PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner - Change Theme Tutorial

9.1 Change Theme

Hello and welcome to PRINCE2® Foundation Certification course offered by Simplilearn. This lesson is about Change theme. Change is one of the seven themes of PRINCE2® methodology.

9.2 Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to: ?Define Change theme ?Explain the PRINCE2® approach to Change theme ?Define the roles and responsibilities in Change theme

9.3 Purpose of Change Theme

The purpose of the Change theme is to identify, assess and control any potential and approved changes to the baseline. In a Project, whenever any product, either specialist or management is produced and gets approval from the relevant management level, then it is baselined. This helps to know what was agreed upon in the first place. Baseline can also be called as first agreed version. For example, if Communication Management Strategy is prepared for the project and approved by the Project Board, then this needs to be baselined. Change is inevitable during the life of a project, and every project requires a systematic approach to the identification, assessment and control of issues that may result in change. Change can be raised by any stakeholder and change control is a continuous activity. The aim of issue and change control procedures is not to prevent changes but to ensure that every change is agreed upon by the relevant authority before it takes place. Change can only be considered in relation to an established baseline. Therefore, a prerequisite of effective issue and change management is that there should be an appropriate configuration management system that records baselines for the project’s products and ensures that correct versions are delivered to the customer.

9.4 Change Terms—Definitions

Configuration management is defined as activities to create, maintain and control the changes of configuration items throughout the life of a product. Configuration item is defined as an entity that is subjected to configuration management. The entity may be a component of a product, a product or set of products. A release is a complete and consistent set of products that are managed, tested and deployed as a single entity to handover to the users.

9.5 Change—Terms Definitions (contd.)

Issue is any relevant event that has happened, which was not planned and required management action. Issue and change control procedure ensures that all the issues and changes which affect the projects agreed baselines are identified, assessed and approved, rejected or deferred. Issue and change control procedure needs to be integrated with the configuration management system used by the project

9.6 Types of Issues

Issues may be raised at any time during the project, by anyone with an interest in the project or its outcome. PRINCE2® defines three types of issues: The first is request for change, which is a proposal for a change to a baseline. For example, although it is not specified in the current corporate branding standards, the corporate logo should be shown on the greeting cards being sent out to existing customers of a corporate organisation. Off-specification should be provided by the project, but currently is not provided or is forecast not to be provided. This might be a missing product or a product not meeting its specification. An example for off-specification is that the corporate organisation had specified in the contract that all the greeting cards should be in colour. However, it has been found that its supplier has printed the first 20 cards in black and white. The Project Manager has raised this as an issue and the supplier has to reprint those 20 cards in colour. Problem or concern is any other issue that the Project Manger needs to resolve or escalate. For example: advice from a Team Manager that a team member has been taken ill and as a result the target end date for a Work Package will slip by a week.

9.7 PRINCE2® Approach to Change—Establish Controls

Changes should be approved against the baselined management products. There has to be some mechanism for managing the changes. Project’s controls for issues, changes and configuration management are defined and established by the ‘Initiating a Project’ process. Configuration management procedure and issue and change control procedures are (if necessary) updated at the end of each management stage by using Configuration Management Strategy, Configuration Item Records, Product Status Account, Daily Log, Issue Register and Issue Reports.

9.8 Configuration Management Strategy

Configuration Management Strategy defines how configuration management would be carried out in the project. In other words, it explains the configuration management procedure to be followed in the project. Next, the Configuration Management Strategy also explains, the issue and change control procedure. Issue and change control procedure ensures effective issue and change control, which essentially means a well-defined procedure of identifying and resolving issues. In addition to these two procedures, there are other important aspects of configuration management which are defined in Configuration Management Strategy and they are: the tools and techniques to be used, how the records will be kept, how to measure and report the performance of the procedures, timing of configuration management and issue and change control activities and roles and responsibilities for managing changes.

9.9 Configuration Management Strategy (contd.)

Configuration Management strategy should define the way issues are handled in terms of priority and severity. There are numerous ways to prioritise issues, one of which is called MOSCOW where the issues are rated as: Must have, Should have, Could have or Won’t have, at least for now. There are numerous ways to rate the severity of issues, such as numeric scale of 1 to 10 or a descriptive process of rating them as minor, medium, major or critical.

