Dealing with Integrated Change Control – Part 3

How to handle situations at ground and questions in PMP Exam related to integrated change control process.

Part – 3

In part 1 and part 2, I discussed about Basic Principles of Change Management and Integrated Change Control Process. In this part, I will discuss how to deal with changes at work based on basic principles and Integrated Change Control Process we defined.

How to deal with Integrated Change Control Process

How to deal with integrated change control at work

The main challenge in change management is dealing with pressure. We don’t face much problem when a team member suggest a change. Our obvious answer is NO most of the time. The issue comes when a senior stakeholder or specially customer requests a change. How to say no? Second factor is cost. Who will bear the cost of change? Third factor is time. How to implement it without extending project time line?

How to say no to a senior stakeholder or customer, asking for money for the change and conveying message that it will extend the time line are the things that make change management complex. Change control is not challenging if change is acceptable, money is either not required or easily available, time extension is okay or there is no major risk.

So the main issue in dealing with integrated change control is who bell the cat? If we have to deal with a person we don’t have authority, the basic principles we laid in the part 1 and a well defined process we laid in part 2 come to our rescue or become our strength.

If our fundamentals are strong and we analyze the situation based on principles then we put forth our analysis in the context of principles i.e. what is right in this situation. It not only makes us more convincing about our own act/suggestion but also makes it easy to explain and convince other parties. Also the suggestions do not go as our opinion but become system/principle driven. If we are able to convince the stakeholders about the change and its impact, they are more receptive to accept additional time and cost.

We may have strong fundamentals but not everyone. So here comes the process. We define an integrated change control process based on fundamentals covering all important ingredients of a good change management process and appropriate to our project environment. We create this process in the beginning itself and explain it to all stakeholders how we will handle changes in the project. It is easy to convince on a process in the beginning as change is not in front of them and every one want to show loyalty towards project’s objectives. We cannot suggest a process when change is already requested. It becomes reactive and not principles/fundamentals driven.

This is all easier said than done. It becomes more a stakeholder management than change management. Our communication and interpersonal skills become very important. Even when we agree up on process, our struggle continues. We have to continuously watch for changes throughout the project. Many times, changes just slip in. We must recognize them. We should educate our team members about change management and give them understanding of what is a change. Then we must take them through integrated change control process irrespective of their size and impact. We cannot be selective otherwise our all efforts will go in vain.

In the next part we will discuss how to deal with questions related with Change Management on PMP Exam. Stay tuned…

Other parts of Dealing with Integrated Change Control

  1. Part – 1: Basic Principles
  2. Part – 2: The Integrated Change Control Process
  3. Part – 3: How to deal with change management (This post)
  4. Part – 4: How to handle questions related to change management in PMP Exam

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