dimanche 16 février 2014

When to Implement a Change Request Freeze

A lire sur: Tenstep

Business is always changing and the project solutions that are built must reflect this change as well. You do not want to deliver a solution that does not meet the business needs. That would not make sense. Freezing change requests is simply a technique to bring closure to the project.
The scope change freeze is an agreement with the sponsor to raise the threshold for approving scope change requests. During the freeze, for instance, it may be that all change requests need to be approved by the sponsor personally. If the sponsor understands the benefit of the change request, as well as the cost and impact to the project, she may still approve the request. However, even important changes may not get approved during the freeze. What may happen instead is that the change will be prioritized high as part of an enhancement request after the solution goes live. 
How About Errors and Defects?
You may wonder whether you can still fix errors during a freeze. Remember that the freeze is on scope change requests. Of course, if you find problems or errors in the solution, they can be corrected. For example, let's say you are building an IT system. It is possible that when you gathered requirements you misinterpreted a customer need, and that requires a change. This is not a change to the requirements, but the correcting of an interpretation error. This may be allowed. Similarly, during stress testing, you may find that your hardware is not powerful enough to take the load. This may require changes to the system configuration, or a change in how the transactions are processed. Again, this may be required under the freeze.
Hopefully your client is not adding new business requirements at the end of the project. These late changes may require substantial updates to the requirements, design and the solution itself. This not only requires more work. It requires the team to refocus in areas that they thought were already complete. Toward the end of the project the team just wants to be finished. Introducing change at this late stage can lead to sloppiness and in some cases to poor morale. This is very disruptive.
When you receive change requests toward the end of the project it is better to acknowledge the changes, but put them on hold. After the original project is finished, this work can be added to a punch list, or a short second phase to complete separately.

The important points about a requirements freeze is that you are recognizing that continued change requests will jeopardize your ability to deliver within your budget and deadline. You gain an agreement with your sponsor to allow the team to focus on a completing the project as-is. Critical change requests are still allowed, while less critical changes are deferred until after implementation.

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