What to Do When the Scope of a Project Changes

Written by LetsBuild

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Clients sometimes change their minds. Dealing with that kind of clients can put you through a bumpy roller coaster ride. Here is the scenario… You agree on everything and you are pretty confident on what needs to be done and achieved. After you kick the project off, a request for change comes along. Then another one…and another one… Of course, some of the requests for changes will be improvements and really need to be incorporated…but some of them can be really complex and could disturb other areas of the project. The main question is, how to manage all of this? Today, I want to share with you four action points that need to be embedded into your system for efficiently managing these types deviations.

Have a system for requests recording.

No matter where the requests are coming from, don’t stress immediately for their implementation. Record them and then schedule a meeting to move forward with them. I can advise you to use software in order to make this process easy and painless. With a software tool, you can sort them and prepare them as a base for further action.

Have an assessment process in place.

After the collection and preparation of the requests, you need to review all of them. To be honest, some of them will be on the money, and some of them won’t. What you need to do is to prepare a filter – set of criteria through which you can see the impact of every change on the other areas of the project. There will be benefits and there will be risks and damages that could happen from certain changes. After you find out what every change brings on the table, then you should prepare report for the client – where you will give your opinion and recommendation for implementation. Of course, the client has the final word…but, your view and recommendation matter. Don’t be afraid to be honest and hold your clients best interest.

Segment and rang the implementation of the changes.

After the client speaks his mind, you should prepare a game plan which will prioritise the implementation of the changes in the current flow of the activities. The main question here is: WHEN is the right time for this to become reality. Implementing all changes at once is a bad idea in most of cases since you, your team, the budget and the schedule can be threatened by factors you can’t predict.

Monitor, iterate and report.

Implementing changes can be really stressful sometimes. What you need to do, in order to prepare yourself, is to have a monitoring process where you or your subordinates will closely follow how things are moving – after the change is made. Every nuance of post-change response from the field should be taken under consideration and placed as a part of the iteration process. The iteration process consists of adjustments that need to be made in order for the old and the new components to work together towards the final result. Of course, in the period of implementing changes, constant reporting and open communication with the client  (and the team) is obligatory.

Have you been in a position where implementing changes that will shift the scope of the project was a painful experience? We hope this article has somehow enlightened you. For overall increased productivity in the construction site, there’s a free ebook to download.