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Perform Integrated Change Control

Topics Covered on the PMP® Certification Exam

Every change in the project, whether it is requested or not, needs to be processed through Perform Integrated Change Control. This process assesses each change and looks at the impact it will have on the project overall. 

To understand the implementation of Perform Integrated Change Control, we’ll dive into the following example:

Scenario:

You are a Senior Project Manager working on a hospital modernization project. You’ve scheduled the 24-month project to be completed by March 2020 for a budget of $34 million. During a routine visit with each of the hospital departments, the head of Radiology proposes a change request. A new software is on the market that has shortened the time it takes to transfer images, and the department head would like to implement this as part of the modernization project. You advise her that you will document the request and discuss it with the hospital director. Now, with the change request in hand, it’s time to Perform Integrated Change Control.

Analyzing a Proposed Change

In general, whenever there is a change request, the Project Manager should take care to unpack the change and understand the root cause so that he or she can avoid any preventable changes in the future. Consider the following: was there an oversight when the project requirements (in this case, the available radiology software) were collected, or should an SME (Subject Matter Expert) have been consulted? Analyzing changes with the root cause in mind reduces the amount of rework necessary for a project and, as a result, reduces the possible risks associated with making project changes.

To accurately assess a change, the Project Manager must first create an updated Project Management Plan and Project Scope. It is necessary to evaluate the change request across the entire project in order to adequately measure its impact.

In our example, the request for the new software may impact the budget, scope, and schedule of the project: will there be delays and expenses to test the software properly, confirm it meets regulations for patient privacy, train staff to use the software, and set up related imaging equipment?

As the manager of a complex project with a vast array of interconnected components, you must determine exactly how various details of the project plan will be affected if the proposed change is implemented.

Presenting the Change to Stakeholders

After gathering relevant details, the project manager must present the change to stakeholders. It is ultimately the stakeholder’s decision as to whether to approve or reject the change order. Some companies may have a change control board that handles the approval and rejection of change requests.

In your meeting with the hospital director, you review your analysis and provide an update of the project progress. After careful examination, the director rejects the change order due to the impact on the project and the potential risk of using new software. You document the decision in the change order log and update the project portal. The director advises that she will speak to the head of Radiology herself.

Project Manager’s Role

It is key to understand a Project Manager’s role in the Perform Integrated Change Control process. The Project Manager should actively take note of all project requirements from stakeholders and participants during the planning phase. Equally important, the Project Manager must be alert to all potential risks throughout the project, as risks are the primary cause for variances on a project plan. Ultimately, since change is inevitable, project managers should have appropriate reserves in place for both cost and time in order to accommodate for any necessary adjustments and deliver a project that meets all outlined goals.