Mitigating Risk by Integrating the Right Change Management Tools
August 26, 2021
Change is an unavoidable reality in the world of capital projects and must be managed for a contractor to be successful. Effectively managing change also means managing project risk, which ultimately translates to project success.
So, it is imperative that a contractor follow a pre-determined methodology for managing change, particularly when overseeing a large portfolio of projects. Not only does this afford both staff and management the ability to move from one project to another but working from a common platform also enables the easy transference of knowledge and lessons learned to be created in real time.
Consistency is Key
A consistent and reliable change management tool creates a solid basis for project comparison and improvement. When implemented correctly, the change management system becomes a central hub for most other project modules. Project history becomes a living entity and no longer a science project initiated after project completion. Users understand the reason behind recent and proposed changes and are equipped to learn from them in time to benefit from that knowledge. Documentation is readily available, even as links to other systems. Pertinent information can be consumed instantly via reports or visually dissected via dashboards at a project or portfolio level.
Change tools, while consistent, should be flexible enough to allow for the uniqueness of individual projects. Commonalities ensure that the broader portfolio can benefit from shared practices. Links to common tools, i.e. work progressing, cost management, document control, etc., maximize the value of integrated change processes. Flexibility allows unique projects and markets to gain the efficiencies from a common landscape while adding the data they need to be successful. Altogether, the right tool can be employed across a project portfolio with users on even dissimilar projects still benefiting from others’ experiences.
Today’s tools enable a contractor to accurately gauge a change’s impact on the overall project, whether it be the schedule, cost or overall value, and link that change to other applicable project components. Without having to re-create the past, the contractor can determine how change orders, schedule changes and financial adjustments impact the base contract, and can view the history of those items in real time.
Ultimately, efficient change management and integration can now drive value across a variety of impacted products and systems.
A Holistic Approach
An effective tool should also manage change holistically across the entire project. As such, it should recognize the full scope of potentially impacted systems as it examines the impact of change.
In the process, all available information related to the change is collected then linked to other pertinent areas. If there is a financial impact (cost, budget, revenue, or other),a contractor can track any and all impacts to their financial end point, including cost adjustments, budgets moves, project change orders, vendor change orders and more.
Working from a change management screen, a contractor can efficiently manage change at a single project or view activity at a multi-project level. By utilizing existing values and rates from the budget, changes can quickly be priced, and their forecasted impacts can be determined. When the time comes to proceed, the values included can be automatically processed as a project or vendor change.
A contractor can also group, add and remove issues related to a potential change order and, at any time, update the value of that change order based upon associated issues. Should there be a change to a subcontract that increases the scope, cost, etc., the history behind that change order is accessible with a single click, including responsible parties, supporting documents, quotes, etc.
Change is inevitable, but its effects can be largely controlled and understood. If managed correctly, a contractor can learn and grow in the process, and positive impacts across their portfolio can be implement. Request an InEight demo today for more details.