Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Change Request Flow (PMP) - PMBOK 6th Edition

Change request is a key topic to know if you are preparing for the PMP exam. It is said - change is the only constant in life. In project and project management too, changes will happen. It is inevitable. In fact, certain life cycles thrive on changes. In the real project world, you as a project manager, will definitely face change requests. 

The earlier post of Change Request Flow, was one of the most read articles. In the new edition of the PMBOK® Guide 6th edition, the flow of change request has changed. PMBOK 6th edition doesn't explicitly inform on Change Requests (or simply CRs) flow across 10 Knowledge Areas and 5 Process Groups in a combined way. But CRs are there in many of the 49 processes. If I take all the processes where CRs are inputs or outputs (part of ITTOs - Inputs, Tools an Techniques and Outputs), it will be quite complicated. 

Let's simplify. 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 monitoring, controlling and executing, planning and initating 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", "Monitor Communications", "Control Procurements" - all will have Change Requests as their outputs. All of these are fed to PICC of Integration Management, from where the "Approved Change Requests" will be coming as output.

There are 11 key points to note in the flow of change requests. 

11 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 49) under “Initiating” (except 1), “or “Closing” process groups. The exception is for "Identify Stakeholders" process in Stakeholder Management knowledge area.
  3. Change Requests are typically not outputs of planning processes under Planning process group, except 4 processes. The exceptions are - Define Activities, Develop Schedule (first two in Schedule Management knowledge area), Plan Risk Responses (in Risk Management knowledge area), Plan Procurement Management (in Procurement Management knowledge area). 
  4. All Control/Monitor Processes (all of them, except 1), e.g., Control Scope, Control Schedule, Control Costs, Monitor Risks, will generate “Change Requests”. Most of the Executing processes will also have change requests as outputs. The exception is for "Perform Integrated Change Control" (PICC) process in Integration Management knowledge area.
  5. All these “Change Requests” will be fed to “Perform Integrated Change Control” process to have “Approved Change Requests” as outputs.
  6. Changed Requests are approved by the “Change Control Board” (or Customer Control Board), operating under "Perform Integrated Change Control" process of Integration Management. 
  7. 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.
  8. 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 – 5 and Step – 6.
  9. 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. 
  10. In Control Quality process, the implementation of “Approved Change Requests” is verified, confirmed for completeness, re-tested and certified as correct. In other words, the Approved CRs are fully verified for correctness and completeness in this process.  
  11. During “Control Quality” process, new Change Requests are likely, too! For example, fixing a defect, resulted in another defect. Hence, they will be again fed into PICC. In such a case, they will again follow Step – 5 and Step – 6.

The change requests can also be shown with cross knowledge area and cross process group functional flow diagram as shown below. This is drawn with MS Visio.

As shown above, cutting across the process groups and cutting across the knowledge areas, the CRs are flowing seamlessly to be "Approved CRs", which are implemented in "Direct and Manage Project Work" process and quality tested, confirmed for completeness, retested and certified as correct in "Control Quality" process. 

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

[1] I Want To Be A PMP: The Plain and Simple Way To Be A PMP, 2nd Edition, by Satya Narayan Dash
[2] Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide, 6th Edition, by Project Management Institute (PMI)

Update (24th April, 2019): The MS Visio diagram has been updated with the right arrow marks and content. Thanks to Manas Das, PMP, for checking and informing on it.

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