Project managers must know how to deal with change, if they want to successfully complete their projects.

So, the consideration and implementation of requested changes need to be properly controlled.

Requested changes have to be analyzed in order to accurately determine their impact on the project’s goals.

Of course, all details need to be documented for a paper trail.

To manage requests for change, here are seven recommended steps:

1. Reach an agreement in advance for handling change requests.

Before any project launch, there has to be agreement on how to process and manage change requests. That’s the best way to be prepared.

All stakeholders need to be aware that requests for changes won’t be lightly regarded because of how the project will be affected.

2. Make certain you get specifics.

The person making the request should be thorough with written specificity. Certainly, the details should include all additional expenses.

3. Revise the change log.

Note the request on the change log.

4. Evaluate the requested change.

Make a balance sheet of the pros and cons — whether or not to implement the change. Listen to the person making the request. But have it understood that you will make the decision regarding the priority of the change request.

5. Decide on your course of action.

Approve or refuse the request. Communicate your decision and course of action to all stakeholders. Make sure to update the change log including the reasoning for the change. This naturally pertains to all of your project’s paperwork.

6. Prioritize the requested change.

Determine its importance in the scope of the project. The simple question to answer is “how important is it?”

7. Follow through on the details.

Make sure to properly manage all details of the change. Explain the rationale — the benefits — to every affected person to make certain they’re on board, and delegate accordingly.

From the Coach’s Corner, related content:

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4 Ways to Solve 6 Uncertainties in Project Management — Seemingly negative surprises have often been perceived as insurmountable, but that’s not always the situation in project management.

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Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk.”

-William Arthur Ward


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.