Change is something that all project managers will have to deal with at some point. It is highly unlikely that a project will run from start to finish without some changes being made. If you have taken a project management training course, you will have learned all about change management and how to handle this. When changes occur in the project lifecycle, use these following tips to help you through it…
Get all of the information you need – A change request form should be used at your business to initiate any changes within the project. It is vital that you run through the form with the person that filled it out. You need to be thoroughly informed regarding the changes that need to be implemented and why. The ‘why’ helps you to determine the objectives of the change so you can ensure you implement it successfully. If you have any gaps in the information, ask questions. You need to make sure you are on the same page as the individual that initiated the change request.
Does work need to be taken in or out? – Once you know what changes need to be enforced, you then need to look at your current schedule of tasks. Which tasks need to be removed? And, which tasks need to be added?
Evaluate how the change is going to impact the key factors of the project – Key factors include the likes of resource availability, budget, quality, documentation, and time. You should not start initiating the change until you have considered these factors and how they will be impacted. Discuss this with your client and be honest; they need to have a clear picture regarding what the changes mean for factors like budget and the deadline. Once all of this has been cleared, you can then proceed.
Make the most of software – There are a number of tools available that can help you to deal with project changes. This includes change management tools, as well as cost management tools. In regards to the former, they will help to guide you through the full process, ensuring everything is streamlined. The latter – cost management tools – should be used before the changes are implemented so that you can get an accurate reflection regarding how the budget is going to be impacted. We also recommend using this learning management software system. This will help you to keep on top of everything. Use one of these tools before you meet with the client. You can then present them of evidence regarding why the cost is increasing, as it is likely you may need to request new funds.
Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for any changes that occur in the project lifecycle. From assessing the impact on key factors to ensuring you are thoroughly informed, the steps that have been provided should help you and your team to handle any changes with much greater ease.