Change Control in Project Management (Benefits & Template)
Change control management is a vital process that aims to prevent disruptions by identifying, documenting, and approving all necessary adjustments occurring within a project.
The primary objective of change management is to minimize unauthorized alterations, thereby reducing errors. By implementing a structured and integrated change control process, project managers can optimize resource utilization.
Consequences of Inadequate Change Management
Consequences at the Project Level:
- Project delays
- Budget overruns
- Missed milestones
- Design rework
Types of Change Control
Change control can be categorized into two types:
These changes require immediate action. For instance, withdrawing a product from the market due to an unforeseen issue would be considered an unplanned change.
These changes are executed with thorough planning, risk analysis, and adherence to a specific timeline.
Key Components of the Change Control Process
To introduce modifications to a project, a change request must be submitted. This document outlines the proposed changes and provides the key justifications for them. Both internal and external stakeholders involved in the project can initiate a change request.
Change Control Board
A change control board is responsible for reviewing and making decisions on proposed changes at regular intervals. If a change request is approved, it can be converted into a change order.
Once the change control board approves the requested modification, the next step involves the signing of a change order by the board and the affected clients or stakeholders. This change order includes revisions to the original contract terms, and both parties agree to these modifications.
A change log serves as a tool in change management to track any modifications made to a project’s plan or agreement. It is essential for every project manager to have access to a well-defined change log.
The change log may contain the following information:
- Brief description of the change
- Category of the change
- Information about the proposer, whether a person or stakeholder
- History of the change request
- Urgency of the change request
- Impact on the project
- Decision regarding the change
- Current status of the change
- Members of the Change Control Board
The change control board consists of representatives from relevant functional areas of the project, including the project manager. It may also involve experts, customers, and sponsors. Depending on the project and the organization, additional individuals may be involved as well.