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How to Make Changes on a Project

Prepare to put your project on trial. No matter how uncomfortable, some projects need to be changed midway. The sooner these changes are identified and executed, the better. Writing for ProjectSmart, Kenneth Darter cautions against making change for change’s sake, but an out-of-scope, ill-defined, poorly-scheduled project is one that simply needs to be overhauled.

Four Steps of Project Change

  • Communicate
  • Document U
  • pdate Schedules
  • Reflect on Lessons Learned

The first step to any project change is to make sure that the change event is echoed up and down the chain of command, from the individual team members to managers, stakeholders and even sponsors. There’s no need to approve each and every proposed change, as long as those changes make their way around the organization.

After communicating the change, make sure you’re ready to document. That means updating the personnel plan or risk mitigation plans. Of course, any documentation must stay current with the advancing project. If documents aren’t updated correctly, assumptions and errors will only lead to new problems which will require yet more changes.

Perhaps the most important aspect of documentation change is the updating of the schedule. Because the project and the schedule are so closely interlinked, any alteration of one will impact the other. Resources that are removed or added, a scope that is contracted or expanded, or a limitation of perceived risks are all factors that will affect both project and schedule.

Once the appropriate changes are applied, it’s time to sit down and reflect. What causes are associated with the change and how has the project been impacted? Maybe the change that was supposed to fix a problem resulted in further frustrations. Learn from every mistake and document every success. In the future, you won’t need to fear change. If the project is on trial, you know that justice will be better served with knowledge of project change.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI’s Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master’s degree in communications at Penn State University.

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