Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

What is Change Control?

~ By Duncan Haughey

Red grungy clock with time for change text

Change control is an important part of the project management process. With the pace of change today, it is almost certain that projects will face the demand for change during their life. While change may help ensure the project's alignment with business needs, it is important to consider and approve each change carefully.

The change control process in project management ensures that each change proposed during a project is adequately defined, reviewed and approved before implementation. The change control process helps avoid unnecessary changes that might disrupt services and also ensures the efficient use of resources.

Change control contains five stages:

  1. Proposing a Change
  2. Summary of Impact
  3. Decision
  4. Implementing a Change
  5. Closing a Change

There are two documents used during the process:

  1. Change Log: used to provide a record of all changes requested and decisions made
  2. Change Request Form: used to document details of the change, including the business case

1. Proposing a Change

This process gives the ability for anyone in the project team (including the customer) to suggest a change to the project. The proposal must include a description of the change and expected benefits or other reason for the change. The change is presented using the Change Request Form and added to the Change Log for the project.

2. Summary of Impact

This process is carried out by the project manager, who will consider the overall effect on the project, covering the following items:

  • Quantifiable cost savings and benefits
  • Legal, regulatory or other unquantifiable reason for change
  • Estimated cost of the change
  • Impact on timescales
  • Extra resources needed
  • Impact on other projects and business activities
  • New risks and issues

After this assessment, the project manager recommends whether to carry out the change.

3. Decision

This process involves a review of the change request by an approved authority who will consider all the information provided by the project manager and person making the request. The decision will usually be:

  • Accept
  • Accept with comments and special conditions
  • Reject
  • Defer (change is not approved, but is left for consideration later)

4. Implementing a Change

If the change is approved it is planned, scheduled and executed at a time agreed with the stakeholders.

As part of the planning, a regression test plan is needed in case the change needs to be backed out.

After implementation, it is usual to carry out a post-implementation review.

5. Closing a Change

Once implemented, the requester checks and agrees on the change, and it is closed in the Change Log by the project manager.


Comments (1)

Topic: What is Change Control?
4/5 (1)
Gravatar
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarEmpty Star
13th November 2019 7:31pm
Geoffrey Scott Gillis (St. John's) says...
I think what is missing here is a clear description of what a project change is - what baseline(s) is the change from for example.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
Is it true or false that twenty is a number?
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Extreme Project Management

The running back dives for the first down with the defender on his back

Three war room strategies to try when you need to bring life back to a dead project, or save an engagement that is on the brink of disaster.

Demand a Strong Project Plan

Gantt chart

What to look for to advance your consulting projects from contract to execution.

How to Avoid Project Burnout

Exhausted businessman resting on a pile of paperwork with tongue hanging out from overwork

Resources on projects can be susceptible to burning out before the project finishes. Here are a few ideas to prevent burnout in project teams.

Project Cost Management

Pile of British one pound coins

How do we know what a project will cost? We really don't until the project is complete because we can't accurately predict the future. What we can do is create an estimate.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Yudi commented on…
MoSCoW Method
- Sat 1 August 10:15am

Takunda Knox commented on…
Project Management Tools
- Tue 28 July 4:09pm

Philip VonSteinmann commented on…
How to Make Changes on a Project
- Tue 28 July 1:11am

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: Project Resource Capacity Planning https://t.co/JkJMQ1nxWd about 3 days ago

RT @StephenRCovey: "You don't manage people; you manage things. You lead people." - Admiral Grace Hopper #management #leadership #Leadershi… about 15 days ago

General Project Management • Sustainability thinking in Project Management https://t.co/yV71dkfgp8 about 17 days ago