Project Change Management for ASQ Education Division

Project Change Management for ASQ Education Division

Introduction

A study was done on the project management plan for the ASQ Education division which is an educational organization divided in three segments. The main aim of the scrutiny of the organization’s management plan was to understand it, and later come up with the improvement strategies to the management plan. This is vital as it will enable the organization attain its goals with the use of minimum resources. (Canfora and Cerulo, 2005) It is the aim of the company to achieve maximally but with the use of minimum resources. Actually in the contemporary world, there is a growing demand for strategies that enable business organizations attain their goals maximally at the lowest cost. This is the aspect of increasing the production capacity of a firm with a low production cost. The ultimate consequence of a low production cost record in a company is the increase in the demand of the firm’s products due to reduced prices vested on the products of the particular firm. For the case of the ASQ Education Division, it is divided into the K-12, higher education and the workforce development. The company has over 1, 300 members and is looking forward for the minimization of cost but fulfil its goals maximally. (DiVito and Roberts. 1996) The main agenda of the study was to identify some of the reasonable and applicable changes that should be done on the project management plan, and also to come up with suggestions about the outcomes of the changes if they were implemented in the project management plan of the ASQ Education Division. This report, therefore, highlights some of the suggested reasonable change requirements in the project plan of the 24-year-old organization. It goes further to explain some of the outcomes of the changes if they were to be implemented in the case of this particular institution at the moment and in the future.

Change Request Analysis

The change request analysis is the one of the most potent procedures in the attempt of making a change in the project management as suggested in the initial stages of the entire process. (Kelly., et al. 1999) It is at this stage that the impacts of the suggested change are assessed and a wise decision is done at the approval of the project manager, sponsors of the project, steering committee together with the approval of all the other stakeholders in the field of interest. (Booth.2005) this is an important stage in the changes process as it sieves and allows only the viable changes to be implemented in the project management plan of the organization in question. It is worth noting the primary objectives of this change management procedure and they include;

Scope of the change request analysis

The main purpose of the change management control plan is initiating, recording, assessing, approving and resolving all project changes. According to the change request analysis, a change in the project management plan of the organization is only necessary when it is deemed necessary to change the scope of the project, timing or the budget of one of the previously approved deliverables of the project. It is also important noting that most of the changes made in the project plans of organizations have an effect on the timing hence the budget. It is advisable that an organization has a flexible budget to fit the inevitability of change during the life cycle of the project.

The change request analysis applies the multi-tiered approach in the process of validating the change requests as suggested in the initial stages of the entirety of the project.

The multi-tiered process

In the initial stage of the implementation of the changes, it is the role of the project manager to make the decision of proceeding with the changes. It is mandatory that the project manager will have to ensure that the changes don’t have a negative impact on the scope of the project, budget and also ensure that the changes to be made don’t result in the increase of risks in the life of the project. (Gethers., et al. 2011) The project manager should, therefore, be the one to determine whether the suggested changes proceed to the next level or they will be done away with to salvage the life of the project.

For those changes deemed to have an impact on the scope, budget, timing and schedule of the project, they will be forwarded to the steering committee of the project for the main purpose of reviewing. (Trickett, 1993).  An advice to the sponsor of the project will therefore be forwarded from the steering committee.

In the case where ASQ will be in position to comfortably swallow the financial impact of the change, the ASQ Education Division management will make a final decision based upon the counsel of the project manager, the steering committee and the authorized stakeholders.

Change requests from the ASQ Education Division project management plan

  • There is a need for the addition of associate editors and reviewers to fulfil the roles associated with the key market segments of QAE.
  • A need for a new model to reflect the incorporation of the key market segments into one overarching publication. As such, this model becomes the basis for a new cover design that could be used for new issues in the future.
  • There is need for a recognition process to acknowledge annually the work of the authors who submit the worthiest articles.
  • There is also a need for supporting documentation, including forms needed to be updated to reflect the new name of the publication, and the requirements.

In light of the above named change requests suggested for the project management plan of the ASQ Education Division, below is a table describing how the analysis of the requests will be undertaken.



Action Responsibility
·         Identification of the members of the management team and the owners of the issue.

·         The validation of the change requests together with the project team members in the appropriate manner.

·         Assessing and evaluating change request for necessity to project.