9.10 Configuration Management Strategy (contd.)

One of the importance of defining the severity and priority of issues is to delegate some authority of accepting or rejecting change to someone other than the Project Board. This is to ensure that Project Board does not have to address each change in a project. For projects where there are likely to be considerable changes, the Project Board may choose to delegate some decisions to a person or group, called the Change Authority. It may be appropriate for example, to make the Project Manager the Change Authority for Work Packages. Sometimes a change budget is also set aside in a project. Change budget is a sum of money that the customer and supplier agree on and will be used to fund the cost of requests for change and possibly also for their analysis costs. Analysis cost is the cost incurred in analysing the change budget request. It might involve a third party consultant or another employee within the organisation, which will incur a cost. Analysis cost is a part of the change budget.

9.11 Configuration Management Strategy—Example

In a project, a laptop has been assigned a unique asset id. However, a desktop computer, which performs the similar functions as a laptop in the same project, has been considered as a combination of three separate configuration items: the monitor, the CPU and the keyboard. Each of these configuration items has been given an asset id. Configuration Management Strategy for the project will determine the level of configuration management to be achieved in a project.

9.12 Key Terms In Change Theme

Understanding the key terms is important for the comprehension of configuration management procedure. Configuration Item Records: The purpose of the Configuration Item Records is to provide a set of records that describe information such as the status, version and variant of each configuration item and any details of important relationships between items. Relationship between the configuration items, records those items that would be affected if this item changed. Usually, in a Configuration Item Record, information like Item Title, Item Type such as whether a component, product or release, users who use this item and owner of the product are captured. Product Status Account: the purpose of the Product Status Account is to provide information about the status of the products, for example to find out the latest version number of a product or set of products in a stage. The report could cover the entire stage, project or history of a particular product.

9.13 Key Terms In Change Theme (contd.)

The other associated key terms are: Daily Log: a Daily Log is maintained by Project Manager to record informal issues, required actions or significant events not noted in other PRINCE2® registers or logs. There may be more than one Daily Log as Team Managers may elect to have one for their Work Packages. Issues initially captured on the Daily Log may later be transferred to the Issue Register, if after examining them, it is decided that they need to be treated more formally. Issue Register: the purpose of the Issue Register is to capture and maintain information on all the issues that are being managed formally. The Issue Register is monitored by Project Manager regularly. Issue Report: an Issue Report is a report containing the description, impact assessment and recommendations for a request for change, off-specification and problem or concern. It is only created for those issues that must be formally managed.

9.14 Key Terms In Change Theme—Example

An example of variant is the official PRINCE2® Manual, which is available in more than 10 languages including English, German and Spanish. For example, if the Operating System is upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 8, some of the software installed on the PC need to be upgraded as well; otherwise the new Operating System may not support the existing software. This is an example of Relationship between the configuration items. The author of an Issue Report may be different from the person or team raising the issue. For example, a customer of hotels.com has raised an issue about a hotel that was booked last week. However, the Issue Report would be prepared by the associate from hotels.com handling the customer’s complaint.

9.15 Configuration Management Procedure

The configuration management procedures can vary depending on the size of the project, organisation policies and standards, however, they typically include five core activities: The first activity is planning, which is determining the level of configuration management required by the project and planning how to achieve this level. The next step is identification, which is specifying and identifying all components of the project’s products, also known as configuration items, at the required level of control. A good practice in identification is to use a coding system and a unique identifier for each configuration item. The third step is called control. Both management and specialist products are subject to configuration control. Control allows the ability to approve and baseline products and to make changes only with the agreement of appropriate authorities. It also ensures that proper approvals are taken from appropriate people. Configuration control also includes: storing and retrieving all information relevant to the management of the project, ensuring the safety and security of configuration items and controlling who has access to them, distribution of copies of all configuration items and archiving of all documentation produced during the project lifecycle. The fourth step is status accounting. This is about reporting of all current and historical data concerning each product in the form of a Product Status Account. The last step is verification and audit, which is a series of reviews and audits to check the actual status of all products as against the agreed state as recorded in the Configuration Item Records. Configuration Management Strategy is also checked in this step.

