November 18, 2008, 10:38 AM — Some of the most common reasons why change requests are made.
Change requests alter the course of a project and working within the constraints of time, budget and quality more challenging. If change requests are not handled properly, the project will overshoot its schedule and accumulate costs that are beyond the original plan.
Realize that change requests are not made because people in your team, the project sponsors, or clients cannot make up their minds. Instead, most requests for changes are made in order to improve the project and, in some cases, the process of implementing the project.
Changes are inevitable during the course of the development lifecycle, and there are various reasons why changes occur. Some of these reasons are technical, some are procedural, some are financial, and still some are political or people-related. Whether a project manager supports the adjustments or not, it is important to think over why changes are requested and their possible impact on the integrity of the project, as well a the delivery process. Let us look at the most common reasons why changes occur.
Scope changes â€“or creeping functionality--are the results of ineffective management of requirements. These are also the results of a project mangerâ€™s inability to get approval from project sponsors. When requirements kept going through changes during the course of a development lifecycle, new features and functionalities are often added, resulting in a product that overshoots the allocated time and resources, but fails to meet an acceptable level of quality.
If the clientâ€™s organizational structure changes midway through the project lifecycle, it is inevitable for the delivery team to expect either a closer scrutiny of the project or change requests to be submitted. Financial considerations, corporate policies, and new sets of end users are some of the factors to consider as change agents when organization restructurings happen. Some requirements are too rigid, while some requirements need more room for discrepancy in specifications. When alpha releases prove to be too limited to one set of target users alone, then expect change requests from auxiliary end-users.
External factors, such as new vendors, technologies, or methodologies
External factors, such as the involvement of another vendor or a representative end-user, can cause diversion from the original project execution plan. This issue is often as technical as it is financial (or political). Ideas that are tied to the new vendorâ€™s methodologies and technologies can affect the execution of the project plan halfway through the lifecycle. Sometimes, clients can be finicky about what they want out of the project that agreed-upon requirements kept getting changed. The more a finicky client gets in contact with vendors who want to take on the project, the more ideas they get about â€œimprovingâ€ the product and cutting the cost of development. In such a scenario, be prepared.
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