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Effective steps to manage large-scale changes in an ongoing project without derailing it

3 replies [Last post]
Mahendra Gupta
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I have observed that many new project managers fail to handle scope change, leading to the project's halt or failure. Is there any way possible to manage significant change requests by clients effectively without hampering the project?


Rafael Davila
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Keep It Simple, do not leave rookies alone until they get proficient at change management; this should prevent failure to handle change management unless the problem is on the other side. 

An experienced Project Manager should be proficient at estimating and scheduling, until rookies become proficient the estimator and scheduler should assist them. Needless to say top management should always look at what is going on, a look at the change management logs will let them know when the problem is getting out of hand for them to get more involved.

The Contract Change Control Process is usually defined by the contract, may not be easy to change, probably you will have to live with it for the whole contract duration. Of course you can give it a try. 

If the problem is on the other side when there are too many changes your best option may be to abandon the Construction Project.

Too Many Change Orders May Provide Basis For Abandoning Construction Contract | Last & Faoro Attorneys At Law

Patrick Weaver
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You need to set up an agreed change control process with the client to minimize processing time and resolve disagreements quickly (even if the resolution is 'we will work on this basis and fight about the difference later').  The key steps are:

1. Agreeing there is a variation (many changes precede the issue of a change order)

2. Scoping and costing the change

3. Agreeing the effect and cost

4. Updating the project control documents (schedule cost plan, etc.) 

These steps need resources to implement - understaffing simply creates bigger issues. 

Agreeing the change usually needs management involvement - setting up a Change Control Board or independent assessment process will facilitate agreement, and agreement to disagree.  

Some more ideas are at:

Zoltan Palffy
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change orders always add 2 things manhours and dollars. SO it is necessary to capture the additional scope as task in the schedule to see if there is a distuption to the schedule and if that effects the manpower and projected cash flow.