What Are the Effects of Change Proposals?
Scope control requires that project managers utilize every tool at hand to evaluate the effects that change proposals would have on the project. Proper control of changes requires the availability of information that can help guide the project manager into the proper decisions.
A well written project scope statement is necessary to serve as a benchmark to use when considering change requests. If corners were cut during the project planning phase of the project, the statement could be below par, making it difficult to judge change requests.
The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and WBS dictionary contain information that helps determine what aspects of the project’s output will be affected by proposed changes. By reviewing change requests in light of WBS documentation, the project manager can determine whether changes are compatible with the project's statement of work and milestones.
The scope stability definition includes measures to ensure that changes in scope do not disrupt the progress of the project. This part of the project plan should try to anticipate what changes might be required and how those changes would be implemented. This helps project managers avoid the uncomfortable predicament of being caught off guard when changes are requested.
Up-to-date project reporting should be reviewed when considering changes to scope that might affect performance. For example, changes in scope that might improve performance at a time when the project is languishing might be considered above those that may not deliver any performance gains.
A change request procedure should be in place so that only those changes that follow a predefined process are considered. This helps avoid chaos by procedurally vetting scope change requests and by guarding against arbitrary and undocumented changes to scope.