Managing Project Change – OPEN

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Unit 11: Managing Project Change

"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable" - Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Although there is a much cruder way to put this, change happens.

Given that our project plan is nothing more than a series of estimates and forecasts, it is inevitable that reality will take us in any number of different directions once we start executing our plans and delivery gets under way (and uncertainty reduces).

Therefore in project-land, change management is the process of identifying, reporting and authorising updates to our project plan.

These updates may take the form of changes to our baseline scope, schedule or budget, and also include amendments to our stakeholder and risk registers, human resource plan and other related documents.

Yet project change management should not be confused with organisational change management, which in many respects is all about creating the business case for projects.

Now that is a somewhat simplistic distinction, and, as you will see, project and organisational change share a number of common features.

Nonetheless, we will not explore in detail factors such as the cultural implications of change in this Unit – they are more appropriately considered in the context of business-as-usual.

As with all things project management, we have tools to assist us in identifying change requirements, as well as a process to follow to ensure that change is efficiently approved and effectively communicated to all stakeholders.

We will also address the hot potato of project scope creep, a condition known elsewhere as the project managers’ curse.

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