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Changes can often cause last-minute delays, cost more money and use more resources.  It is incredibly important that you manage changes from the clients in order to ensure a project that stays on time and on budget. In this video, a snippet from a Xojo presentation, I give you the basic 101 on how to manage changes.

Please find a full video transcript below:

Susan: As a service professional, it is your obligation to deliver a completed project that’s in scope. You’ve talked about this with your client. You have agreed on a price or an estimated number of hours. You’ve agreed on a timeline. They know what they need for their business. If this project just runs forever and never finishes, they don’t have anything. You didn’t deliver them any value no matter how many hours you’ve put in. It’s your obligation to make them stop, to say we’ll come back and … I’m sorry. I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll come back later and address those changes. Let’s fulfill the scope we talked about first. Now, if it’s a dramatic change, my company got bought. That’s a pretty dramatic change. Then, you want to stop.

You want to reassess where are you. Let’s replan this project. Unless it’s that dramatic, hold it. Finish what you agreed upon and hold it for later. Consider the issues beyond your control though when you get this. I know there’s a hurricane coming to Florida right now. That might be something that needs to modify your timeline. That’s a change that nobody could control. Again, talk to your client about it. Don’t just assume that they live in Florida, so they’re not coming to work tomorrow. They very well could live on the east coast and they’ll be there. I’m sorry, the west coast of Florida and they’ll be there. Make sure that you’re talking about the possibilities and changes that come up.

Triangle of Truth

I don’t know how many of you have seen this. This is called the Triangle of Truth. It is a project management historical. Everybody usually uses it. Basically, you have this triangle of quality that you’re trying to create that you want to be a perfect triangle. All of these outside sources are coming to play on that quality triangle. The scope that you defined, the timing that you have, and your resources. Now, that can be money or people as far as the resources go, but all of those things pressure in and hold a perfect balance of this quality. If anything gets out of whack, if your timeline gets really long, how many of you have waited for a client for three weeks to get back to you on something and you forgot where you were?

Then, your quality suffers because you don’t know where you are. Same thing if you’re squooshing it. You’re no, we got to do it faster. Okay. Well, if you got to do it faster, you’re going to forget something. You’ll overlook something. It won’t be tested as well, all of those things. The timing affects it. The scope affects it. We started adding a whole bunch of things. We didn’t extend the timeline, we didn’t extend the price, we didn’t add more people, so you end up with this weirdly shaped triangle all out of whack. Think of that as how it is affecting your quality every time one of those factors changes. Learn this word, no. Say no, but we want to say it nice. You can’t just yell no with an exclamation point to clients.

We want to say it in a nice way. How many of you heard this one as far as scope goes? Can’t you just? Isn’t that always how it starts? Can’t you just? Anything that starts with that, the answer is no.

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