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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Change Management

Controlling project costs is usually a challenge on any new software implementation project. The same challenge holds true when working with consultants.

At the beginning of the project, define project goals and project scope. During the requirements and gap analysis phases of the project, prepare to define a more detailed definition of project scope. This is a vital first step in controlling consulting costs on the project. New potential scope items will likely be identified throughout the project. Without a clear up-front definition of scope, it will be more difficult to resist the urge of adding functionality to address new scope.

Change management and appropriate change control tools should be used throughout a project. A good change control document will include a clear description of the following:

  • The change requested.

  • The business rule or need being solved.

  • The expected implications of never implementing this change.

  • An identification of potential workaround solutions.

  • The expected implications of implementing a workaround, followed by the future implementation of the desired change. (In essence, will the change be more difficult to implement in the future than it is to implement now?)

  • The expected difficulty level in providing a solution to this change.

  • The priority level of whether this change should become a requirement during this phase of the project.

Change control is an important step and reminder to the entire project team. Both consultants and client staff should understand the implications on project cost of new desired project functionality. Numerous small changes add up to one big change. Client management will want to maintain knowledge of the financial bottom line. It is very easy for scope creep and corresponding project costs to get out of hand without good change management.

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