July 9, 2011 Leave a comment
As I discussed in my blog post on Managing Change, it is important to understand the cumulative impact of changes on a project with regards to the scope, schedule, and cost/budget. Throughout the life of a project, there will be changes. The project manager should be able to explain the evolution of the plan from the original baseline to the current baseline, including all approved changes that have been implemented.
Effective use of the change control log (see my blog post on Using SharePoint to Manage Change Requests) provides a tool to track and reconcile changes to the baseline schedule and budget. In addition, use of the Project Status list enables use of SharePoint 2010 Key Performance Indicators to measure and communicate the project team’s ability to manage change at any point in time throughout the project life cycle. In order for the project sponsor and steering committee to make good decisions when approving change requests, they should understand the impact of the changes they have already approved. In addition, project change is one of the key metrics utilized to assess project performance in the project closure process (and identify and implement project improvement opportunities for future product releases / projects).
Creating the Approved Change Request view in the SharePoint list
The first step to establishing the project change metrics in SharePoint is to ensure that you have the appropriate view set-up to support the computation of the metric. The cumulative impact of change on the project represents the total impact of the approved change requests (approved and implemented status) on the project schedule and budget. To support this metric, I create a view in the change request list that is filtered to include only approved and implemented change requests (sample of this list view below).
The screen shot below from the Change Request list view settings illustrates the filters utilized to limit the list to only approved and implemented change requests.
In addition, totals are added to the list view to the Approved Change Request list view to display the sum of the schedule impact (days) and budget impact (dollars). I also added a count of the change requests so you can get a quick feel for the number of change requests that are driving the total change impact. The screen shot below from the Change Request list view settings illustrates setting up the totals that are displayed at the top of the list view.
Creating the Schedule Impact Metric
To create the Schedule Impact metric, select NEW indicator from the Project Status list. Within the indicator set-up, you are prompted for a name of the metric, a brief description of the metric, and comments (I use comments to describe the specifics of the source/calculation). In addition, you are prompted to select the list, and list view (described above) where the change request data is maintained. The screen shot below illustrates the first part of the indicator set-up process.
Then you are prompted to define the schedule impact metric:
- The metric is calculated using the “Sum” of the “Sched Impact” field in the Approved Change Requests list view.
- The “lower” the metric value is better.
- The metric is GREEN when the total schedule impact is X days or lower (in this example I used 10 days)
- The metric is YELLOW when the total schedule impact is Y days and greater that X days (in this example I used between 11 and 20 days)
- The metric is RED when the total schedule impact is greater than 20 days.
The screen shot bellow illustrates the definition of the schedule impact metric.
Based upon the information set-up for the Change Request Schedule Impact metric, the screen below illustrates the details displayed for this metric. The biggest challenge is setting up consistent criteria from project to project that effectively defines GREEN/YELLOW/RED for the cumulative schedule impact.
Creating the Cost Impact Metric
The same process is utilized (as described for the Schedule Impact metric) to create the NEW indicator, describe the Cost Impact metric, and select the list/view where the change request data is maintained.
Then you are prompted to define the metric:
- The metric is calculated using the “Sum” of the “Cost Impact” field in the Approved Change Requests list view.
- The “lower” the metric value is better.
- The metric is GREEN when the total cost impact is X dollars ($) or lower (in this example I used $10,000)
- The metric is YELLOW when the total cost impact is Y dollars and greater that X dollars (in this example I used between $10,000-$25,000)
- The metric is RED when the total cost impact is greater than $25,000.
The screen shot bellow illustrates the definition of the Cost Impact metric.
Based upon the information set-up for the Change Request Cost Impact metric, the screen below illustrates the details displayed for this metric. Generally the definition of GREEN/YELLOW/RED for this metric is documented within the Cost Management Approach of the Project Management Plan.