Delivering Projects as Promised: Stick to the Baseline or Manage Through Change Requests?

Project Baseline and Change RequestsThe preliminary project scope statement outlines the project and product objectives, and high-level scope, schedule and budget. Requirements collections help refine various parameters which often serve as the initial project baseline.

Given that several unknowns will materialize as you progress deeper into the project, what is the best way to deal with these unknowns? Despite your best project management plan, you may not have a choice but to issue change requests to address the changing project dynamics.

Is it better to do everything in your power to stick to the initial baseline or succumb to the need to issue change requests? With the former, you will look good by keeping your promise but may end up delivering an inadequate product. With the latter, you run the risk of losing your credibility by not delivering as promised.

What should you do?

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One thought on “Delivering Projects as Promised: Stick to the Baseline or Manage Through Change Requests?

  • 2010-01-25 at 19:31
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    I think it is better to deliver what the client is asking for. Given the rapid changes which can occur in business today, changes in requirements are to be expected and should be accepted whenever possible. Project Management is not about looking good, but to deliver what the client wants. Being open with the business client about potential issues if the change request is accepted can help in mitigating any dissatisfaction due to missed deadlines or deliverables.
    Although not a cure-all, implementing Agile development could minimize the impact of change requests by identifying them earlier in the development process.

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