Why would a corporation not want the project manager authorizing changes to his or her projects?
Project Managers must go through a formal procedure to have changes made to a project scope or other changes, and the change control system which is the subset of the project configuration system. The stakeholders approve changes, and this is done through documented procedures that define how project deliverables and documentation will be controlled, changed, and approved. Stakeholders are responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes to the project, with all decisions and recommendation being recorded.
The project Manager must make a request to expand or reduce the project scope, modify policies, processes, plans, or procedures, modify costs or budgets, or revise schedules. In the event a change is needed to proceed with a project, requests for a change will be made directly or indirectly, externally or internally initiated, legally or contractually mandated, or optional. The stakeholders’ honors documentations as regards to the PM’s request, which are processed and only approved change requests, are implemented.
There have been several occurrences were management has taken initiation for change control within projects. This can occur due to constraints, lack of communication, but also because the customer requires certain objectives that acquire the use of external resources. Information assessed from stakeholders can imply that the PM may be informed and he or she may not have complete control over the change management control. This is determined depending on what the needs of the sponsor, organizational structure, and change management control for business policy consists of. By regularly measuring and monitoring the project, adopting proper change management control procedures, the project manager knows exactly what’s going on with the project at any given time. This is important because senior management could ask for status or information at any time. Being actively involved in measuring and controlling the project is extremely important to success of the project. Therefore, without this knowledge it is difficult to know where the project stands and measure success.
Senior Management may not allow the Project Manager to make changes because there may a few unknowns that the PM is aware of. The PM is aware of what the requirements are and what needs to be done, however, he or she may not have every single detail or information available to them. Making a change, they may unknowingly deviate the project from course and from what the Senior Management were expecting causing delays or rework. A proactive PM is great, but there must be checks and balances such as the PM asking for permission for a change through a formal process.
On a simple basis of having a 3rd party review decision making processes, it makes sense to have someone else authorize changes to a project other than the project manager. Like all checks and balances, it’s best practice to have someone not directly involved in the day-to-day to chime in on a change to the project so they can take a fresh look at things.
It really depends on their Authority on their project and their approval for spending. Some corporations may want to limit their spending and authority for changes to control the costs and have them report up to get approval. At my last organization I had a $ limit, but once they realized that it was not high enough I was able to get the change authority to perform my work on the projects. I have unlimited authority on my projects for change management. I am allowed to make changes to get the project complete. If the PM Matrix is strong, the PM should have the authority to make changes to the project to accomplish the work.
The Project Manager has many tasks and change management it one that is important. The PM may not be the one person in this case to make these changes as there may be a need to have a group of people to make the changes instead of just one person. A board in my opinion is the best solution so there are multiple people looking into the change. More than one opinion in a change is the best option to get a lot of ideas out there and a change forhte better. You would not want a project manager to authorize changes to their project as there would be no accountability in place. The project manager can just change the project to fit his/her needs. If they are behind, they could just extend the date, if they are running short on resource just hire some more. This would be so chaotic for an organization as there is no change control occuring. There are no checks and balances. The project manager is basically doing what they want, when they want, which does not benefit the project as a whole.
The big risk to the program is controlling the baseline. If the PM is able to make changes at will they might bury issues by moving the items that are behind schedule or they could put more money on accounts that are overrun. In my company the PM has authority to make changes – but the other stakeholders have to agree to the change as well. In addition, we have change management policy that attempt to manage inappropriate changes.