Change Management Plan

Be sure to plan for change at the beginning of the project. All projects will require some sort of changes during its lifetime, plan ahead by having the process already defined and documented. Change management is critical to completing your projects on schedule and on budget. Whether you're working on your PMI PMP certification or an experience project manager, we're sure you'll find this cost management plan template helpful.

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CHANGE MANAGEMENT PLAN TEMPLATE

Introduction

Start the development of your Project Change Management Plan with this template. Download the Microsoft Word version by clicking on the icon below. This template is completely free and is intended to support your project change management process.

Change Management is an important part of any project. Changes must be vetted and managed to ensure that they are within the scope of the project and are communicated to all stakeholders if they are approved. The process for submitting, reviewing, and approving changes must also be communicated to all stakeholders in order to properly set expectations. If changes are allowed to be submitted or are implemented in and unorganized way, any project is sure to fail. All projects must include a Change Management Plan as part of the overall Project Plan, it can either be included as a section in the Project Plan or as an appendix as a subsidiary management plan.

The Change Management Plan was created for the Inventory Services (IS) Project in order to set expectations on how the approach to changes will be managed, what defines a change, the purpose and role of the change control board, and the overall change management process. All stakeholders will be expected to submit or request changes to the IS Project in accordance with this Change Management Plan and all requests and submissions will follow the process detailed herein.

Change Management Approach

This section of the Change Management Plan describes the approach the organization will use for managing change throughout the project. Throughout a project’s lifecycle there may be very few or very many submitted changes. The approach taken to manage these changes must be consistent and repeatable in order to provide a quality change management plan and process.

The Change Management approach for the IS Project will ensure that all proposed changes are defined, reviewed, and agreed upon so they can be properly implemented and communicated to all stakeholders. This approach will also ensure that only changes within the scope of this project are approved and implemented.

The Change Management approach is not to be confused with the Change Management Process which will be detailed later in this plan. The Change Management approach consists of three areas:

  • Ensure changes are within scope and beneficial to the project
  • Determine how the change will be implemented
  • Manage the change as it is implemented

The Change Management process has been designed to make sure this approach is followed for all changes. By using this approach methodology, the IS Project Team will prevent unnecessary change from occurring and focus its resources only on beneficial changes within the project scope.

Definitions of Change

This section of the Change Management Plan defines the different types of changes that may be requested and considered for the project. These changes may include schedule change, budget change, scope change, or project document changes. Most changes will impact at least one of these areas and it is important to consider these impacts and how they will affect the project.

There are several types of changes which may be requested and considered for the IS Project. Depending on the extent and type of proposed changes, changes project documentation and the communication of these changes will be required to include any approved changes into the project plan and ensure all stakeholders are notified. Types of changes include:

  • Scheduling Changes: changes which will impact the approved project schedule. These changes may require fast tracking, crashing, or re-baselining the schedule depending on the significance of the impact.
  • Budget Changes: changes which will impact the approved project budget. These changes may require requesting additional funding, releasing funding which would no longer be required, or adding to project or management reserves. May require changes to the cost baseline.
  • Scope Changes: changes which are necessary and impact the project’s scope which may be the result of unforeseen requirements which were not initially planned for. These changes may also impact budget and schedule. These changes may require revision to WBS, project scope statement, and other project documentation as necessary.

The project manager must ensure that any approved changes are communicated to the project stakeholders. Additionally, as changes are approved, the project manager must ensure that the changes are captured in the project documentation where necessary. These document updates must then be communicated to the project team and stakeholders as well.

Change Control Board

Here the Change Management Plan describes the Change Control Board, the purpose of the board, and the members and their roles on the board. The change control board is the approval authority for all proposed project changes. If a change is not approved by the control board then it will not be implemented with the project. The size and function of change control boards may vary depending on the organization but their purpose and the roles and responsibilities are consistent.

The Change Control Board (CCB) is the approval authority for all proposed change requests pertaining to the IS Project. The purpose of the CCB is to review all change requests, determine their impacts on the project risk, scope, cost, and schedule, and to approve or deny each change request. The following chart provides a list of the CCB members for the IS Project:

Name Position CCB Role
A. Smith IS Project Sponsor CCB Chair
T. White IS Project Manager CCB Member
B. Brown IS Project Technical Lead CCB Co-Chair
J. Jones IS Project Operations Lead CCB Member

As change requests are submitted to the IS Project Manager by the project team/stakeholders, the Project Manager will log the requests in the change log and the CCB will convene every other Friday to review all change requests. For a change request to be approved, all CCB members must vote in favor. In the event more information is needed for a particular change request, the request will be deferred and sent back to the requestor for more information or clarification. If a change is deemed critical, an ad hoc CCB meeting can be called in order to review the change prior to the next scheduled bi-weekly CCB meeting.

Roles and Responsibilities

This section of the Change Management Plan describes the roles and responsibilities of project team members in regards to the change management process. It is important that everyone understands these roles and responsibilities as they work through the change management process. These roles and responsibilities must be communicated as part of the change management plan to all project stakeholders.

The following are the roles and responsibilities for all change management efforts related to the IS Project:

Project Sponsor:

  • Approve all changes to budget/funding allocations
  • Approve all changes to schedule baseline
  • Approve any changes in project scope
  • Chair the CCB

Project Manager:

  • Receive and log all change requests from project stakeholders
  • Conduct preliminary risk, cost, schedule, scope analysis of change prior to CCB
  • Seek clarification from change requestors on any open issues or concerns
  • Make documentation revisions/edits as necessary for all approved changes
  • Participate on CCB

Project Team / Stakeholders

  • Submit all change requests on standard organizational change request forms
  • Provide all applicable information and detail on change request forms
  • Be prepared to address questions regarding any submitted change requests
  • Provide feedback as necessary on impact of proposed changes

Change Control Process

This part of the Change Management Plan should describe the change control process from beginning to end. Typically, a change control process should be an organizational standard and repeatable. This process is the tool which is used to ensure adherence to the organization’s change management approach which was discussed in an earlier section. By following all of the steps, the project team can successfully incorporate approved changes, communicate the changes, and update project documentation.

The Change Control Process for the IS Project will follow the organizational standard change process for all projects. The project manager has overall responsibility for executing the change management process for each change request.

  1. Identify the need for a change (Stakeholders) – Change requestor will submit a completed change request form to the project manager.
  2. Log change in the change request register (Project Manager) – The project manager will keep a log of all submitted change requests throughout the project’s lifecycle.
  3. Evaluate the change (Project Manager, Team, Requestor) – The project manager will conduct a preliminary analysis on the impact of the change to risk, cost, schedule, and scope and seek clarification from team members and the change requestor.
  4. Submit change request to CCB (Project Manager) – The project manager will submit the change request, as well as the preliminary analysis, to the CCB for review.
  5. Obtain Decision on change request (CCB) – The CCB will discuss the proposed change and decide whether or not it will be approved based on all submitted information.
  6. Implement change (Project Manager) – If a change is approved by the CCB, the project manager will update and re-baseline project documentation as necessary.