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Project Change Management: Plan & Components

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  • 0:04 Project Change Management
  • 0:39 Types of Changes
  • 1:29 Change Budget
  • 1:57 Roles in Change Management
  • 2:34 Overall Change…
  • 4:54 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Carl Lovell, PMP

Carl has taught grad-level college Project Management and Quality. He holds a Masters degree in Business and is a certified Project Management Professional.

One certainty for a project of any size is that there will be changes. Changes can occur to the project scope, deliverables, or documents. A Change Management Plan defines the process used to request and process changes in a controlled manner.

Project Change Management

Jennifer has been assigned her first project and provided the initial work scope for the project as approved by the project customer. She has started work on the project management plan (PMP) to clearly define the work scope and how the project will be managed. However, changes to the budget are already being discussed. Based on the size of the project, she has also decided to include the change management plan to define the process used to request and process changes in a controlled manner in the PMP. She has developed the following outline for her plan.

Types of Changes

The types of changes documented in the change management plan are tailored to her specific project, but generally cover the project scope, schedule, and budget at a minimum. Change levels are used to differentiate discretionary versus non-discretionary changes and the required approval level.

Jennifer has chosen to use four change levels:

  • Level 1: Changes to overall scope, schedule, or budget that require external customer and company senior management approval.
  • Level 2: Changes to schedule or budget that require external customer approval and company senior management approval.
  • Level 3: Changes to schedule or budget that do not affect the delivery of intermediate milestones and only require project management approval.
  • Level 4: Changes to resource assignments and rate adjustments that only require approval of project management.

Change Budget

In some cases, where significant project risks have been identified or the nature of the project makes significant changes inevitable, the project may be assigned a specific defined budget to handle changes. This specific type of budget is termed change budget, contingency, or management reserve.

Jennifer has been allocated $250,000 to cover her Level 3 and 4 changes and will document the budget in the change management plan.

Roles in Change Management

The change management plan clearly delineates roles and responsibilities in the change management process. While the change levels will define the approval authority for each change, the change management roles define responsibilities for the change management process steps.

Jennifer built a matrix to delineate responsibility for the change management process with the following responsibility assignments:

  • Overall Change Management Process: Project Manager
  • Preliminary Change Evaluation: Project Manager
  • Impact Analysis: Project Team
  • Change Request Approval: In accordance with Change Level designation
  • Change Implementation: Project Team

Overall Change Management Process

By defining a standard change management process, Jennifer, as the project manager, ensures that changes are handled in a disciplined and controlled manner. Her primary interest is ensuring each change request receives the same level of consideration and evaluation.

The change management process that Jennifer has defined includes the following major process steps:

  • Change Request Submission

For each change type and level, the change management process documents who is authorized to submit a change request and to whom it is submitted. In general, any project team member, sponsor, or customer can submit a request to change project scope, schedule or budget to the project manager.

  • Preliminary Change Evaluation

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