Of course it is. Projects in their very nature are about change. Organizations use projects to introduce change whether it is a new product line, a new direction the business wants to take, new corporate culture etc. In PRINCE2 change control is so important that one of the 7 Themes is devoted to it So in a project change may happen. The key in PRINCE2 is that if a change is requested we provide an answer in an informed manner. We don’t just change for the sake of it. By controlling change this helps stop ‘scope creep’. PRINCE2 Change Control starts by treating change one of 3 types of project issue:-
- Request for Change – This is when there is a request to change a baseline e.g. we originally wanted white doors, now we want red.
- Off-specification – This is when a criteria of the project or a product has not been met e.g. we asked for white doors but we have received red.
- Problem / Concern – Any other issue the Project Manager has to deal with.
To allow us to control change in a PRINCE2 project the method offers a five step procedure to follow. It’s pretty much common sense and what you probably do already but PRINCE2 Change Control gives you a structure to follow. The 5 steps in the procedure are:
1 – Capture
We first of all need to capture the issue and decide which type of issue it is and how we want to deal with it – formally or informally.
2 – Examine
We need to perform an impact analysis. How severe is the impact and what priority will we give the issue. We need to look at the impact on the project objectives of time, cost, benefits, quality, scope and risk.
3 – Propose
Look at options to deal with the issue. It may be during this step that we realize that we may not be able to keep the stage or project within tolerance so an Exception report may be required.
4 – Decide
Decide which level of the Project Management team has the necessary authority to make a decision on what action to take and then decide on the best option.
5 – Implement
Carry out the option. Using PRINCE2 Change Control we can make informed decisions about change. We don’t just make a change because it was requested. We have to show the advantages / dis-advantages of the options that we have looked at and be able to justify the chosen option.