You are just finishing your notes for a weekly project status meeting when your boss urgently wants to meet. When you join him, he closes the door and tells you the end user is threatening to cancel the order for the project you have been leading for months. As the project manager, you could face an epic project upheaval. However, by applying change management principles and a change control process, you can quickly respond to cost criticisms and present your boss with a detailed report, as well as trade-offs and options for reducing costs to discuss with the end user.
Professional project managers know that sudden change to any project plan is inevitable following plan approval. Internal and external drivers of change, such as continuous cost variances, management changes, and government changes or regulations, can jeopardize the value and relevance of project outcomes.
However, projects fail when changes are introduced to project workflows without evaluation and control of outcomes and consequences. Without a change management process that quantifies impacts and identifies trade-offs and options in place to evaluate changes, the project can face catastrophic derailment.
Change management is a fundamental component of effective project management. Project managers who know how to construct and use a documented change control process and change request forms to process change requests, adjust project baselines and implement approved changes are positioned to maximize team productivity and optimize project outcomes. When you employ the tools and techniques of a change control framework to manage change requests, large or small, from initiation to ultimate resolution, you will remedy change-related project disruption and close more projects successfully.
Do you know the elements of change management? What methods and frameworks to deal with change does your company employ? The Accenture Academy courses Project Management: Change Management Overview, Project Management: Elements of the Change Management Process, Project Management: Change Requests in a Change Control Process, and Project Management: Change Implementation Framework can help you understand and manage project change successfully. These courses can help you acquire skills that solve the dilemma of disruptive project changes, improve team productivity and morale, and smoothly adapt your project plans to necessary changes.
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