What is change control?



Definition

Change control is the process through which all requests to change the approved baseline of a project, programme or portfolio are captured, evaluated and then approved, rejected or deferred.

Definition from APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition  📖

Change requests


Change requests may arise as a result of issues that occur from the management of work or external sources. Issues that result in changes to scope or any other part of the baseline plan are progressed through change control.

Any success criteria that need to be changed at any time in the project life cycle are subject to approval through change control. Formal change control is required when tolerances are breached

Change control is of particular importance when the project is part of a larger programme or portfolio because the consequential effects of unmanaged change may be far-reaching within the planned change environment and to business-as-usual activities.

 

Diagram: Change, planning. monitoring and control. Copyright APM


Change control


Change control is of particular importance when the project is part of a larger programme or portfolio because the consequential effects of unmanaged change may be far-reaching within the planned change environment and to business-as-usual activities.

The project professional implements the following steps to control change:

  • Log change request in a change register (or log).
  • Initial evaluation where the change is reviewed.
  • Detailed evaluation where the impact on baseline success criteria, benefits, scope, quality, time, resources, costs, risks, stakeholder engagement or any other criteria important to achieving the business case are considered.
  • A recommendation is made to the sponsor and/or wider governance board to approve, reject or defer the change.
  • The plan is updated is a change is approved.
  • Implementation where the necessary actions are taken and monitored.

It is important to differentiate change control from the wider discipline of change management. Change control is a subset of overall change management and it is useful to not mix up the language. Change management is a structured approach to move an organisation from a current state to a future desired state.


APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition


You can learn more about change control in chapter four of the APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition.

The APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition is a foundational resource providing the concepts, functions and activities that make up professional project management. It reflects the developing profession, recognising project-based working at all levels, and across all sectors for influencers, decision makers, project professionals and their teams.

The seventh edition continues in the spirit of previous editions, collaborating with the project community to create a foundation for the successful delivery of projects, programmes and portfolios.

APM Body of Knowledge

 





Planning, Scheduling, Monitoring and Control


Planning, Scheduling, Monitoring and Control

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Introduction to Project Control


Introduction to Project Control

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APM Enabling Change (SIG)


The Enabling Change SIG is a highly collaborative SIG, supporting and enabling the change agenda across other SIGs, reaching out to SIG and APM members through the Branches, and participating in change related discussions across APM. 

View SIG


Blog


How to control change in a project
In a well-planned project there will be scheduled milestones and regular formal reviews, which allow those involved to assess progress, discover new risks and identify issues that might require a change to the project .... read more


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