The purpose of this document is to strictly define the changes in the implementation of the project.
To define the changes means to control them, to determine whether they are important and meaningful, whether the project needs them, whether their implementation will be useful and will have added value for the project and additional benefits, or will be a waste of money, time, and resource. Reference: “Change Management Plan Example for project managers“, https://www.kievpress.info/change-management-plan-example-for-project-managers/
Change Management Plan
To create a change management plan, it is good to first define the term change! A change is a change to something new, different (from what is defined in the scope of the project), as well as the result of this change. Change defined in this way means that, for the project, it can never be considered simply as an action that replaces or complements another, but always with this change must be considered its results, regardless of whether they are useful, harmful, meaningful, adequate, timely, unnecessary, etc. See also: “Change Management Plan in project management“, https://agileprogramming.org/change-management-plan-in-project-management/
Any change request will be submitted on official letterhead in electronic version. It will be the same for both parties (contractor and client). Change requests will have a “label” from P4 to P0. This tag will be placed by the party requesting the change and will indicate the urgency of implementing the change (P4 will be the least urgent, while P0 will be the most urgent, requiring implementation as soon as possible). Additionally, this tag also means that these requests will be handled by certain people, with the breakdown being as follows:
P4–P2: are addressed by the contractor’s Project Manager (PM) (when submitted by the procuring entity. Provided it is submitted by the contractor, then the procuring PM will need to address the request). Read more: “Change Management Plan – Real Sample Document, Example“, https://www.policymatters.net/change-management-plan-real-sample-document-example/
The project manager consults with the relevant affected teams and in general, the persons and companies that will be involved in the implementation of the change (external companies, subcontractors, suppliers, consulting companies, etc.). After evaluating factors such as ‘Request Importance’, ‘Benefits/Harms’, ‘Added Value’, ‘Risk’, ‘Delay’, and ‘Cost’, the PM provides an opinion and evaluation of the change proposal. The opinion was built based on research with the help of the affected teams and external companies. It includes explanations and descriptions of the studies done and whether the change will have a good effect on the project implementation. More on the topic: “Sample Change Request Form: Real example for project managers“, https://www.businesspad.org/sample-change-request-form-real-example/
It will also include a statement of what the cost of the change will be, how much the overall implementation will be delayed, and when the earliest this change can be implemented. The score (which can be between 2 and 6, according to a school model) of the proposal gives a clear idea of the PM’s overall “opinion” about the change proposal. The rating is also an arbitrary recommendation of whether or not to implement the corresponding change (from 2 to 4 will mean not to implement, while 5 and 6 will mean a green light and that the change seems meaningful and will increase the value of the project). Of course, the final decision rests with the contractor, he can comply with the assessment and opinion, but he can also ignore them. See also: “Models for change management in projects“, https://securityinformationeventmanagement.com/models-change-management-projects-organizations/ In the presence of several change requests with the same P (priority) and when it is established that these requests cannot be implemented simultaneously, the contracting authority chooses which change to implement first (except in cases of the “waterfall principle”: when to start one change, the other must be completed first). Reference: “Requirements change management in project management practices”, https://60yearsnato.info/requirements-change-management-in-project-management-practices/
P1: all of the above applies, with the addition that these change requests are high priority and handled by the PM and Project Director.
P0: all of the above applies, with the addition that these change requests are high priority, targeted to be implemented ASAP, and are handled by the PM, Project Director, and Corporate Development Director, with the CEO in control and has the final solution. Read more: Change management in organizations, https://phron.org/change-management-in-organizations/(Organizational change management is different than project CM)
For a more precise and clear understanding, we also define the above concepts/factors:
– “Importance of the request” – the importance indicates exactly how valuable this change would be to the project. Importance can be: low, medium, high, or very high.
– “Benefits/Harms” – what benefits the change will bring to the project is assessed and weighed. Damages, if any, are also relevant. This ultimately prevails in the presence of both and the final opinion on this depends mostly on the PM and the teams that will be consulted and asked for their opinion, advice, ideas, etc. This factor is rated + or – based on the research done. See also: “Change Control and Configuration management in Project Management practices”, https://www.islandjournal.net/change-control-and-configuration-management-in-project-management-practices/
– “Added value” – again after consultations and studies by the PM, an opinion is given on the question of whether the change in question would have added value to the project or not. Again, it is graded with + or –.
– “Risk” – this factor shows what the threats are when implementing the change. The most common risks are an increase in the price of the project and an extension of the implementation period. But it can also be demotivation among people, complicating the final product, lowering the level of quality of the final product, etc.
– “Delay” – most changes in the implementation of a given project lead to delay. However, some can be implemented with no or minimal/negligible delay. The PM should consider and give his opinion/assessment of whether the change in question would cause serious delay or not. Reference: “Project management plan for change management”, https://www.libraryofmu.org/project-management-plan-for-change-management/
– “Increase” – following the example of the “Delay” factor, most changes in the implementation of a project lead to an increase in the cost of the project and possibly to a higher price of the final product or service. The project manager must assess and give his opinion/assessment whether the change in question would lead to a serious cost increase or not.
More on the topic
Once the change proposal is submitted, it is reviewed by the designated people depending on P, and feedback is given. This feedback should be considered by the procuring entity (as it has the final say). In P4-P2, the decision (whether to implement the relevant change or not) can be made by the Project Manager and the Director of Design and Development. For P1 and P0, the intervention of the Vice President and the President is required by the contracting authority.
For the parties to be aware of how the changes under P are implemented, the following implementation deadlines are observed:
P4 – very low priority. The change can start to be implemented no earlier than 1 month after the last approval (by the contracting authority).
P3 – low priority. The change can start to be implemented up to 2 weeks after the final approval (by the contracting party).
P2 – medium priority. The change can start to be implemented 1 to 2 weeks after final approval (by the contracting party).
P1 – high priority. The change can start to be implemented 5 to 7 days after the final approval (by the contracting party).
P0 – very high priority. The change can start to be implemented from 1 to 3 days after the final approval (by the contracting party).