This is Episode 6 of “Can We Talk About Your WordPress Projects” and you’ll be happy to know I have given up doing the cheesy Brooklyn accent in these videos. I still hear it that way in my head though.
But this little video series is where I’m giving you advice about all things project management related to WordPress projects.
In the last few episodes we’ve talked all about the different processes and plans that you really need to have in place to have a rock solid project management approach to your WordPress projects. And then last time we went over the change request process and why that’s important.
In this episode we’re going to carry that a little further and talk about the elements of a good change control process or procedure.
Elements of a Good Change Control Procedure
Clearly Defines Change – We make this assumption that the client understands what change is and when change is a thing like when that line is drawn in the sand. And at what point the change control process takes over. I mean where do you stop with the discovery and then when do we say “OK this is this is it? Anything after this becomes a change”. So all that needs to be spelled out to the client.
Specifies Who Initiates Change Requests – The second thing is it needs to specify who gets to initiate a change request and that usually can come from anybody on the project team.
Designates Who Approves the Change Request – The third thing is who is responsible for approving the change request and that’s usually the client – but exactly who at the client has that authority to do that. So it’s important to spell that out when you’re putting these things into your proposal.
Indicates Who Assesses the Project Impact – It also specifies who’s going to assess the impact of the project and that’s usually you if you’re acting as the project manager. And then in addition to spelling out who’s responsible for approving it you need to spell out how long should that approval take (or the denial). How long do they have to review it, and then what happens if they don’t respond in a timely fashion. All of that needs to be spelled out in your change request process.
Is Invoked Without Exception – But the biggest part of what you need to really make sure your client understands (and I hope you’re using one) but that is to spell out the change budget. And I explained in the last episode exactly what that is. So I’ll just go over it real briefly here.
Review of the Change Budget
You set aside if you estimate your project and then you take a figure over and above that (I usually use somewhere between 20 and 30 percent depending on the client and the project) and that is set aside in a separate budget. It’s still part of the whole project budget but it’s like a separate bucket of money that’s not touched unless there is change. It is only used for change and it’s the client’s decision whether they want to take the money out of that budget and put it into the regular project budget for a change that they might be requesting or that you might be requesting.
Get My Sample Change Control Procedure
I’ve already written up a “good” change control procedure that I’m willing to share with you and it’s available for download by clicking on the Templates menu option on the home page at wproadmaps.com.
That will take you to a page where you can sign up to download, not only the change request process, but you can also download the acceptance management process that I use as well as a 35 question pre-proposal questionnaire that I use to start the project definition process. So when I’m getting ready to prepare a proposal for a client, these are the 35 questions I start with. Now that generally leads off into other questions but this is a good starting point and a focus is totally on the business requirements.
You can download all three of those by signing up. The other thing that happens when you sign up is that you end up on my email list. Now I don’t send a lot of emails. But you’ll want to stay on that list because in a few weeks I’m going to be releasing the WP Project Managers Academy. That will be a free membership site where you can go and learn all of the stuff that you need to know to be able to get your projects done on time and within budget.
In next week’s episode we’ll be talking about everyone’s favorite subject – your Estimating Process.
Until then, stay strong and stay productive! I will see you soon.