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How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

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seema.sonkiya
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How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby seema.sonkiya Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:28 am

Request for participation in the following question:

John is a newly assigned project manager to develop a Job Portal which will phase out various existing job portals in different geographies with a unified solution catering to different language needs. Since stakeholders span multiple geographies, John plans to travel to some of the countries to meet them in person while used video conferencing with others. John is doing series of meetings with key stakeholders, asking them about their communication needs. When John met Jerry he found him bit inconsistent in his expectations related to project and communication, other stakeholders also commented about Jerry's indecisive mind. At the end of the week when John has completed desired rounds of stakeholder meetings, he along with team go through all the minutes of meetings and Actions items after which they prepare stakeholder register. As next step, John filters out sensitive information like classification and shares the register with all stakeholders for their review. When Jerry looks at this information, he suggested many changes to his communication needs related to project. What is the next best step for John? ?

A. Request time from the sponsor as you are aware that Jerrys manager reports to sponsor and sponsor can ask Jerry hold back on his suggested changed on communication need.
B. Incorporate suggested information in stakeholder list and resend the revised version to all stakeholders for their review.
C. Assess requested changes for the applicability of formal change management process and raise change request if qualified.
D. Reject the suggestions given and Refer Jerry to Minutes of meetings and inform him that once all participants approve minutes, it cannot be changed.

Which option is correct?
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby saket Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:14 pm

Please share your views...
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby nirajsys@gmail.com Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:49 pm

I feel option b wud be the next best step.

Moreover,option b would not fix the problem, especially when u have indecisive mind like Jerry in the team.Hence irrespective of the next best step scenario option c would be apt.

Option a seems to be irrelevant send option D seems rude.

Pls comment.
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby pmp_learner Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:54 pm

Hi Saket & Soniya,
Thanks for posting this interesting question.
To me the best choice is B.
B. Incorporate suggested information in stakeholder list and resend the revised version to all stakeholders for their review.

My Rational behind this choice:

- Based on the information provided in the question, Project is in a very early stage. John is in Plan Stakeholder Management Processes (planning Processes)
+++++++++ From qsn+++++++++++
Since stakeholders span multiple geographies, John plans to travel to some of the countries to meet them in person while used video conferencing with others. John is doing series of meetings with key stakeholders, asking them about their communication needs. ..

There is no mention of that the Plan has been approved or not.. Sometime at the very beginning of the project, there is a possibility that stakeholders are not really aware of their communication/reporting needs.. and Jerry was being identified a bit indecisive during this process.. So possibly when he reviewed the communication needs again, he realized that needs some modification.

Any project plans/ subsidiary plans can be reviewed and changed without a formal change request until they are formally approved.
A formally approved plan would need a change request.


Also I would like to mention why I didn't go for A, C And D:
A. Request time from the sponsor as you are aware that Jerrys manager reports to sponsor and sponsor can ask Jerry hold back on his suggested changed on communication need.
There is no need to request time here.. this option doesn't make any sense. All stakeholders view point matters. Its not ethical to ask anyone to hold back the suggestions
B. Incorporate suggested information in stakeholder list and resend the revised version to all stakeholders for their review.
Correct choice
C. Assess requested changes for the applicability of formal change management process and raise change request if qualified.
Project plan is not approved yet formally. So no need to go through formal change management
D. Reject the suggestions given and Refer Jerry to Minutes of meetings and inform him that once all participants approve minutes, it cannot be changed.

You can't just reject any suggestions. There should be a valid reasons/explanation why the changes can not be accepted. You can refer to the Meeting Minutes. But still, as one of the stakeholder, Jerry is allow to request for changes.


Saket/Manish:
Please share your thoughts as well. If my thought process is not correct or anything missing please fill in the gaps.

Thanks
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby saket Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:27 am

Many time we think that Change Request only deals with Project Plans, but PMBOK 5 and PMBOK 6 says that it also can be used for modifying the project documents.

