When a project is going on, a sudden change request can be received with a lot of fear. But, the fact is that change in demands is often submitted for authentic reasons. Since our business environment keeps on changing, it is really difficult for anyone to really know exactly what they actually require to achieve their objectives and goals at the beginning of a project.
What is a Change Request?
The Change Request is actually a proposal to modify a product or framework, often brought up by the customer or other team members. While the project is going on, this can happen when the client needs to change or modify upon the agreed deliverables.
Change Requests can also be raised internally and include things like upgrading the software or changing the codes. So, we can say that there are two types of Change Requests: the first one is within the scope and the second one is beyond the scope of the project.
Some Change Requests are inside the scope and include small corrections/modifications to the existing requirement. These types of change requests affect minimally on the budget or the team. On the other hand, the Change Requests that are outside the scope require a lot of effort by the other team members and create a bigger impact on the budget too.
However, a Change Request is frequent and can be expected at any point of the on-going project. If the entire team is up-to-date on the Change Request, it can be dealt with appropriately and timely. If the Change Requests are not approved or informed to other team members properly, then that will ultimately lead to a big issue.
If there is any Change Request, then the entire team should be informed properly and eventually, they should come to an agreement of satisfying the Changing Request without utilizing superfluous assets. The three basic inquiries to ask about any Change Request:
- What is Change?
- What is Advantage?
- How important is it to you?
5 Steps for Managing Change Requests
We have to overcome a lot of hurdles while preparing for delivering a project. A Change Request often comes up during the course of most of the projects. So it is safe as well as a better idea to have a plan for how to deal with them early.
Actually, we can say Change Requests are necessary and offer many advantages too. Dealing with this procedure effectively can allow greater internal communication, proficiency and alignment with overall business goals. Here, I am sharing the five effective ways to manage Change Requests:
Request any Supporting Materials
Firstly, the stakeholder making the Change Request(s), needs to be specific and explicit as much as possible. The Change Request should be put in a written form along with any supporting materials that might be helpful.
The person asking for improvement should be expressive and clear about the anticipated benefit of his/her Change Request. This really helps the entire team member to determine whether the Change Request is worth the effort or not.
Determine whether the Change Request is in Inside or Outside the scope
It is always a smart idea to think about the scope of the Change Request. If the team decides to implement this change, they should be very much sure about the new requirements to put on the project. They should be aware of all the aspects of the project that will ultimately be impacted by the implementation of the change request.
If the Change Request is outside the scope, a lot of issues may take place like going over-budget or taking too much time on a particular Change Request
Have your team assess the priority of the Change Request
Before the actual implementation of any change to the project, the team should be aware of any possible risks. What is the normal benefit of the change being proposed? Is this change request needed to meet the requirement of the change in the marketplace/business requirements or would it just be nice to have?
The opinion of the person should be considered who proposed the Change Request, but at the same time, common sense must be used. The client might not know what’s in their own eventual benefits.
To avoid the varying opinions amongst team members, the clear guidelines should be defined for evaluating the urgency.
Approving or rejecting the Change Request
The team can either approve or reject the request after analysing its impact on the project. There are various methods involved in the approval process for different organizations.
In general, the Change Request that requires minimal additional work can be approved within the team. On the other hand, the change which requires a lot of labour and time may require executive approval & project stakeholder approval for an additional cost.
Decide on a course of action going forward
The project deliverables need to be updated regularly after the Change Request is approved. It must include plans and schedules, business work report, and the prerequisites archives.
When these updates have been done, the project manager can communicate the new plan of action to each and every member of the team. Then after, the necessary tasks can be assigned to the member in charge of implementing the new changes.
The most ideal approach to deal with the proposed changes to a project is to set up a correct procedure to manage them. A sure-shot way to do that is by using the correct workflow software. This ensures that none of the basic steps is missed, and each team member is updated with on-going changes at every step.
Accurate & pro-active Project Management is required to keep the workflow on the right track. That will help to keep each team member in a single loop. Furthermore, if the changes are made step-by-step in a recorded way, that will allow you to go back and retrace your steps if something goes wrong.
For more details and information for managing the Change Requests, please get in touch with our expert Business Analyst Experts and experienced Senior Project managers.