Change management – it makes money (for others)

She held the group with her illustrations of money making.

This is the only way I can describe a course we ran for a client. A relatively new staff member explained that she was the only member of her family not to go into the family building company. It did small repairs through to major builds.

She explained that the company had a ‘hidden’ profits figure – on extras. She explained that no matter what they did they were always asked for extra work. They had a simple formula for calculating the extra work they would do for each job. This formula helped them look at resourcing.

Come on, tell us the figure

She was pressed several times for the figure (a percentage) but she would not reveal it – “economically sensitive” was her response.

This led to a lively discussion on how best to deal with changes to projects. There were many examples of people who had been asked to make chnages to projects – do extra work on a project. In some cases the change challenged the scope of the project. In others it led to the budget being exceeded or the delivery date being put back.

You need an overall process for managing changes

I moved the group into looking at how they could manage the inevitable changes that hit projects. I walked them through a process (download it here) which involved analysing the change and looking at how it fits with the project.

One thing came out; they needed a company – wide process to really help them manage the many changes that impact on their projects. This company wide process should be understood by project managers and project sponsors with the latter needing to appreciate the impact of their requests for change on projects.

So, what is your companies approach to managing changes and how well do senior managers react to the process?

Download the change control process here

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