The Change Management Plan is a part of the Change Management Process. The Change Management Plan is used to describe the process for dealing with changes within the project.
The Change Management plan will specify how changes are requested, usually via a Change Request form. The plan will specify what information will be captured by the Change Request and who can generate such a request.
Following this, the plan will detail who the Change Request is submitted to and the process that will follow upon submission. The plan will specify the process for the Change Control Board that will be required to evaluate the change. It will contain the roles and responsibilities of the membership of the Change Control Board along with the agenda or process for evaluating and decision making.
The Change Management Plan will provide guidance for the Change Control Board on how to deal with Change Requests and what criteria to use to assess each Change Request. It is expected the Change Control Board will meet regularly during the project lifecycle, however, for urgent changes the plan may provide a fast track process to allow the decision making to be made quickly.
The process of considering a Change Request will usually consider how the change impacts the project budget, schedule and quality of the final products. Changes can be approved if they are considered to support or enhance the project objectives or avoid a problem that may affect the outcomes of the project.
It may be that the Change Request is beneficial for a project, but the impacts to the schedule may cause the decision to be deferred to a later date. Changes that don’t have a benefit to the project will usually be rejected.
The process will then record the outcomes of the consideration of the change request. There are usually three outcomes, approved, rejected or deferred. Each decision will be recorded in the Change Log.
The final part of the Change Control Plan will outline the process for incorporating an approved change in the delivery of the project. This will involve communicating the change request to the appropriate project team members in order for the change to be undertaken. The project plan will then be altered to accommodate the change and any impacts to resources, budget and deliverables will be reflected in the appropriate project documentation.