Changes that impact an existing or completed project management process will require updates to those processes, which might mean additional passes through the appropriate Planning and Executing processes.

The management plans created during the Planning process group should reflect the changes as well, which might require updates to the project management plan or the project scope statement. This requires a close eye on coordination among all the processes that are impacted. For example, changes might require updates to risk response alternatives, schedule, cost, resource requirements, or other elements. Changes that impact product scope always require an update to the project scope.

Exam Spotlight

Managing changes involves maintaining accurate and reliable performance measurement baselines; coordinating all processes impacted as a result of the change, including revisiting Planning and Executing processes where needed; and updating project scope to reflect any changes in product scope.

I caution you to not change baselines at the drop of a hat. Examine the changes, their justification, and their impacts thoroughly before making changes to the baselines. Make certain your project sponsor approves baseline changes and that the project sponsor understands why the change occurred and how it will impact the project. And be sure to keep a copy of the original baseline for comparison purposes and for lessons learned.

Modifications to the project are submitted in the form of change requests and managed through the change control process. Obviously, you'll want to implement those changes that are most beneficial to the project. I'll talk more about change requests later in this chapter.

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