Importance of Change Control Process:
Change control process is applied to the overall scope in the project, scope being defined as everything the project delivers and the work required to produce the deliverables.The process is intended to make sure that project baselines (cost, time, quality and benefits) will not be subject to any changes without appropriate control / track and agreement. If the process is not implemented properly, most likely project will end with scope creep. For example, during the project mid-stages stakeholders decided to increase the capacity of underground car parking for a hospital, and the change will require increasing the number of floors of the parking and definitely will have impact on the project cost and time.Four Steps in the process are as following:
- Change Control Request: All changes are entered to log sheet that is managed by the PM. Log sheet will include fields for ID, originator, description of the change, reference to most likely influenced products (dependant products), status, ……..etc. Change control request should precede any change to any of the controlled products / documents in the project. For example one change request for changing the painting colour for one rest room in hospital and another change request for changing the floor finish type for the corridors.
- Initial Evaluation: is carried out by the PM who may request the assistance of the change control board. This stage incorporates review of the logged change requests to decide whether they worth moving to the detailed evaluation / assessment or not. That is important since the detailed evaluation will be carried out by the project team who will be distracted from completing their original works/ tasks in the project. If change request is not justified and will not bring benefit to the project, then the change should be disregarded / discounted to avoid causing hassle to the project. For example request for changing the painting colour of only one room in a hospital without reasonable justification should be discounted.
- Detailed Assessment / Review: to be carried out by the change control board and includes detailed review to the reasons behind the change and its impact on the interacting products as well as project baselines (time, cost, quality and benefits). The outcome of this stage is some sort of report and impact study / analysis which will be reviewed against the business case (B.C). Sponsor need to be informed about the changes from the B.C and their impact on the project baselines (cost, time. Quality and benefits) in order to decide whether to accept, reject or may be defer the change. For example structural engineer requests changing the number of columns in an underground parking which will reduce the capacity of the car parking.
- Recommendations:includes decision on whether to approve, reject, or defer the change which will be taken by the sponsor who may be assisted by the change control board. The board will discuss the approved changes with stakeholders to make sure that they are consulted / made aware of these changes. The board will agree the implementation and impact with P.M for all changes to project baselines and interacting products. For example Sponsor approved the request for changing the number of columns in the underground car park but requested increasing the number of the car park floors / levels to accommodate the original minimum parking capacity agreed in the B.C.