Change Control Management and its function
Change control management refers to the mechanisms established in a project to document and authorize changes that may occur during the project cycle. It has the mandate of ensuring that relevant authority approves every amendment prior to execution. According to Gray and Larson (2008, Chapter 11), such a management “shapes and influences the internal culture of the project team.” Change is inevitable. It may arise from within or without thus demanding a change control management that exercises a sound performance. The management shows what issues have come up analyzing their possible impacts. Secondly, it proposes the best alternative options based on consensus suggesting a possible way forward.
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A risk profile and its benefits
A risk profile refers to the outline of reservations that a task can face. It scrutinizes the impending threats, the probability of adverse effects bound to come, the level of interferences, financial implications, and the effect of decision making at the time (Gray & Larson, 2008, Chapter 7). One can attain a risk profile through risk analysis, a modus operandi for evaluating uncertainties. However, risk profiling helps significantly in identifying and prioritizing risks as well as allocating responsibilities to the relevant people. It also improves the project performance by sticking to the objectives of the project amidst changes that might slow it down. The project leader is attentively conscious of impeding uncertainties within the project cycle.
A functional conflict refers to a constructive clash of ideas. It is a tension reliever amongst colleagues, workmates, or teammates. Such a conflict is highly encouraging as it provides the channel of tabling crises and curiosity thus promoting self-evaluation, cohesion, and attitudinal change. In fact, Gray and Larson (2008) confirm the claim pointing out how the particular conflict “contributes to superior solutions while being on guard against a dysfunctional conflict that can break a team apart” (Chapter 11). The conflict further enhances communication creating a spirit of teamwork and togetherness. Conflict confronts the status quo allowing the rebirth of new ideas and re-evaluation of group targets and actions.
The four major steps in facilitating the group decision-making process
There exist four major helpful steps in decision-making preceded by a committed and competent team, guiding principles, goal setting, and a group reward system. The need to realize one’s goals and objectives in life stands out as the first step that pushes him/her into joining a particular vision-oriented group. Members, therefore, have the objectives of coming together to achieve desired outcomes. In addition, members have to show some degree of dedication to the group activities if they want it to succeed.
Secondly, a delegation of responsibilities and duties among the team is imperative. Another aspect or rather step in decision-making is the setting out of guiding rules and regulations to govern the group’s code of conduct as its members work together. Lastly, a reward system is very important in motivating the members. Better results stand a chance of reward while poor performers remain subjected to sanction.
The difference between mitigating risk and contingency planning
Although risk mitigation seems similar to contingency planning, there exists a significant difference between the two. Risk mitigation is an action plan taken to reduce the risks linked to a project. For instance, a technical issue may tear the group apart. However, delegation and outsourcing within or without the project can lead to the sustainability of the task and hence its completion. Contingency planning on the hand is an alternative plan taken for an intended course of action when disruptions occur rendering the achievement of goals impossible at that particular phase.
They aim at identifying the possible weaknesses of the project, their causes, the effects, and counteractive measures worth taking. According to Gray and Larson (2008), “…contingency plans increase the chances of completing the project on time and within budget” (Chapter 11). Above all, contingency plans play a vital role in safeguarding the continuity of the project’s goals.
Approach to decision-making
Assume that you have the following decision-making options:
- make the decision on your own with available information,
- consult others before making a decision,
- call a meeting and reach a consensus, seeking to arrive at a final decision everyone can agree on.
Which approach would you use to make each of the following decisions and why?
As a golf designer hired to renovate the Trysting Tree Golf Club, a major challenge has emerged with the project almost reaching its completion thus calling for a thorough decision-making process. I would consult with others (project team, golf club relevant staff members) before making the decision because the technical team has to come up with other tangible solutions of either redesigning the tee holes or going back to the drawing table.
Secondly, as a project leader of Casino Night, a charitable event in Campus, a decision has come to fund ‘Chunk of Coal House’ after a successful fundraising, but unfortunately, the home has closed down. The other alternative option at my disposal is St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen. Although the members preferred the first institution, I would make my own decisions with the available information giving the money to the latter.
After all, St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen stands out as the other alternative option the group had. Lastly, as a leader of the new product development who has noted a competitor designing a similar but better product than ours, in addition to a mounting pressure from top management to cancel the project, I would call a meeting and seek to have everyone agree on the final decision.
The reason follows because consultation and brainstorming are very important at this stage, as it can lead to re-designing and re-defining the project’s objectives and goals failure to which the product is bound to make losses. Moreover, it determines the process of prioritizing changes, the people to involve, and/or even the supplementary budget to finance the approved changes and their execution.
Gray, C., & Larson, E. (2008). Project Management: The Managerial Process. Oregon State University: The McGraw-Hill Companies. Top of Form.