7.4.6 Development of Change Management Plan

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Every aspect of the project defined during the Project Initiation Phase or during the Project Planning Phase has the potential to change. Project change can be generally defined as any adjustment or modification to the formally documented (e.g. in the Project Fiche, ToRs, Contract, Project Plan, etc.) aspects of the project, such as cost, scope, schedule or resources.

Although a change may occur throughout every project phase, the need for change is usually discovered during Project Execution Phase, as actual work on activities/ tasks is being performed. It is during Execution Phase that the Contractor may discover that his original effort estimates were not accurate and will result in more effort being required to complete his work. It is also during the Execution Phase that the Contracting Authority may realize that, despite their efforts to thoroughly describe the project scope, objectives and expected outcomes in the Tender Documents (and specifically in the ToRs) and though the successful tenderer has fully understood the Terms of Reference, the product being produced is not exactly what they need.

In order to handle any need for change that may arise throughout every project phase without negative effect on the project outcome, an effective change management plan should be developed during the Project Planning Phase. More specifically, the items that must be defined during the Planning Phase are presented in the following table.

 

Table 7-2: Items that the Change Management Plan should define

Identification of those authorized to request a change from the Contractor.
Definition of the process to be followed for initiating a request for change, analyzing the request and assessing the impact of change on projects cost, scope, schedule and quality, approving the change request, and implementing the approved change.
Identification of the person or group of people, who will be responsible for analyzing, reviewing and approving the request for change.
Definition of the timeframe (number of working days) allowed for a change request to be approved or rejected
Design of the documentation to be used for requesting and registering a change

 

It should be noted that the term change management usually refers to changes affecting the contract. However, a Change Management Plan should be developed, even in case that the project is implemented exclusively by internal resources in order to formulate the framework under which extension of the total duration of a project or amendment of the budget will be asked if this is proved to be necessary.

 


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