Page no 85, PMBOK Guide 5th Edition
4.3.3.3 Change Requests
A change request is a formal proposal to modify any document, deliverable, or baseline. An approved change request will replace the associated document, deliverable, or baseline and may result in an update to other parts of the project management plan
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby saket Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:32 am

Page 76 PMBOK 5
4.2.2 Develop Project Management Plan: Tools and Techniques
- Determine which project documents will be subject to the formal change control process


I am not saying this case needs a change request, I am just sharing what PMBOK say on Change Request and Project Documents
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby nazrulq Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:32 am

I think Option C is the current choice. First PM has to analyze the situation about change management .
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby saket Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:55 am

The question shows Stakeholder Analysis in Action. So if we want to map it to Process its and Identify Stakeholder Process. This part remains consistent in PMBOK 6 as well.

13.1.2.1 Stakeholder Analysis
Stakeholder analysis is a technique of systematically gathering and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information to determine whose interests should be taken into account throughout the project. It identifies the interests, expectations, and influence of the stakeholders and relates them to the purpose of the project. It also helps to identify stakeholder relationships (with the project and with other stakeholders) that can be leveraged to build coalitions and potential partnerships to enhance the project’s chance of success, along with stakeholder relationships that need to be influenced differently at different stages of the project or phase.

Stakeholder analysis generally follows the steps described below: s Identify all potential project stakeholders and relevant information, such as their roles, departments, interests, knowledge, expectations, and influence levels. Key stakeholders are usually easy to identify. They include anyone in a decision-making or management role who is impacted by the project outcome, such as the sponsor, the project manager, and the primary customer. Identifying other stakeholders is usually done by interviewing identified stakeholders and expanding the list until all potential stakeholders are included.


I do agree that Identify Stakeholders Process does not show Change Request explicitly as an Output in PMBOK 5, but this issue is further clarified in PMBOK 6 where we see this can happen.
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby seema.sonkiya Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:17 pm

The Key Points which have to remember before jumping to the option:
1. Project Manager first attempt to solve the problem at his/her end instead of escalating it
2. Project Manager first focus on assessing the situation before accepting or rejecting it
3. In PMBOK Formal Change Requests are not just limited to the Project Management Plan. Project Documents can also undergo through it.
Here the response is unfolded by Saket Bansal:

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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby seema.sonkiya Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:22 pm

Here is the brief text explanation of the question:

The question is showing a scenario where stakeholders communication needs have been agreed, and one of the stakeholder needs some changes in it.

Option A "Request time from the sponsor as you are aware that Jerry's manager reports to sponsor" -

Is an escalation. A project manager is responsible for solving the problem at his/her end before thinking about an escalation. Thus, this option is ruled out.

Before accepting or rejecting an option, he/she first need to assess the situation accurately.

Option B - "Incorporate suggested information in stakeholder list and resend the revised version to all stakeholders for their review."

AND

Option D - Reject the suggestions given and Refer Jerry to Minutes of meetings and inform him that once all participants approve minutes, it cannot be changed.

Both are showing that Project Manager is in a hurry to accept it (Option B) or reject it. (Option D) Changes are acceptable only when there is a proper justification for them.


As per PMBOK formal Changes Control is not just limited to project management plan, project documents may also require following change request process. So Option C is the correct option. This situation shows the need of assessing requested changes for the applicability of formal change management process and raise change request if qualified.
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby pmp_learner Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:19 pm

Very well explained and justified. Thanks Saket for making this video. That helped in clarifying the question, reasoning behind making the correct choice, Also really good explanation on why other options are not correct.. I really like the expression "Project Manager in Hurry".. I believe this explanation/ thinking process will help when looking for the right answer for other questions as well.

Best Regards
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby aadish Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:15 am

Hi ,as per RITA book it says that some changes can be approved by project manager himself without going through formal change process ,as long as it does not effect the PM plan baselines etc. So if I had to chose I would have chosen b but as per your note it has to be c. My question is are there any changes which can be approved by PM without any formal change process?
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby nirajsys@gmail.com Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:44 am

Aadish,

To answer your question,yes there are changes that can be approved by PM.This wud depend on how clearly is it articulated in the project charter.For example,a certain amount of budget approval might b granted to PM for CR approval.Beyond it,a CCB approval would be needed.

Hope this clarifies.

Manish,ur advise further on the same wud b of help.
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Re: How to process changes during an initial stage of the project?

Postby seema.sonkiya Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:34 am

Following YouTube video will answer all of the change management related questions:

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