One of the most common mistakes that we see on projects is when change is not managed. Unmanaged change can devastate projects and oftentimes people associate the change itself with the problem.
Imagine this simple scenario… you are delivering a project to build a house and you are on time and budget with all you have left to do being to landscape the front garden. Just before you start, your customer decides that they want a swimming pool added at the back. This was never in the plan and certainly was not in the budget. If change was not managed on the project, the swimming pool would be built but there would be not time or budget left to do the landscaping out front. This project would be seen as a failure and the customer would be unhappy, all due to unmanaged change!
To avoid this scenario, you should always raise changes to the sponsors. This is to allow them to help separate the requests for change which are key requirements needed to make the project a success vs the noise which will distract you. Wherever possible, we recommend surfacing change through the governance structure. Oftentimes, if there was a key requirement missing which is added under change control, it can drive significant benefit and make your project more of a success.
We are not always in a position to spend days or weeks discussing changes so the most simple step in the right direction is to keep a change log containing of all changes which occurred on the project, both those approved and those which impacted before they could be considered.
This tip will not make sure the project finishes within the baseline time or budget but it helps with one problem, it explains why, so that stakeholders understand and more importantly, so that you can learn for next time.
The key point of this blog… change can be good, unmanaged change can’t be!
Daniel Wright founded Monochrome Consultancy, specialising in Digital Transformation, IT Transformation and Project & Programme Delivery.
With his background in IT and InfoSec Dan is a techie at heart.
For more on Dan and/or Monochrome visit: www.monochromeconsultancy.co.uk