·         Updating the change requests with the target dates for the completion of the analysis.

 

·         Consultation of the ASQ management

·         Meeting the requirements of the contract in order to respond to the change requests

·         The assignment of the resources for the purpose of reviewing the impacts of suggested change request

·         Updating the change requests with the expected dates for  decisions

Project manager
·         Negotiating changes in the contract

·         The execution of the contract changes

Project manager, Project sponsor, TAM
·         The generation of the approval sheet signatures for each outstanding change request.

·         Updating of the change status.

 

ASQ management( Project sponsor)
·         The closure of the change requests

·         The communication of the change in the work plan to the project team.

Project manager

 

Change Details In The Project Management Processes

Increasing the number of associate editors

Increasing the number of the associate editors not only increases the output of the work at the end of the processing period but also has other underlying pros not worth neglecting. It is the pros of increasing the numbers of the associate editors that enabled this kind of change pass through the change request analysis stage.

Among the potent and significant impacts that the organization stands to benefit on the introduction of more associate editors is that the quality of the content will be much improved than before. Remember it is the role of the associate editors to check the work of the authors, and come up with the corrections to be made where necessary. (Zanjani., et al.2014) One factor of great significance to be noted at this point is that ASQ should focus on the employment of only highly skilled associate editors. Associate editors only go through the done work after the editors have already had their hands on the work. It is expected that any kind work passing the through the hands of the editors, and is approved must be of an exceptional level of quality. There are both primary and secondary associate editors and the company should, therefore discern and know which one to take, either primary or secondary.

One of the duties of an associate editor is to ensure that they provide constructive feedback to the management of the company. To ensure that the associate editor performs to the best of his ability, he or she has to supervise the coordinators strictly to ensure that the best comes out of them hence high quality results.

Highly professional and skilled associate editors are tasked with the role of giving recommendations to their team members. They do so during the assessment and performance evaluation process to make sure that no mistakes accompany the publications to the final stages of the publication process. Associate editors are highly vetted and professionals with a reputation. It is the responsibility of the hiring committee of the company to come up with a hiring strategy that will only allow in highly skilled professionals who can provide exceptional work to the service of the publication processes of the organization.

Need for the recognition process

Despite the fact that this is a process to inflate the budget of the company’s publication processes, it is among the most trusted techniques to be used in the motivation of the workers. Authors are the workers and the producers of the content that the ASQ prides about. It is, therefore, brilliant for the HR department of the company to come up with a strategy of appreciating the quality work of the authors. Incentives are one of the most brilliant and recommended strategies to be vested in the production process of business organizations, when dealing with human beings as the driving force. Human beings tend to perform to the best of their ability whenever prizes are involved at the end of the day. In this case it is important for the HR Company to announce to them that awards will go to 5 star rated authors. (Boone., et al. 1998) This is a clever strategy to keep the efforts of all the authors up to their sleeves. When some of them are awarded for being the best writers, it acts as a motivation to the others. Increased quality projects will trickle in unusually and this will be a two way benefit to the two parties- authors and the ASQ organization.

Need for supporting documents

Every formal process that involves man power and the mind of the human being should be recorded down on paper. It should be advised that paper work should always be considered as the primary way of record keeping. The electronic way of record keeping should only come in as a complement to the manual record keeping strategy. There are reasons behind the backing up of the paper-work documentation strategy and among them is the fact that records are more confidential in this way. It will spare the organization the additional cost on the risks incurred when records are accessed by unauthorized personnel. (Goodstein., et al. 1994) There is a significant loss to the company whenever their records are accessed through fraudulent means. For the case of the ASQ Education Division, the authors’ documents should have sophisticated record keeping measures to ensure that the company’s rivals don’t lay their malice hands on their property. There may arise issues of copyright and this may bring in the issue of law suits, which in turn inflate the budget of the institution. Inflating the budget of an institution has its own dark effects. (Frankland., et al. 2013) Remember the main agenda of ASQ’s plan is to ensure that they produce maximally at minimal costs. It is, therefore, in their interest to come up with stingiest measures that will see to it that they achieve this plan.

The above change requests are the only change requests that made it to the implementation stage as some of the suggested change requests failed at the change request analysis.

