As much as we all wish it were otherwise, project requirements are not static. In fact, it’s rare when a project’s requirements don’t change. New technologies being released, changes in business goals or discovering some requirements weren’t captured during the initial project stages. These can all cause your project’s requirements to change.
This does; however, present a unique challenge. How do you manage a project with a moving target? If you’re managing project requirements in a seemingly constant state of flux, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.
If you’re meeting with your project team on a regular basis, this generally makes it easier to identify and implement changes early on. The earlier you identify potential changes, the less impact the changes generally have on the project overall. Aim to meet with your project team at least several times a week, if not daily, for a short period of time to maximize communication.
When a stakeholder comes to you with a request to change a requirement, make sure you don’t automatically incorporate it into the project. First, make sure you have all the relevant details of the requested change. This includes things like impact to project cost, scope and timing. Then present this information to your project sponsor to help them make an informed decision.
Make sure to keep a copy of the original list of requirements and document any changes and change requests. It is a good idea to keep this information in a change log, which includes dates of change requests and decisions. If the changes were discussed in a meeting, take notes to record the context of the decisions. Also write down reasons given for any alterations to the requirements. This will provide context and details for reference if any of the stakeholders have questions about how changes came about.
One way to do this is to create a change log in Excel on a shared site like SharePoint. It will help you with version control and allow you to share the requirements quickly with your team.
These tools and strategies can help you and the rest of the project team effectively track and manage any changes that come your way.
Looking for more guidance? Our experienced team of Business Analysts and Project Managers can help you manage your projects changing requirements every step of the way. For more information contact us today!
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