Change Management Process

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In Project Management a Change Management Process is a set of repeatable, documented steps for requesting, logging, assessing, reviewing and implementing change requests.

An example Change Management process

This is an extract of a change process from a real world programe.

1. Request for change is made

Changes and issues are captured through Project Team meetings, a working group of external stakeholders including other government agencies, meetings of the Project Board, outcomes of approval stages and through monitoring by the Project Team and Project Sponsor.

These forums enable changes to be captured at all levels from minor scope changes made to correct errors, to major issues arising from government policy changes. Most scope changes are captured at approval stages, but major changes to content are captured through the knowledge of policy developments that come out of the working group and from the networking carried out by the Project Sponsor and Project Board.

2. Register and assess the change

Change requests are captured on a central change log that enables monitoring of change levels by the Change Manager.

Once the change is captured the change is assessed by the Project Manager using specialist advice from the Project Team. The Project Manager considers:
  • Does it relate to the project?
  • Is it really a risk or an issue that can be accepted or dealt without the change?
  • Is it actually a new project?
  • Is it required to meet the project goals & KPIs?
  • What will happen if the change is not implemented?

Change Management Process flow chart

change management process

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3. Review and submit RFC to Change Board

If the change is valid the Project Manager assesses the impact of the change with the project team and submits the change via a Request for Change Form to the Change Manager. It is then submitted to the Change Board who assess the change and approve or reject it.

This process interfaces with the Configuration Management Process for the project and for the programme.
The Change Manager is responsible for managing change across the programme. They spot trends, wider strategic issues, carry out audits and quality checks and work to improve the process.

4. Change Board accept or reject the change

The Change Board includes the client and senior managers who have a strategic overview of the contract. They assess whether the change is within programme tolerances and are able to approve most changes. They may look at:
  • the effect of the change on the business case,
  • the change in relation to the programme as a whole,
  • knock on effects of the change,
  • any additional risks related to the change,
  • any lessons that can be learnt from the change,
  • any trends that change reveals.
If the change is outside of the programme tolerances it will mean a change to the contract and the Programme Manager will escalate the change to the Programme Board and Contract Manager. If this happens the change will be dealt with separately to the project, but could lead to project close down if it would fundamentally affect the project business case.

5. Update plans & implement the change

Once the change is approved the change log is updated and stakeholders are informed. The Project Manager then works with the project team to plan the implementation of the change; amending the project and stage plans, sourcing any additional equipment or personnel, updating the configuration items and completing the work package(s).

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