5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 4: Change Requests


In the last post, I reviewed the elements that make up the process 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work. I was going to go on to the fourth process, when I decided I had better stop and mention a few important points about Change Requests.

1. Change Requests—where do they fit in the project management process?

Change requests are identified, reviewed and approved, and then implemented at different parts of the project management process.

They can be identified either while project work is performed during the Executing Process Group (Process 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work) OR as a result of comparing planned results to actual results during the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group (Process 4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work).

These outputs of the two processes mentioned above then become inputs to Process 4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control, where they are reviewed, analyzed, and then either approved or rejected. IF they are approved, they are then outputs to this process, and become fed into Process 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work as inputs to be implemented.

2. Change Requests—types

Do you remember the Charles Dickens story The Christmas Carol? In it, Ebenezer Scrooge was visited by three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future.

On a project, a project manager is also haunted by three types of problems, Defects Past, Defects Present, and Defects Future. In other words,

  • Defect repair—defects or nonconforming products which have already been created as a result of project work must be modified or repaired;
  • Corrective action—an activity which realigns the project work, which is not conforming to the project management plan
  • Preventive action—an activity which ensures that the future project work will be aligned with the project management plan

Of course, rather than aligning the project work to the project management plan, another types of change may be:

  • Updates—changes to the project management plan itself

After this brief excursion into some important features of change requests, I will now continue the next post with an overview of Process 4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work.

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