Integrated Change Control

The change request analysis that has already been discussed in the paper falls under this category of assessing the validity of the change requests. The integrated change control is, therefore, the process of reviewing all the change requests presented, approving the changes and finally managing the changes to deliverables. Documentation is important at this stage as seen in the above paragraph of the report. It is important for all organizations rolling out plans for projects to understand one fact that very few or no projects run to the end of the initial plan. (Turner.2011). One of the reasons for the above fact is the scope creep. Therefore, the bottom line of this is that project managers and sponsors should always expect for the occurrence of change and be ready for an adjustment in the project management plan. This has the effect of changing the timing and budget of the plans. (McInerney, 2002).  The integrated change control also involves the process of communicating the approved changes to be implemented to the project team. This is the role of the project manager. The ICC is a collection of stages including; configuration management, change management, change control board and project management. For the case of the ASQ institution, they are highlighted below in this report;

Change management

For the case of the ASQ, this stage ensures that the changes that pass the change request analysis are introduced into the system of the company in a controlled and contained way. This has the meaning that the project manager together with specialists have to supervise the introduction of the new procedures. Another way to ensure that the introduction is contained is to train the project team on the requirements needed in interacting with the new strategies in running the processes. (Brunninge., et al 2007) This is important in ensuring that resources are not misused by careless and irresponsible members of the team. Also, it ensures that the negative anticipated impacts of the new forms are minimized. At the end of the day, the primary motive of the company is to minimize on cost, and produce maximally. (Motawa., et al. 2007) Normally, the main role of the integrated change control is to create the change control board and this means that there will be a documentation of the extent of its authorities. As such, it is the also the role of the change management to impact the decisions made by the CCB, and this makes it one of the key factors in influencing a successful project management process.

Change control board

This includes a group of formal people put to the task of reviewing, analyzing, assessing, rejecting and approving the changes requested at the initial stage of the plan. Among the key roles of this board is to provide the guidelines for the preparation of the project change requests. This, therefore, follows that follows that even in the initial stage of suggesting change requests, there are guidelines to be followed. This is important in ensuring that only reasonable and helpful changes come on board. Also, it aids in the skills of identifying the needed changes. The usefulness of this is to have all changes needed coming to the board for assessment and approval. It is bad to have some change requests being left out in the identification process. Skills are, therefore needed at the change identification process for the effectiveness of the entire process. In the report above is discussed the change request analysis process which is done by the change control board. The final task charged to the CCB is managing the implementation process of the approved change requests. The project manager is among the CCB members and is faced with the heaviest task in this case.

 

The above image shows the steps followed by the CCB in their management of the changes requested. For the case of the ASQ which is a huge company, they have to meet on a weekly routine for the proceedings of the meetings. It is the role of the change manager to send out the meeting notifications to the team who meet in a conference hall for convenience. It is the role of the change manager to roll out the list of all the change requests and issue them to all members who have to confirm. (By.2005).  Prior to the meeting day, it is the role of each team member to evaluate each of the change requests, come up with viable information about it and prepare suggestions during the meeting. It is at the CCB level that some requests are rejected while some got to the implementation stage. There follows some guidelines issues to all members of the CCB team, that are there to guide the CCB meetings. However, this report is only limited to one, though, there are many others. It is advised that if a member has a long list of small changes, they have to compile them all in a single bundle called the CR package. The reason for this is to ensure that everyone’s time in the team is managed properly as there is a possibility to have many members on the team like for the case of the ASQ Education Division which has a total of over 1, 300 members.

Justifications To The Required Changes That Occur

One of the unifying factor about all the four changes that passed the CCB is that they are all directed in the line of reducing the cost of production. This is the primary reason for the company to roll out the project plan. Increasing the number of associate editors and introducing the recognition plan have the effect of inflating the budget of the initial plan. Someone may dismiss this on that account forgetting the end effects they have. The ultimate effect of the above changes is to increasing the quality of the content from the publishers. Creating a reputation for the business is the way to go if the company wants to attract more buyers of their content. It also has the effect of retaining old potential customers who may act as referrals for the company.

Conclusion

Change is inevitable in any project plan rolled out in the initial stages, and business organizations have to be prepared of such while running their projects. Change requests could work for the best of the business or the worst depending on the manner in which they are treated. This compels for the use of the laid down procedures to ensure that procedures are run in the right and tried ways.

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