4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Fifth Edition

4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control

Perform Integrated Change Control is the process of reviewing all change requests; approving changes and managing changes to deliverables, organizational process assets, project documents, and the project management plan; and communicating their disposition. It reviews all requests for changes or modifications to project documents, deliverables, baselines, or the project management plan and approves or rejects the changes. The key benefit of this process is that it allows for documented changes within the project to be considered in an integrated fashion while reducing project risk, which often arises from changes made without consideration to the overall project objectives or plans. The inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs of this process are depicted in Figure 4-10. Figure 4-11 depicts the data flow diagram of the process.

The Perform Integrated Change Control process is conducted from project inception through completion and is the ultimate responsibility of the project manager. The project management plan, the project scope statement, and other deliverables are maintained by carefully and continuously managing changes, either by rejecting changes or by approving changes, thereby assuring that only approved changes are incorporated into a revised baseline.

Changes may be requested by any stakeholder involved with the project. Although changes may be initiated verbally, they should be recorded in written form and entered into the change management and/or configuration management system. Change requests are subject to the process specified in the change control and configuration control systems. Those change request processes may require information on estimated time impacts and estimated cost impacts.

Every documented change request needs to be either approved or rejected by a responsible individual, usually the project sponsor or project manager. The responsible individual will be identified in the project management plan or by organizational procedures. When required, the Perform Integrated Change Control process includes a change control board (CCB), which is a formally chartered group responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project, and for recording and communicating such decisions. Approved change requests can require new or revised cost estimates, activity sequences, schedule dates, resource requirements, and analysis of risk response alternatives. These changes can require adjustments to the project management plan and other project documents. The applied level of change control is dependent upon the application area, complexity of the specific project, contract requirements, and the context and environment in which the project is performed. Customer or sponsor approval may be required for certain change requests after CCB approval, unless they are part of the CCB.

Configuration control is focused on the specification of both the deliverables and the processes; while change control is focused on identifying, documenting, and approving or rejecting changes to the project documents, deliverables, or baselines.

Some of the configuration management activities included in the Perform Integrated Change Control process are as follows:

  • Configuration identification. Identification and selection of a configuration item to provide the basis for which the product configuration is defined and verified, products and documents are labeled, changes are managed, and accountability is maintained.
  • Configuration status accounting. Information is recorded and reported as to when appropriate data about the configuration item should be provided. This information includes a listing of approved configuration identification, status of proposed changes to the configuration, and the implementation status of approved changes.
  • Configuration verification and audit. Configuration verification and configuration audits ensure the composition of a project's configuration items is correct and that corresponding changes are registered, assessed, approved, tracked, and correctly implemented. This ensures the functional requirements defined in the configuration documentation have been met.

4.5.1. Perform Integrated Change Control: Inputs

4.5.1.1 Project Management Plan

Described in Section 4.2.3.1. Elements of the project management plan that may be used include, but are not limited to:

  • Scope management plan, which contains the procedures for scope changes;
  • Scope baseline, which provides product definition; and
  • Change management plan, which provides the direction for managing the change control process and documents the formal change control board (CCB).

Changes are documented and updated within the project management plan as part of the change and configuration management processes.

4.5.1.2 Work Performance Reports

Described in Section 4.4.3.2. Work performance reports of particular interest to the Perform Integrated Change Control process include resource availability, schedule and cost data, and earned value management (EVM) reports, burnup or burndown charts.

4.5.1.3 Change Requests

All of the Monitoring and Controlling processes and many of the Executing processes produce change requests as an output. Change requests may include corrective action, preventive action, and defect repairs. However, corrective and preventive actions do not normally affect the project baselines—only the performance against the baselines.

4.5.1.4 Enterprise Environmental Factors

Described in Section 2.1.5. The following enterprise environmental factor can influence the Perform Integrated Change Control process: project management information system. The project management information system may include the scheduling software tool, a configuration management system, an information collection and distribution system, or web interfaces to other online automated systems.

4.5.1.5 Organizational Process Assets

Described in Section 2.1.4. The organizational process assets that can influence the Perform Integrated Change Control process include, but are not limited to:

  • Change control procedures, including the steps by which official organization standards, policies, plans, and other project documents will be modified, and how any changes will be approved, validated, and implemented;
  • Procedures for approving and issuing change authorizations;
  • Process measurement database used to collect and make available measurement data on processes and products;
  • Project documents (e.g., scope, cost, and schedule baselines, project calendars, project schedule network diagrams, risk registers, planned response actions, and defined risk impact); and
  • Configuration management knowledge base containing the versions and baselines of all official organization standards, policies, procedures, and any project documents.

4.5.2. Perform Integrated Change Control: Tools and Techniques

4.5.2.1 Expert Judgment

In addition to the project management team's expert judgment, stakeholders may be asked to provide their expertise and may be asked to sit on the change control board (CCB). Such judgment and expertise are applied to any technical and management details during this process and may be provided by various sources, for example:

  • Consultants,
  • Stakeholders, including customers or sponsors,
  • Professional and technical associations,
  • Industry groups,
  • Subject matter experts (SMEs), and
  • Project management office (PMO).

4.5.2.2 Meetings

In this case, these meetings are usually referred to as change control meetings. When needed for the project, a change control board (CCB) is responsible for meeting and reviewing the change requests and approving, rejecting, or other disposition of those changes. The CCB may also review configuration management activities. The roles and responsibilities of these boards are clearly defined and agreed upon by appropriate stakeholders and documented in the change management plan. CCB decisions are documented and communicated to the stakeholders for information and follow-up actions.

4.5.2.3 Change Control Tools

In order to facilitate configuration and change management, manual or automated tools may be used. Tool selection should be based on the needs of the project stakeholders including organizational and environmental considerations and/or constraints.

Tools are used to manage the change requests and the resulting decisions. Additional considerations should be made for communication to assist the CCB members in their duties as well as distribute the decisions to the appropriate stakeholders.

4.5.3. Perform Integrated Change Control: Outputs

4.5.3.1 Approved Change Requests

Change requests are processed according to the change control system by the project manager, CCB, or by an assigned team member. Approved change requests will be implemented through the Direct and Manage Project Work process. The disposition of all change requests, approved or not, will be updated in the change log as part of updates to the project documents.

4.5.3.2 Change Log

A change log is used to document changes that occur during a project. These changes and their impact to the project in terms of time, cost, and risk, are communicated to the appropriate stakeholders. Rejected change requests are also captured in the change log.

4.5.3.3 Project Management Plan Updates

Elements of the project management plan that may be updated include, but are not limited to:

  • Any subsidiary plans, and
  • Baselines that are subject to the formal change control process.

Changes to baselines should only show the changes from the current time forward. Past performance may not be changed. This protects the integrity of the baselines and the historical data of past performance.

4.5.3.4 Project Documents Updates

Project documents that may be updated as a result of the Perform Integrated Change Control process include all documents specified as being subject to the project's formal change control process.