Changes and revisions are certain parts of every project process. Your job as a project manager is to collect feedback, interpret, and make sure that change requests are applied in order. To make sure that everything goes smoothly, you must have a plan in action. In the article below, we explain the importance of drafting the Project Change Order Request, plus we provide premium templates of this document that will help you create your own.
The Importance of The Project Change Order Request
The change request originates because the customer or project now needs something that wasn't planned as part of the original project scope. It usually comes with a price tag because of a change in the customer requirements. However, it can be and should be used to document any deviation in the project - even if it doesn't result in a price change. That way you have a baseline for the project, and documented changes to that baseline as a paper trail to cover what work was actually performed on the project.
The main concept is to capture as much information about the proposed change as possible and estimate each task effort that it's going to take to get there. Once that effort and budget info is captured in the document, that information can easily be rolled into the project schedule to show your customer how the change order request is going to affect the overall project timeline. It can also be useful at the end of the project when you're trying to justify the resource hours spent on the engagement.
Nevertheless, we have created two versions for the readers of PMTips: one in MS Word, and the other one in MS Excel. You can use the one that best suits your needs. At least, these templates will give you an idea of the content that is being captured in the Project Change Order Request for customer approval. They will definitely help you in drafting your own piece of the Project Change Order Request.
Every change request should be clear, and straight to the point. It should cover the reasons and impacts of the change. The basic project change order request may include these sections:
Issues to be Addressed
Benefits of the Change
Costs Impact of the Change
Performance Schedule Impact of the Change
Acceptance or Rejection of the Change
Depending from the project, these sections may vary, but they must cover the reasons, benefits, and impact of the change. However, every change request must be evaluated and approved before it takes action.
Things to Consider
Ah...the Project Manager's best friend and worst enemy... the Change Order Request. Projects have been halted and customers have been lost by presenting one of these fun documents. As most of you are aware, the change order request is created to cover a known gap between the work that must be done and the work that was planned (and usually priced).
The change order request is always a delicate subject for both the project manager and the customer. So, handling it carefully, and in the greatest detail possible is critical to good decision-making. This will also help for on-going customer satisfaction since it usually results in the customer paying more on the project.
Keep in mind to file a request to even the smallest changes using the same process. Even things that decrease the project scope and cost should be documented using this same process, because every little change affects the project, too.
No matter the negative thoughts you may have regarding this document, the Project Change Order Request must be crafted with special attention. This document may be the reason for the project to be stopped. But, do not worry, if you cover every detail for the proposed change meticulously, the requested changes may be approved.
Download these PREMIUM templates to learn how to draft the Project Change Order Request correctly.
*If you have any questions, post them in the comments sections below. We will try to respond to all legitimate queries ASAP.