Change management in project management is the controlling or managing of any deviation (or change) from the project plan that is in action. Change management, also known as change control, is the process of tracking and reacting according to the changes that are happening within a project or program. Changes affect every future step of the project in some way, so it is crucial to a project’s success to monitor and control the changes that occur. ARES PRISM brings change management to project managers and their teams by helping to identify, capture and manage project schedule and cost changes.
The Change Control Process
There are 5 steps to effective change management:
- Identifying a Potential Change
- Validating the Potential Change
- Determining the Impact of a Validated Change
- Reviewing and Approving the Validated Change
- Closing the Change
ARES PRISM uses Trends and Change Orders to track project changes. Trends are used to record potential changes. Change Orders are used for formally recording validated changes to the project and for applying those changes to cost accounts, engineering accounts, progress accounts, purchase orders, contracts and prime contracts.
Typically, Trends are used to record potential changes, along with supporting documentation and estimated value of the change by account. A validation process is then used to approve or reject a potential change. When validated, a Change Order is used for formally recording changes to the Project accounts and for applying those changes. Change Orders are used to identify changes from the original budget (Baseline) due to changes in the scope of work or in the way that the work will be executed. Changes can affect various account budgets, as well as the Estimate at Completion (EAC). Change Orders can also be used to manage Instructed and Executed Changes to Purchase Orders and Contracts.
1. Identifying a Potential Change
Changes can be forecasted and identified in ARES PRISM. Once identified, a project change is proposed along with the description and reasoning behind it. Within PRISM, change reasons are used to ensure conformity as to why this change exists across all of an organization’s projects.
2. Validating the Potential Change
The project manager will look over the change request to determine its benefits. Within PRISM, assess potential cost and schedule impacts while managing reviews and approval. Is the change cost saving? Is the change time-saving? How much will the potential change cost in terms of timing and funding? What knock-on effects will the change have? Will additional resources be needed? Will the change present new trends or risks?
3. Determining the Impact of a Validated Change
The change goes through a review and approval cycle to determine its impact. After assessing all the implications that could be linked to this change, the project manager will accept (with or without qualifications), reject the change, or defer it. It will go through established gate-keeping measures to ensure that it is properly approved and tracked. This provides an auditable source of truth, known as the Golden Thread of Change Management.
4. Reviewing & Approving the Validated Change
If approved, the change will go into planning. Once the plans are completed, the change will be scheduled and set to be executed at a time agreed upon by the project’s stakeholders.
5. Closing the Change
Throughout the change’s life cycle, it is important to be able to answer the following questions about the change:
- How did a change go through the review and approval cycle, was the appropriate due diligence undertaken?
- What was the result of that review and approval?
- Who physically or electronically signed off and committed the program to go down that particular path resulting from that change?
- How was the funding requested, allocated, and tracked?
- Who agreed to the changes in design, cost, and schedule?
Being able to track the change and how it affects the projects once it is implemented is crucial. ARES PRISM is a change management tool that helps organizations control their projects, so that they are delivered on-time and on budget. Our enterprise change management solution with built-in change management reports provides organizations with a complete and auditable system for tracking cost and schedule changes to the project’s baseline and forecast.