Can I make changes to the current project?

Author: Vitalyi Potyakin

Rubrics: Project management

– I want another laminate, not the one in the estimate!

– That's possible. But then the move will move a month.

In my practice, there are regular situations when the customer wants to make changes to the project in the course of work. This can be serious adjustments or, at first glance, simple wishes. Is it possible to make changes to a project that is already under implementation, and how to reduce the possible risks of such unexpected decisions?

Изменения в проекте

Changes in the project can lead to serious consequences

How to make changes to the project?

I will describe the situation that is real for any project: we conducted we conducted pre-project preparation, developed a plan, wrote a Charter and started implementation. The customer suddenly reports that he wants to make changes to the project. What to do in this case – to fulfill the client's request or to insist on the existing project conditions?

Truth is, as always, in the middle.

The customer has the full right to make changes to the project, in the end, "the customer is always right." Our task is to predict how changes will affect the course of the project, what risks they will entail, and to offer ways to minimize risks.

We have a clear and effective algorithm to work with the ideas, wishes and changes of the customer, which he intends to make to the already launched project.

  • We analyze the wishes, study and predict the risks that may arise when making the desired changes.
  • We develop several possible solutions to accomplish the task with minimal risks and costs.
  • We present to the customer forecasts and solutions.
  • We coordinate changes with the customer. He has already been warned about the possible consequences, about the best ways to achieve the desired result, so he has to decide whether to make changes to the project or to abandon them.

Thus, the customer gets a full idea of how real and safe the proposed changes are for the project.

Вносить изменения или нет?

The decision to change the project is made by the customer on the basis of expert analysis

Difficulties, risks, consequences of changes at the stages of search of premises and design

Changes may occur at each stage of the project, and in most cases they will entail adjustments to the original plans, timelines and budgets.

Changes during the search of the premises

A simple example: we conducted pre-project preparation and now we are looking for a room for the customer. He receives a favorable price offer through personal channels, for example from a classmate who became the owner of commercial real estate. However, it is necessary to wait for some time until the object is finishing work. But the customer is provided with excellent rental conditions.

In this case, the risk is minimal, but you need to agree in the current office to extend the lease for 2-3 months until the repair is completed. The postponement and all related inconveniences are justified by the financial benefit of the placement in the new office.

We take it to work and adjust the project schedule, budgets, conditions, technical specifications. The risks in such a change are double rent, but it is subsequently compensated by savings on renting a new premises.

Another typical example of a change in a project during the search phase is the adjustment of job conditions. We search for options on a single request, and then the customer changes it to expand the search area. For example, raises the bar of the rental rate. In this case, he risks only his money, and it is his choice. We just change the search terms and look for another object.

Changes in the design phase

What changes can occur at the stage of project development?

ЕAnother example from practice. The architect prepared and developed the concept of the office. The customer has made serious changes during this time, and the previous concept is absolutely not suitable for him. New design should be done according to the new technical task. Additional funding and time for implementation will be required. The terms of the project are shifted, the costs are increased: for new design and double rent, which will have to be paid because of the shift in the terms of moving.

What can be the result of changes in the project during the construction phase

During construction, customers also often seek to make changes. They think that it is very easy to replace the selected materials. The simplest example from practice: we have developed project documentation, conducted tenders, made a specification. But the customer disliked the selected and included in the estimate carpet. What is difficult to replace one carpet with another?

In principle, nothing, if the contractor has not yet had time to order carpet. In this case, there should be no difficulties.

And if the contractor in good faith ordered all the necessary materials and carpet is already on the way? There are several solutions to the situation.

Option one

У The supplier has the carpet that the customer wants. However, the selected option is 30 % more expensive than the original, laid down in the estimate. In this case, you can change the order, pay for additional transportation costs and the difference in price, without losing too much in terms.поставщика есть тот ковролин, который хочет клиент. Правда, выбранный вариант на 30 % дороже, чем первоначальный, заложенный в смете. В этом случае можно изменить заказ, оплатить дополнительные транспортные расходы и разницу в цене, не слишком проиграв в сроках.

Option two

The supplier does not have the right carpet. Then we'll have to order somewhere else. For the rejection of the goods, the suppliers usually keep 30% of the cost. Costs in excess of the estimates:

  • additional transportation costs;
  • difference in price;
  • 30% retained by the supplier for the cancellation of the order.

Option three

The supplier will have this carpet in a month, another month is required for delivery. As a result, the duration of the project will increase and may lead to a doubling of the lease. Under this option, the costs will include:

  • the difference in the price of carpet;
  • additional transportation costs;
  • double lease.

Our task in this case is to take into account all the risks, describe them to the customer and provide solutions to emerging problems. We are definitely looking for an option that reduces the risk of changes. In the described example, we found carpet cheaper than chosen by the customer by 20%. The supplier had it in stock, so it was not necessary to shift the timing. As a result, the additional costs were no longer 30 %, but 10%, withheld by the supplier, plus additional transportation costs.

Any change in the project that seems simple and minor can result in additional costs..

Всегда ли изменения – это хорошо?

Before you decide on changes, you need to weigh everything well. There may not be a way back.

I see my expert task in the fact that the customer:

  • the customer should clearly understand the consequences and risks of the proposed changes;
  • the customer should have available alternative options to achieve the desired goal.

Answering the question in the title of the article, I can say: it is possible to make changes to the project if the risks and consequences are calculated, the right solutions are found, and the additional costs are within the permissible error.