9.16 Issue and Change Control Procedure

PRINCE2® provides a common approach to dealing with requests for change, off-specifications and problems or concerns. As shown in the image, this procedure also consists of few steps and they are: Capture, examine, propose, decide and implement. The first step in the procedure is to capture the issue and undertake initial analysis to determine the type and severity or priority of issue that has been raised and whether it can be managed informally or formally. Issues being managed formally should be entered in the Log Register and given a unique identifier. An Issue Report should be created to capture what is already known about the issue. It is often useful to ask the person who raised the issue to create the initial Issue Report. The next step is to examine the issue by undertaking an impact analysis. The impact analysis, should consider the impact the issue has or will have on: the project objectives in terms of time, cost, quality and scope; the project Business Case, especially in terms of the impact on benefits and the project risk profile that is the impact on the overall risk exposure of the project. Impact analysis must cover the three areas such as business, user and supplier—for example, the supplier’s cost and effort required to implement a change and what products would have to be changed. After undertaking the impact analysis, the severity or priority should be re-evaluated. It may be necessary to request advice from the Project Board to check their understanding of the issue’s priority or severity before proposing resolutions. In the propose step, there is a need to identify alternative options or responding to it and proposing a course of action to take. Options should be evaluated as to the effect each will have on the project’s time, cost, quality, scope, benefit and risk performance targets. There must be a balance between the advantage to be gained by implementing the option and the time, cost and risk of implementing it. If the recommended option would take the stage or project beyond any tolerances, a Project Manager should consider preparing an Exception Report for that option to accompany the Issue Report. The next step is decide. In some situations, the Project Manager may be able to resolve issues without the need to escalate them to the Project Board. Other issues may require escalation to the Project Board or its delegated Change Authority for a decision, if the issue is beyond the delegated authority. The escalation could be in the form of an Issue Report or in the form of an Exception Report and the recommended option can be approved, rejected or deferred. The last step in the issue and change control procedure is to implement. Depending on the Project Board’s decision, the Project Manager will take the corrective action and update records and plans. For example, updating Work Packages to incorporate the agreed changes or issuing a new Work Package to address the change.

9.17 Decision Making

This is one of vital steps in the process. There are three types of issues: request for change, off-specification and problem or concern. As shown in the table, the project board or change authority may approve the change, reject the change, defer decision, request more information or ask for an Exception Plan. More information is requested if the request for change control cannot be implemented within the limits delegated to the Change Authority. If a request for change involves extra cost, there are three principal ways to fund it. They are: change budget can be used if it is functional and of sufficient size, the project budget can be increased or other elements of the project can be de-scoped. As per PRINCE2® tolerance should not be used to fund Requests for Change. The tolerances are specified to manage poor estimates. The user should have a clear understanding about it from the foundation as well as practitioner exam perspective.

9.18 Decision Making (contd.)

As shown in the table, for second type of issue that is Off-specification, the Project Board may: Grant a concession, instruct that the off-specification be resolved, defer the decision or may ask for an Exception Plan. The Exception Plan is needed if the request for change control cannot be implemented within the limits delegated to the Change Authority. The Project Board may decide to accept the off-specification without immediate corrective action. This is referred to as a concession. When a product is granted a concession, the Product Description will need to be revised before the product is handed over to the User. In case of third type that is problem or concern the Project Board may provide guidance or may ask for an Exception Plan. The problem or concern could be resolved by relaxing the stage tolerances.

9.19 Roles and Responsibilities in Change Theme

The table shown depicts the responsibilities of corporate or programme management in Change theme. Corporate or programme management provides corporate or programme strategy for change control, issue resolution and configuration management. Executive should determine the change authority. Executive also need to set the scale for severity ratings for issues and for priority ratings for requests for change and off-specifications. Executive responds to requests for advice from the Project Manager and needs to take decisions on the escalated issues and needs to focus on the continued business justification. Senior User responds to requests for advice from the Project Manager and makes decisions on escalated issues, with particular focus on safeguarding the expected benefits. Senior Supplier not only responds to requests for advice from the Project Manager but also makes decisions on escalated issues, with particular focus on safeguarding the integrity of the complete solution. Project Manager manages the configuration management procedure and issue and change control procedure, assisted by Project Support where possible. Project Manager creates and maintains the Issue Register, assisted by Project Support where possible and implements corrective actions. Team Manager implements the corrective actions. Project Assurance advises on examining and resolving issues. Project Support Administer the configuration management and issue and change control procedures. These procedures are: maintain Configuration Item Records, produce Product Status Accounts and assist the Project Manager to maintain the Issue Register.

9.20 Quiz

The quiz section will help to check your understanding of the concepts covered.

9.21 Summary

Here is a quick recap of what we have learnt in this lesson: ?The purpose of the Change theme is to identify, assess and control any potential and approved changes to baselines. ?There are three types of issues: request for change, off-specification and problem or concern. ?The different steps of issue and change control procedure are: capture, examine, propose, decide and implement.

9.22 Thank You

In the next lesson, we will discuss the next theme Progress.

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