project changes and stakeholders
How should the impact of changes to the project plan be assessed and communicated to stakeholders? Is there a best practice for this?
The impact of changes to the project plan should be assessed by analyzing the potential risks and benefits of the proposed changes and communicating them to stakeholders through clear and concise documentation, such as change requests or impact analysis reports; this puts all of the information in front of the stakeholder group and helps to avoid future confusion on details later on. While I believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach, following a standardized process for assessing and communicating changes can help ensure that stakeholders are informed and engaged throughout the project lifecycle.
Project managers responsibility is to communicate to stakeholder and come to consensus of each stakeholders needs. When it comes to a change in the project, these changes need to be communicated as well. The general practice is setting up meetings and delivering documentation that requests changes. A change request is typically submitted and is a formal proposal to change/modify a project and contains all information regarding issues that were faced during project and changes that are needed as a result. This can include changes to project scope, timeline, budget, quality or corrective and preventative actions that can further benefit the project. This is all communicated with the stakeholders so they can be informed of the potential risks that these changes can have so that they can either approve of the change or not to meet their needs.
It is important to assess the impact of changes to a project plan and to communicate these changes to stakeholders. This requires a transparent approach and requires you to be organized to create the best plan for a change. First and foremost, it is necessary for you to document the change and include the reasoning behind the change and the impact this change will have on the project. This includes any potential risks that are correlated to this change. It is then important to understand how this would change the project plan. This includes the project schedule, resources, and/or budget. After this, it is important to first see if there are any other ways to make this change that will reduce the impact of the change. This will help the project manager and team pick the best approach so they can reduce costs and time. When communicating to stakeholders, it is crucial for the project team to explain the impact this change has on the project and how different components will change, such as budget and schedule. This needs to be clear and concise so stakeholders understand what is going on and so they can obtain approval. This process keeps everybody in the loop and helps minimize risks.
I agree with how @dke2 outlined that specific documents need to be appropriately filed and presented to the stakeholders so that they understand all aspects of any changes that may be made to the project and what those changes may bring to the end product of the project. Any change that may be made to the project no matter how big or small could have a downwards effect on the entire project which could change the function of the product, the monetary value of the product, and the timeline of the product (to name a few consequences of any changes that may be made). It is very important that the stakeholders understand any implications that may arise from any changes made and all of the stakeholders need to have a written type of approval to the changes so that there are no unexpected factors that come up during the project. I think that the responsibility of communicating proposed changes of a project to the stakeholder should fall on the project manager. As project manager they serve as the liaison between the project team and the higher ups being the project manager's project manager, investors, stakeholders, and anyone else that the team is creating the product for. The project manager needs to communicate the expectations of the stakeholders for the project with the rest of the team and the project manager needs to communicate what the team can and cannot accomplish given the requirements for the project. At the end of the day everyone needs to be on the same page and all of these responsibilities lie with the project manager.
Stakeholders are extremely important in change management plans. I agree with all previous responses. To add, projects have both internal and external stakeholders that are affected by changes differently. Internal stakeholders are more directly impacted by changes, and as a result, are more aware of those changes. Not only is it important to distinguish between internal and external stakeholders, but also the role of each stakeholder in the project. In other words, one internal stakeholder may be impacted more than another by the same change. Therefore, some stakeholders may require more information on the change than others. As a result, following a change, it is important to prioritize stakeholders based on the urgency to inform them of changes, and on the amount of information that needs to be provided. In addition, the project team should have several modes of communication with stakeholders available to ensure that all stakeholders are successfully contacted based on their preferences. During communication, I think it’s also important for the project team to be open to stakeholder feedback to reduce resistance to change. How should a project team respond if a stakeholder is extremely resistant to a project change?
I agree with the prior posts, stakeholders are important people and must be considered and communicated with continuously through any change to a project. However, @gdecarvalho brings up a great question, how should a project team/ manager react to a stakeholder that is resistant to change. If a stakeholder is extremely resistant to a project change, the project team should listen actively to the stakeholder's concerns, gather information, and trying to address their concerns in a respectful and collaborative manner. The team should provide the stakeholder with additional information about the change and explore alternative options or compromises that meet both the stakeholder's concerns and the project's goals. If necessary, the team can escalate the issue to higher levels of management or involve a neutral third party to facilitate negotiations. However, the team should work towards finding a collaborative solution that meets the needs of all stakeholders involved to build stronger relationships and ensure project success.