After collaborating with stakeholders and gathering requirements to scope a project, projects are planned and scheduled according to what is known. Even the best-planned projects encounter the need for change due to new information, a shift in priorities, or unexpected delays or costs. When deviating from the original budget, schedule, or scope on a project, changes should be captured, evaluated, and tracked in a Change Request Log.
Tracking changes that deviate from original project planning can provide a lot of short- and long-term benefits to a project team. When changes are needed, an informed project team can react more effectively by communicating about the change and ensuring stakeholders understand the need and impact. At the end of a project, reviewing changes can be invaluable to lessons-learned activities to help improve planning on future projects that could potentially avoid the need for a change.
When collecting and tracking changes on a project, some of the valuable items to capture are:
Change Request ID: A unique identifier, usually a number, that allows for tracking of the change throughout the life of the project.
Project: The project to which the change applies.
Change Request Name: A short description of the change required that can be used to reference the change request.
Description: Detailed description of the change to be made that addresses any supporting context, history, or other information that give stakeholders the information they need to understand the change.
Status: Reflects the current status of the change as one of the below:
Submitted: The change has been submitted to be reviewed by approving parties.
Approved: The approvers have confirmed the change to be completed.
In Progress: The change required is in progress.
Pending Close: The change has been completed and is being communicated.
Closed: The change request is complete and all stakeholders have been notified.
Origination Date: The date that the change was initially identified as a concern for the project.
Closed Date: The date the change was moved into closed status.
Triple Constraint Impact: Indication of impact to overall project scope, time, or cost.
Follow Up Action Needed: Any additional items that need to be completed after the change request is closed.
Responsible Party: Individual who is responsible for follow-up actions.
Updates: Any updates that need to be tracked throughout the life of the change request.
For more information about maintaining a project log, see the Master Project Log that also includes logs for Action Items, Assumptions, Issues, Risks and Key Decisions.