How to manage project changes, closing comments!

This is part 4 of a 4-part series on project change management. This topic is a chapter in our upcoming book, Redefining the Basics of Project Management, scheduled for second quarter 2014.

Project Change Management

Closing Comments

In the previous discussions, specifically the scope creep, air condition example, we had:

  • Natural growth due to design development (progressive elaboration),
  • Growth due to market conditions, which became irrelevant later,
  • Growth due to changing requirements.

This information is crucial for learning about what happens on a project and is included in the reconciliation during the project close. This is also important for organizational project management maturity, as we have discussed more than once.

Although this is a simplistic example, it is a reality.

Repeatedly, we hear about projects that went up in cost 10, 20, 30% or even more between the Class 2 and Class 3 Estimates and management is asking why?

It is the market conditions! Is a common answer.

Well, maybe it is the market conditions. However, the market conditions in normal times do vary so if something goes up usually something else goes down and balances it.

Then what are the threats?

If during the project concept phase the organization determined the project potential returns are low but still want to consider the opportunity and take the risk. However, if the project cost jump by 10, 20, or 30%, as discussed above, during the project development phase, then the opportunity will not be feasible anymore and the organization is likely to stop the project.

The question to ask here, did the organization just killed a project that would have been beneficial if it was not for the hidden changes and scope creep that took place during the project development?

We leave you with a few points to ponder:

  1. Do you see a need for project control during the project development stage?
  2. Can you reflect on your own projects and think about potential changes and scope creep that affected your project outcome?
  3. Could you have avoided a cost or schedule over-run if you had applied these principles?