Using Change Management
Much as our reptile friends anticipate when to change colors for survival, so must we, especially since some of us aren't geared for major changes. Examine your project fully as the project manager. If each team member doesn't have the required knowledge or skill for a project, make changes in your team before it begins. Telling a team member in the midst of a project that they have to go does not make a happy team.
Analyze what elements might change. Is there a possibility that deadline could change or do you feel you could go over budget? Be open to deadline changes but have controls in place that deadline changes must be realistic so define at what point you will accept deadline changes. If you know you don't have the required budget for your project, asking for more first is better than spending more during the project. Make sure you can show examples of where your project overruns will be.
Before you begin your project, analysis and hypothesize about change and if you find you won't be able to reach the outcome needed for the project, what is stopping that from happening? If you won't be able to deliver that company relocation budget because upper management has three locations they are looking at, be specific about how you team and the cost of the relocation(s) need to be separate to achieve the required goal.
Make sure you understand what authority you have in your change control process. You can probably redesign your team and be specific on when you can deliver a project, but do your have the authority to spend company money without approval? A good project manager will design their change control process and include budget extensions as well as other changes that may occur to upper management and get the go ahead nod first.
If you aren't sure how to write and implement a change control process, we have included How to Write A Change Control Process guide that can help you on your way to setting up effective change controls. This document is great for any project manager who doesn't have written plans or guidelines on change control.
In our next Change Control article we will discuss how to implement change requests in your projects.