Part 4: Scope Control in the Execution Phase
The execution phase of your project is when you start to produce the tangible deliverables of your project.
Assertiveness in Project Management
Many change requests are made during the execution phase of your project. Remember that Scope Control is the management of changes made to your project scope baseline. See part 1 0f 6 of this series. Managing of your scope baseline starts with judging if the change request is justified or not. Here is where assertiveness comes in. Assertiveness is saying no when you have to. See related posts below.
Change requests can come from any stakeholder. If the request is not beneficial to the project or sponsor, then you as project manager should explain why it is not. Many change requests come from contractors or other suppliers. If it is not justified, you should explain why.
“Not Wrong is Good”
Sometimes a change request is a very good idea and may fall within the project budget, but there is not enough time to do it. In such case I apply what I call “not-wrong-is-good”: If what we have will work, then consider it good and do not change it.
The Reality of Changes
Reality has taught us that sometimes changes are needed. If a change request is justified, then you have to accept it and process it. Scope control is NOT denying change requests that are justified. Scope control is about properly managing and documenting the change request. See part 1 of 6 of this series.
A justified change request is easily managed by using a change request form
Change Request Form
If the change request will improve the product or service you are creating and falls within your budget, then it can be accepted. Since any approved change request will usually effect your schedule and budget, it should be properly documented. A change request form should be used to properly and consistently document all change requests. A change request form should contain the following items:
- CHANGE REQUEST N0.
- CHANGE REQUEST DESCRIPTION
- REQUESTED BY
- EFFECT ON DOCUMENT(S)
- EFFECT ON COMPLETION DATE
- COST CONSEQUENCES
- REQUESTOR’S SIGNATURE
- PROJECT MANAGER’S SIGNATURE
- DATE APPROVED
In the next post in this series, we will discuss scope control in the closing phase of a project. Yes, even in the closing phase stakeholders will come up change requests.