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Project Problem 7: Changes are Not Controlled

This time, in “The 8 Biggest Problems” podcast, Cadence founder John Patton brings you problem number seven in the series: Changes to cost, schedule, and performance are not controlled.

Even project teams with the best intentions suffer the challenges of “Scope Creep,” says Patton, and there are a number of contributing factors. For example, project team members often don’t have a complete understanding of projects during the planning phase and make changes to the work they’re doing past the half-way point of the project. Project managers agree to changes without due process, in an effort to provide good customer service, without understanding the changes being requested.

“Managers are uncomfortable with limits,” Patton says. “They want the flexibility to make changes when they think of them because they live in a world which is constantly changing and they’re constantly making adjustments to provide better customer service, better service to their clients in this living operating environment.”

However, a muddy change process becomes a circle that causes the schedule to slip, tasks to be late, and has a potentially negative overall project impact.

This time, Patton describes a process for addressing Task, Deliverable and Project level change to maintain efficiency and understanding while maintaining control over Cost, Schedule, and Performance variables on the project and respecting project authority.

“The people who complained the most about scope creep are the people who make the changes” Patton says. “Those are the project managers and the team members.”

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Solutions to your Project Management Problems.

Ask Cadence is a series dedicated to bringing solutions to your toughest project management problems. Using real-world project challenges from project managers in our global project management training seminars, our team offers guidance on how to tackle such issues as Scope, Schedule, Responsibility, Organizational Project Management, Agile Project Management and so much more.