Changing RequirementsThe following is an excerpt from a book written by Sanjiv Purba and
Joseph Zucchero, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2100 Powell Street,
10th Floor, Emeryville, California 94608 U.S.A. Sanjiv has over 20
years of experience managing large projects and many years engaged in
rescuing ailing projects.
"There are many reasons for project requirements to change, despite
everyone's best efforts. New ideas are brought forward; something was
not considered in the original plan; business users/stakeholders simply
change their minds. Indeed the technology often fosters additional
change. The key is to differentiate whether the requirements are
changing, being augmented, being added to, or being replaced, or even
whether they are stable and mature. If somebody is repeatedly changing
his mind, does he really know what he wants? This symptom can be a sign
that something deeper is wrong with the project as it is set up. Maybe
the expectations are not clear or the true decision makers have not
been involved. Maybe the true stakeholders have not been identified or
"Changing requirements are a fact of life
on every project in any industry. They result from a desire to keep the
client and users satisfied. However, a properly planned project is
built around an initial project charter that contains a timeline based
on specific business requirements. The math is very straightforward.
Changing a requirement impacts the timeframes and costs, so the plan
needs to be updated and some initial deadlines may slip."
the project by clearly identifying how a change process is going to
work and when it will be invoked. Create an expectation that future
requirements may lead to additional releases in the project. Always
talk about the cost, benefit, and impact to the project whenever the
requirements begin to change. Let the users or stakeholders make the
decision based on these facts."
The Integrated Change Control processes described in the Scope section of the PMBOK®, and of AceIt®, will give you guidance in how to control changes to the requirements on your project.