If you know about the Iron Triangle in project management, you know that it is impossible to change schedule without also having some effect on scope or cost. Every customer worth their salt wants the project done quicker, for less money (or resources), and done exactly to their (sometimes unspoken) specifications.
We obviously can’t do any of those things without affecting the project in another way. You can’t adjust scope without a corresponding change to either schedule or cost. Why then are we constantly plagued by the over-promise-under-deliver gremlin? Why do we take on extra scope just because it’s convenient at the time?
It is so important to evaluate project impacts to any plan changes you experience on the project. Customer asks for something different than planned? Awesome, let’s evaluate what the impacts are to their cost, schedule and we should document the change in scope. The typical response you’ll always get from a customer is, “why would this cost extra? Or why can’t you just add this without effecting schedule. It shouldn’t be that hard to make this change.”
Bless their heart. Our job as project managers is to manage the tension and interconnected-ness of all the project constrains and stakeholders. A sure fire way to get unhappy customers is agree to their plans without performing integrated change control. It will almost always but you in the butt at the end of the project.
P.S. This is day 19 of 30 in my challenge to write every day for 30 days. How have you been enjoying it so far? What would you rather see? DM me on Twitter @Josh_M_Newman if you want to chat!