Saturday, October 18, 2014

Change Request Flow (PMP) - PMBOK 5th Edition

[NEW: Change Request Flow (PMP) - PMBOK 6th Edition (Link)] 


In every session with PMP® Aspirants, I give emphasis on the Flow of Change Requests. PMBOK® 5th edition does not explicitly inform on Change Requests (or simply CRs) flow in various Knowledge Areas in the 5 Process Groups - in a combined way. However, in each of the 47 process area the flow for various inputs and outputs, including change requests, are shown. Nevertheless, if I take all the control and executing process areas in which CRs are acting as Inputs and/or Outputs (part of ITTO - Inputs, Tools and Techniques, Outputs), it will complicate the understanding. 

It is best to simplify the approach to have an easy and quick understanding on PMBOK’s approach to CR Flow. In the below diagram, the key processes from "Integration Management" knowledge area are shown along with one process from "Quality Management" knowledge area. CRs coming from other control and executing processes from rest of the 8 knowledge areas are simply shown as inputs to "Perform Integrated Change Control" (PICC) process of "Integration Management" knowledge area.

Overall Change Request Flow

As shown above, various control process areas such as "Control Scope", "Validate Scope", "Control Schedule", "Control Costs", "Control Communications", "Control Procurements" - all will have Change Requests as their outputs. All of these are fed to PICC process of Integration Management, from where the "Approved Change Requests" will be coming as output.

Process, Knowledge Area and Process Group Participating in CR Flow

The cross process group, cross knowledge knowledge area flow diagram for change request is as shown below, using Microsoft Visio. Individual processes are shown in their respective knowledge areas and process groups. The various forms on change requests are shown as inputs or outputs and are color coded.

Having shown the diagrams and table representing processes in the respective 10 knowledge areas and 5 process groups, there are 10 key points to note. 

10 Key Points to Understand Change Request Flow:

  1. Change Requests can be of these types – “Preventive Action”, “Corrective Action”, “Defect Repair”, and “Updates”.
  2. No Change Requests are created in any process/process area (out of 47) under “Initiating Process Group”, “Planning Process Group” or “Closing Process Group” (barring an exception). 
  3. All Control Processes (all of them), e.g., Control Scope, Control Schedule, Control Costs, Control Risks, will generate “Change Requests”. Most of the Executing processes will also have change requests as outputs. 
  4. All these “Change Requests” will be fed to “Perform Integrated Change Control” process to have “Approved Change Requests” as outputs.
  5. Changed Requests are approved by the “Change Control Board” (or Customer Control Board), operating under "Perform Integrated Change Control" process of Integration Management.
  6. All “Approved Change Requests” have to be executed so that they are part of the Product/Service/Result and hence fed to “Direct and Manage Project Work” process in Integration Management in Executing Process Group.
  7. During Execution, further Changes and/or new Change Requests are likely and hence it also will result in Change Requests, which will be again fed into “Perform Integrated Change Control” and follow Step – 4 and 5.
  8. All “Approved Change Requests” are also fed to “Control Quality” process in Quality Management as “Approved Change Requests” are not only to be executed, but also have to be Quality Tested. 
  9. “Approved Change Requests” coming out of Control Quality process are known as “Validated Changes”. 
  10. All “Validated Changes” are fed into “Monitor and Control Project Work” process so that the changes that are validated are monitored for some time before finally accepted. During Monitor and Control, new CRs are likely too! Hence, they will be again fed into PICC.

There are few other processes where Change Requests/Approved Change Requests are part of ITTO. However,from PMP exam perspective, you need to understand the above simple points to be able to answer many questions. 

Update (9th Nov, 2014): Title changed to "Change Request Flow" in place of "Life Cycle" as Life Cycle gives a different meaning. 

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  1. Great explanation that is also complies with PMBOK 5th Edition! Thanks a lot!


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  2. I was searching Google for a better understanding of validated changes in preparation for my PMP exam. Your flow greatly helped in my understanding, and I had not noticed the coomon thread of where the change requests were initiated prior to reading your article. This will greatly assist me, not only in passing the exam (hopefully) but also in my future work as a PM. Thank you very much.

  3. Hi, should the following statement in point #3 be modified? "Most of the Executing process groups will also have change requests as outputs". I believe it should be executing processes and not executing process groups.

  4. Thanks a lot. That is very very useful guide, and easy to be remember.
    I would like to modify one idea regarding on:

    "2. No Change Requests are created in any process/process area (out of 47) under “Initiating Process Group”, “Planning Process Group” or “Closing Process Group” (barring an exception). "

    I see Plan Procurement Management Process in "Planning Process Group" has the output is Change Requests.

    How is your idea?


    1. That's the exception! - "...(barring an exception)".
      As you can see in your comment (taken from the post):
      ""2. No Change Requests are created in any process/process area (out of 47) under “Initiating Process Group”, “Planning Process Group” or “Closing Process Group” (barring an exception). "

    2. Can you please explain and give example so that I get more the idea about barring an exception as presented here?

    3. The exception is CR can be raised in Plan Procurement Management process.

      For examples, more details on CR flows with examples/other diagrams (and a number of associated videos for CR), please refer the book - I Want To Be A PMP.


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