6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 4.6 Perform Integrated Change Control: Inputs

In the last process, 4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work, one of the main outputs that can occur as a result of that process are change requests, in the form of

  • Defect repair–an activity that modifies a nonconforming product or product component
  • Corrective action–an activity that realigns the performance of the project work with the project management plan
  • Preventive action–an activity that ensures the future performance of the project work is aligned with the project management plan.

There is a fourth type of change requests as well.   Let’s say that in analyzing the variance between the project work and the project management plan, that it was discovered that the project management plan was unrealistic because of information uncovered during the process 4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work.   Then the change request might be to change a component of the project management plan to fit a more realistic estimate.   So instead of changing the work to fit the plan as in the three categories above, you might have to change the plan to fit the work…

Now at this point, a change request is simply that, a request.   The decision as to whether  it gets implemented or not is the purpose of this process.   The change can be a change to the product scope (i.e., changes to the features and functions of the product being created by the project) or to the project scope (i.e., changes to the work performed to deliver a product).

An orderly approach to this process is essential to avoid the bane of a project manager’s existence called scope creep.   In a study group session, I once joking gave a definition of that term as when some creep starts messing with your scope.    Well, that may be how it feels as a project manager, but the actual definition is the “uncontrolled expansion to product or project scope without adjustments to time, cost, and resources.”   So you and your project team are expected to do more and more with the same resources, putting more and more pressure on your team.   When you are the project manager responsible for the success of the project, that puts you in a difficult position.

One way to spread the responsibility is to have a Change Control Board, which reviews the change requests and analyzes their impact on the various constraints of the project such as time, cost, and resources, and accepts or rejects them based on criteria established in the change management plan.

Let’s go over are the inputs to this process:

4.6.1  Project Management Plan

The components of the project management plan that are inputs to this process include:

  • Change management plan–this provides the instructions for managing the change control process, including the roles and responsibilities of the Change Control Board (CCB).
  • Configuration management plan–if a change request is accepted, then the project management plan will be altered and perhaps the product scope as well.   The configuration management plan establishes a system to distinguish the various versions of the product/project scope so that everyone is literally on the same page working on the current configuration and not mistakenly working off of a version that is obsolete.
  • Scope/cost/schedule baselines–these baselines are used to assess the impact of the changes to the product/project scope on the project cost and/or schedule. Project Documents

The following project documents may be used to help analyze the impact of change requests.

  • Basis of estimates–this shows how the duration, cost, and resources estimates were derived and can be used to calculate the impact of the proposed change of product/project scope will have on the project schedule, budget, or resources.
  • Requirements traceability matrix–this helps assess the impact of the proposed change on the project scope
  • Risk report–this helps show the impact of the proposed change on overall and individual project risks. Work Performance Reports

These are the outputs of process 4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work.   This contains not only schedule/ cost data, and earned value analysis, but also an analysis of the causes of variation. Change Requests

Change requests are the outputs of the last process 4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work but may be an output of the Executing process 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work as well.   These are the requests that the Change Control Board or other mechanism described in the Change Management Plan will evaluate and either approve or reject.  Enterprise Environmental Factors

The following EEFs may influence this process:

  • Legal restrictions, legal and regulatory requirements and/or constraints
  • Government or industry standards
  • Organizational governance framework
  • Contracting and purchasing constraints  Organizational Process Assets

The following OPAs may influence this process:

  • Change control procedures (spelled out in the Change Management Plan component of the Project Management Plan), including procedures for approving and issuing change authorizations (e.g., different levels of authorization may be required for changes that exceed certain thresholds in terms of their impact on the schedule and/or budget)
  • Configuration management knowledge base–contains organizational standards regarding how configurations of a project and/or product are to be organized

The next post will cover the actual tools and techniques of this process.





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