Change    

  • Basics
  • Issues
  • Issue handling
  • Configuration management
  • Documents
  • Relation with processes

You must know and understand:

  • The way PRINCE2 handled changes
  • Types of issues
  • How the Project Manager handles issues
  • The way PRINCE2 treats configuration management
The purpose of the Change theme is to identify, assess and control any potential and approved changes to the baseline.

Request for change

A proposal for a change to a baseline.

Baseline

A frozen version of a product. Both specialist and management products have to be baselined.

Configuration item

An entity that is subject to configuration management. The entity may be a component of a product, a product, or a set of products in a release.

 

Release

The set of products that are handed over to the customer simultaneously. The contents of a release are managed, tested and deployed as a single entity.

Issue

A relevant event that has happened, was not planned, and requires management action. It can be any concern, query, request for change, suggestion or offspecification raised during a project. Project issues can be about anything to do with the project.

Off-specification

Something that should be provided by the project, but currently is not (or is forecast not to be) provided. This might be a missing product or a product not meeting its specifications. It is one type of issue. Concession

Concession

An off-specification that is accepted by the Project Board without corrective action.

baselines

Issues

PRINCE2 recognizes three types of issues:

Request-For-Change RFC
Proposal to change something that has been frozen into a baseline.

Off-specification
Something that should be provided by the project, but currently is not (or is forecast not to be) provided. This might be a missing product or a product not meeting its specifications. It is one type of issue. Concession

Problem/concern
A type of issue (other than a request for change or off-specification) that the Project Manager needs to resolve or escalate.

PRINCE2 proposes a generic approach to issue handling:

PRINCE2 proposes a generic approach to issue handling:

Capture, Examine, Propose, Decide, Implement

All issues should first be examined by the Project Manager using the following questions:

  • What type of issue is this? Does the issue need formal handling?
  • Can the Project Manager manage the issue by himself, or should it be escalated?
  • Issues the Project Manager can resolve by himself (i.e. within the boundaries of the current plan) and that need no formal handling are to be noted in the Project Manager's Daily Log.
  • All issues that need formal handling should be noted in the Issue Register.
  • The Issue Register can be maintained by Project Support.
MOSCoW
For a clean discussion on changes it may be usefull to have a method for assigning priorities to change requests. A widely used (but certainly not the only) method is ordering RFC's by 'MoSCow':
  • Must have
    The change is essential for the project's viability.
  • Should have
    An important change, the Business Case will be weakened when the change is rejected.
  • Could have
    Usefull change, but the Business Case will not be weakened on rejection.
  • Won't have
    This change is maybe nice to have, but it can wait.

Off-specification and concession

When an off-specificiation isr reported (through an Issue Report or an Exception Report) the Project Board can instruct the Project Manager to solve this by producing the missing product, or to have repair carried out on a defective product. However, the PB can also accept the issue without instruction remedial action. Then it is said the PB grants a concession.

Configuration management comprises the administrative and technical activities that are related to the management of all the project´s assets. The project´s documents are definitely included in this activity.

Small projects may be satisfied with just storing and backup of documents. Larger projects, especially technically oriented with lots of products, need a sophisticated approach to configuration management. In these environments configuration management is a specialist discipline, and here Project Support can render valuable services to the project.

In configuration management the following activities are carried out:
  • Planning
  • Identification
  • Control
  • Status Accounting
  • Verification and Audit
PLANNING

Each project should decide before the actual work starts which level of configuration management will be necessary and how an adequate level of configuration control can be attained. The higher the level of detail of the Product Breakdown Structure, the stronger control of products and their components. This will however result in a penalty in higher overhead costst.

The project's approach to changes and configuration management will be defined in the Configuratiemanagement Strategy..

Control and protection of the project's assets.
Configuration management is applied in many industries. It enables a manufacturer to keep track of the products that are delivered to the market place. When for instance a car manufacturer establishes a problem with a carpart, he can recall the right series of cars where this part has been employed. Through the application of configuration management for each car in each series the exact composition is known, so only the cars with the defect part can be recalled.
Other industries where configuration management is of the utmost importance are the aircraft industry and pharmaceutics.

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The following documents are relevant for the Change theme:

With Starting up a Project (SU)

  • The Project Product Description is drafted, defining the project's scrope;
  • This may be part of the Project Brief.

With Directing a Project (DP)

  • The PB decides on rfc's. They may delegate this to a Change Authority.

With Initiating a Project (IP)

  • The Configuration Mangement Strategy is drafted;
  • The Issue Register is opened;
  • Configuration Item Records are drafted.

With Controlling a Stage (CS)

  • Issues are captured and examined;
  • Issues may threaten the stage tolerance, so may lead to an exception;
  • The Lessons Log is kept up to date with notes on issues..

With Managing Product Delivery (MP)

  • In Work Packages the change procedure is communicated;
  • In Work Packages rules on configuration management are communicated.

With Managing a Stage Boundary (SB)

  • Open issues are investigated at the end of a stage;
  • The End Stage Report summarizes all rfc's and the way they have been handled.

With Closing a Project (CP)

  • Thet End Project Report summarizes all rfc's and the way they have been handled.

With Starting up a Project (SU)

  • In SU worden de Kwaliteitsverwachting van de klant en de Acceptatiecriteria vastgelegd.
  • De kwaliteitseisen kunnen ook van invloed zijn op de keuze van suppliers.

With Directing a Project (DP)

  • In alle beslissingen van de Project Board is Kwaliteit één van de overwegingen (naast benefits, scope, tijd, kosten en risico).

With Initiating a Project (IP)

  • In IP worden de Product Descriptions opgesteld.
  • Het Quality Register wordt geopend.
  • De Quality Management Strategy wordt opgesteld.
  • De Project Product Description, met daarin de Kwaliteitsverwachting van de klant en de Acceptatiecriteria wordt afgerond.

With Controlling a Stage (CS)

  • In Workpackages worden de Product Descriptions (met daarin de Kwaliteitscriteria) opgenomen.
  • Wanneer het nodig is worden aanvullende afspraken over kwaliteitswerk gemaakt.
With Managing Product Delivery (MP)
  • In Workpackages worden de Product Descriptions (met daarin de Kwaliteitscriteria) opgenomen.
  • In de activiteit "Work Package uitvoeren" worden de testen uitgevoerd die voor de producten zijn beschreven.
  • Het testwerk wordt bijgehouden in dhet Quality Register.
With Managing a Stage Boundary (SB)
  • Bij de planning van een nieuwe fase wordt het Quality Register bijgewerkt met de testen en reviews die voor die fase zijn gepland.
  • Voor nieuwe producten worden de Product Descriptions opgesteld. Voor al eerder gedefinieerde producten kan het nodig zijn de Product Descriptions bij te werken.
  • In de activiteit "Fase afsluiting rapporteren" wordt vastgesteld welke producten in deze fase zijn afgerond. Hiervoor wordt een Product Status Account opgesteld
With Closing a Project (CP)
  • Bij het afsluiten van een project moet voor alle producten duidelijk zijn dat er acceptatie heeft plaatsgevonden. Hiervoor wordt een Product Status Account opgesteld.