2.8 Controlling changes to the project
Sometimes an addition or change to the project will be requested. This can be difficult for those who manage the project, because you will want both to maintain good relations with your client and to protect your profit margin and budget for resources. The first step is to assess the extent to which this will cause a need for additional time or resources. Perhaps the change can be accommodated in the project plan within the existing time-scale and budget, for example by altering some of the tasks in the later stages. Once the implications for time and cost of the requested change are known, you can decide how to respond to the client.
The change might be agreed without any charge to the client. There might be a case for making an additional charge, and you will have the full costing for the modification to support your claim. You may want to negotiate with the client to achieve a solution that suits both of you, again with full understanding of the implications. Whatever is decided, you will need to be fully informed of the cost and time implications of the proposed change before you enter discussions about how it could be managed.
Once any change has been agreed, it is usual to review the project documentation, making a formal amendment to the project brief, and amending the schedules and budgets and noting changes in the plan. You will also have to communicate the changes to anyone who needs to know in order to take appropriate action.
What happened on recent projects, when a stakeholder requested an addition to the project? How was this handled and what was the outcome? What could have been done differently?
Sometimes, we agree to the request of the project sponsor for additional work to be included in the project. At the time, it seems that it will be easy to implement. There are times when it creates additional problems that were not foreseen. It is useful to reflect on what happened as a result of the additional work so that we can learn how to manage these changes appropriately in a future project.