However much planning you do, nobody can plan for every eventuality. The complex moving parts involved in large scale projects can create surprises that a dynamic project manager must learn to skillfully navigate if they want to stick to budget and deadline. That’s why change management in project management is crucial.
Change management is the process by which potential changes to a project are recorded, evaluated, authorized and managed to reduce potential disruption. A project manager is responsible for ensuring a project stays close to time and budget without sacrificing scope or quality. Good change management ensures that changes and surprises have as little an effect on these as possible.
Previously, this required years of experience, intuition, and skill – and a good stroke of luck. Nowadays, intelligent forecasting from contemporary project management software makes this process faster and more reliable than ever.
The first and most important way to mitigate sudden changes to a project is to plan for as many eventualities as possible. Almost no project goes entirely to plan; without a single setback along the way. Establishing in advance what these hiccoughs could be is an important way of reducing the impact they could have. Experience will always help; it’ll allow project managers to draw on a knowledge of what has gone wrong before, and what will likely go wrong again.
But for the most infallible solution, project managers need software that allows for sophisticated ‘what-if’ planning. This uses complex data and creates sophisticated models which effectively predict the likely outcomes of different situations and concepts. Project managers can therefore predict the likelihood that something will go wrong and be ready with a solution when it does.
Any change to the scope, budget, or resources of a project has inevitable knock-on effects. Much of the time, change management doesn’t involve finding the ideal solution to a problem – it involves identifying which has the fewest negative consequences.
To achieve truly effective change management, project managers require a multi-dimensional view of the effects that their choices will have across the entire project portfolio. The most successful project managers are those that can navigate these consequences, creating the least disruption to their projects. Most importantly, they should be able to quickly make these decisions.
In modern project management software, automatically generated ‘heatmaps’ and ‘coolmaps’ provide this 3-D resource visibility through easily-digestible charts so it’s quick and easy to see which projects are over-allocated and where resources can afford to be diverted. This revaluation of the way data is presented gives project managers quick and effective insights into the knock-on effects of their decisions.
Once you’ve decided on the most appropriate change and the implications it will have, it’s important to keep regularly informed on the repercussions that change has initiated. If everything goes to plan, you’ve got nothing to worry about. If something goes wrong – you’re going to want to know about it. For this reason, project managers also require software that will monitor, evaluate and report on changes made to a portfolio.
To achieve this, project managers need to be able to easily analyze real-time resource information across different project portfolios. Modern technology allows data to be moved around, compared, and presented in different ways to achieve more effective outcomes.
They also need access to interactive reports and real-time information, so they can quickly and effectively assess the knock-on effects of decisions and changes. Outdated, inflexible ways of collating data like Microsoft Excel spreadsheets don’t allow project managers to do this.
Different project management applications feature different combinations of the capabilities discussed here. Tempus Resource is the only option available that can do all of this, whilst making sophisticated and complex ‘what if’ predictions that give the rich insights project managers need to make effective change management decisions.
Tempus Resources provides project managers with the most detailed resource insights available from any software. It creates tangible value by allowing projects to run closer to their targets, achieving that ever-evasive optimal balance between time, budget, and quality. By staying on top of their resources, project managers can more effectively predict and navigate changes to their overall project portfolio.
If you want to discover more about how Tempus Resource can revolutionize the planning, analysis, and execution processes of your project management office, get in touch with us today.