How Are You Managing Project Changes Today?

April 11, 2023
RuthAnne Schulte
Ruthanne Schulte
Sr. Advisory Business Analyst
Business Woman Scanning Docs

What to Consider When Making Changes?

Projects are dynamic and require changes to keep up with the business environment, stakeholder requirements, or technological advancements. Change management is a necessary part of project management so that changes to project scope, schedule, budget, and resources can be understood and incorporated into project plans. Effective change management must be documented, impacts assessed, approved, and implemented smoothly to help reduce disruptions and minimize schedule delays and cost overruns.

Project professionals frequently start by making a copy of the schedule and then making changes to the schedule to assess the impacts. If there are alternatives, tradeoffs can be considered by producing different versions of the schedule. These schedule copies can be loaded into a performance management tool like Deltek Cobra, a flexible and powerful solution that helps manage costs, establish compliance controls, measure earned value and predict performance. The schedule copies can be used to get the cost of the changes or alternatives.

If your project change requires over target budget, you will have to gain customer approval, and if your customer is the government, then you will have to adhere to several regulations, as well.


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How Do Approvals Impact Schedules?

Then comes the hard part – getting the changes approved. Typically, you have to explain the proposed changes and gain approval from a large group of people: the CAM, the Project Controls Analyst (or Earned Value Analyst), the Project Manager and others. However, gaining consensus might require you to make additional changes to the schedule, or changes to the rates which requires the approval process to start over.

It’s not uncommon for larger changes that the approval process may take longer than a single reporting period. This would require you to make further adjustments to the change request to ensure that all data and dates are correct for the current reporting period.

Once all the approvals are obtained you need to update your schedule. Unfortunately, you can’t just start using the copy of the schedule you made earlier because it does not have the other approved changes already applied to the live schedule, nor the recently entered progress. You have to painstakingly update the existing schedule with the same changes you made in the copy, update the schedule baseline and then load the change into your cost management system.

Now that your change has been moved into the live project, don’t forget to update the statement of work and/or work authorization by control account. If your change includes many control accounts, you must document the budget changes by control account.

Sounds tedious, even for basic changes, right? What if there are multiple project changes in a single period? This isn’t uncommon for large projects. How would you possibly assess the impacts of changes on each other?  What are the chances all that rekeying of data brings in a mistake? Without the right tools in place, like PM Compass, analyzing project impacts and predicting future performance can be difficult.

How Deltek Can Help?

Imagine if you could leverage a solution that allowed you to model changes in a temporary store, assess impacts, and update the live schedule on approval – automatically! No more worries about stale data, tracing a change from its beginning to its enactment, gathering signatures of approval, or manually updating critical source systems. That’s exactly why we built PM Compass.


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