Login
Copyright

Updating the Project Schedule & Dealing with Change

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Steps & Approaches to Project Schedule Control

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 What Is a Project Change?
  • 1:07 How Does Change Impact…
  • 2:04 The Effect of Change…
  • 3:27 Change Management Process
  • 4:32 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen O'Brien

Karen has 14 years of experience in consultancy, including creation of training materials and running courses for IT professionals.

All projects encounter change, but how you handle that change can determine whether your project succeeds or fails. Read this lesson to learn how to manage change successfully.

What Is Project Change?

Murphy's law is a saying that typically means 'anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.' While this is somewhat extreme, you can be guaranteed that something unexpected will come up during every project. It could be anything from a simple staff change to a new circumstance that completely derails your entire project. That is why change management is essential for any project. The aim is to plan for change, or unforeseen issues, and have the tools and strategy to manage them and minimize their impact.

What are the common types of change a project encounters? Staffing issues, such as a team member falling ill, somebody resigning, a developer being reassigned to another project. A request to alter the functionality of the project, also known as a feature change/request, can lead to a significant number of project changes. And more complex changes mean more things could go wrong. Logistical changes (for example, project team transferred to separate building, resource visa delays...) are also common.

How Does Change Impact a Project?

Change can impact a project in a number of different ways. However, the two most important are cost and time. Changes inevitably have an impact on project schedule. Even a single developer taking one day off work will impact the schedule. Your decision is whether to have someone else do that work on that day, have the developer work an extra day on the weekend, or extend project deadlines.

A change to the project schedule or plan almost always incurs a cost. Every hour a project resource works is a cost to the project. Similarly, every hour a project is delayed incurs a cost. Project delays or additional project workload also reduces ROI. ROI (return on investment) is the financial gain a project brings, minus project costs. If a project is delayed going to market, every minute it is not available to purchase is a minute of lost revenue.

The Effect of Change on Project Schedule

Every project has a plan, and most project plans have complex schedules involving multiple resources working on project tasks simultaneously. Many of these tasks are dependent on other tasks; these are called dependencies. A dependency is typically when a current task is dependent on a preceding or succeeding task. For example, windows in a new house cannot be fitted until the house frame is complete. A single task may have any number of dependencies.

This is important is because a single change to a single task can affect other dependent tasks, or the entire project. The project plan shows all dependencies between tasks, and when making a change to your plan, it should clearly reflect the precise impact that change will have on all areas of the project.

Let's take a straightforward example. A contractor falls ill suddenly and is unable to work for four days. This contractor was due to complete the timber frame of a new house, which will now be delayed four days. Another job, installing ground floor windows, is due to begin immediately following completion of the timber frame. The six window installers have been contracted and paid for. This simple four-day delay will now cost 28 man days; four contractor days and 4 x 6 (24) window installer days.

Change Management Process

A change management process is a valuable tool for nearly every project. This process is used when a specific change is requested for a project. For instance, midway through a project, the customer suddenly requests a change to an existing feature on the project. After analysis, you determine that the change will require an additional 20 days' development work, in addition to more testing, integration development, project management, etc. Also, it will delay completion of four other tasks that are dependent on completion of this new feature.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support