Project Change Management In Action

Project Change Management photo
Photo by Julian Partridge

Have you noticed any deadlines being missed in your software development projects? This commonly occurs due to a week project change management procedure. It is the responsibility of the project manager to establish the correct steps and processes in order to control all the alterations being made on their project.

A simplified process starts out with change request forms. These detail exactly what alterations to be made that are quite similar to project proposal template structures (i.e. include full details of the alteration, background, etc.). The project manager is responsible for evaluating each of these changes and assigning severity to the change as well as a priority. They may also do an initial estimate of how much work is involved and if there is a financial/budgetary implication.

Some of the simpler changes which may be quickly implemented are often given approval for implementation straightaway by the project manager. This is completely at their own discretion and dependent on current team workload.

The norm however in the project change management procedure is to proceed to a weekly decision meeting. This is where each change request is evaluated by the project manager, the product manager and sometimes also the project sponsor. Each alteration needs to be discussed and decisions made on whether to implement or not. Some other changes may have to be dropped/deferred in order to facilitate new changes being implemented.

The project manager writes up the meeting minutes and distributes it to all interested parties. Change requests are usually maintained on in-house bug tracking systems so these must also be updated. Not all issues will be implemented straightaway but may actually be deferred to a later stage. In addition, if the project sponsor is not present at the meeting then any alterations requiring financial approval (i.e. if there are changes) will need their go-ahead in order to proceed.

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