12 06 2015
Enhance your change management processes with Plan First
Changes are inevitable during any software project, and they can occur at any stage. Proper change management will help PMs to perfectly address and direct the changes to enhance the output, rather than hindering the scope.
From the conceptualization of each phase of the project to the completion, changes in software products. Determine whether the software meets its requirements, is completed on time, and stays within budget. So, one of your major goals as a project manager is to effectively manage change.
Where changes originate?
Changes in software development can be happy due to unexpected problems or enhancements. You will inevitable identify problems at any phase of the development effort and need to spend resources resolving it. Any software projects based on R&D effort will generate ideas for enhancement once in a while. A PM cannot simply ignore, these ideas, as many a times they could be a brilliant shortcut to achieve project goals. On the other hand, there are also risks, as a wrong turn may ultimately affect the project scope.
Critical change management decisions
Just your projects follow a cycle, changes also have their own cycles that you should track and control. First, a change request is made by a tester or user who identifies a problem with the product. You then need to study and approve the changes before investing the necessary resources. It is the first and most critical decision in the change management process.
Once you accept a change request, you should evaluate it critically against the current requirements, specifications, and design of the project.
A PM should also have a clear idea of how the change will affect the project schedule and consumption of budget. The analysis should consider the cost-to-benefit ratio.
Finally, you’ll need to conduct the implementation and testing of the change separately to verify proper resolution and to identify whether the change creates any new issues.
Plan First – a lighter PM tool for effective change management
As we covered above, a solid change management practice is important for achieving project goals cost-effectively and in a timely manner. Plan First helps the PM with end-to-end project management to better define, track, and control changes for converting them into real opportunities. Plan First takes care of:
Keeping a tab on changes: PMs can log all change requests with the status and priority of each. This allows the project managers and stakeholders to keep a close close at the conception and development of a change through its life cycle. PMs can track how quickly changes add up and what impacts they have on overall project health.
Change approval processes: High-level projects need to have a dedicated change control board and process, but medium to small projects have lighter processes. However, both require approval through the use of documentation, impact analysis, and budgetary implications. Plan First smartly incorporates the approval process and change logs, too. Reports can also be easily taken out by the approver or reviewer.
Impact analysis: Proper measurement of changes for their impact on the project is crucial. Plan First can prepare a detailed report of change in cost, scope, schedule, and quality with easily interpretable graph charts. A document repository will hold all project-related documents, and the impact summary can help approvers and PMs make well-informed decisions to accommodate and manage changes.
With Plan First, various types of change management reports—such as actual vs. estimated cost comparisons, expenditure analyses, and change life cycle development—can be readily rolled out with one click.
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