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Outsource like a pro #5: Dealing with change requests

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Outsource like a pro #5: Dealing with change requests

2016 / 05/02

In general, change requests may have a significant impact on the deadline, costs and quality of project implementation. If the preparations for a software outsourcing project were sufficiently thorough, this may decrease the number of change requests in the future. 

Project planning: do not spare time and resources

Project planning is one of the phases when it is a serious mistake to spare time and resources. It is not uncommon that organisations launch software outsourcing projects whose costs make up a significant proportion of their budget without having well-thought-out plans. This will not be without consequences; even implementation of the project may be jeopardised.

The survey by Vanson Bourne also shows that the management of change requests incurs costs. Therefore, the total cost of project implementation may far exceed the initially planned figure, which may have an adverse impact on the perception of the manager in charge of the outsourcing project within the company. 

change requests in outsourcing projects

Collect and prioritise change requests

There are change requests that cannot be avoided even with the most accurate planning. For example, if there is a change in one of the core elements of a business in the meantime (e.g. a new business line is launched or terminated; the sale of a new product or service begins, or, to the contrary, the sale of an existing product or service is finished; the organisational structure is modified, etc.) and this affects the development in progress, a change request is inevitable.

Cooperation is easier if change requests, where possible, are collected and prioritised, thereby helping the partner in orientation. It is useful to plan change requests in advance, that is, to reflect carefully on what the purpose of the changes is, and also the possible impacts thereof on the end-product of the planned development. Of course, it is recommended to always communicate change requests in writing and, by maximising the use of visualisation tools, to make it as clear as possible what you intend to achieve by such change requests. 

 

  • By carefully planning the project, try to minimise the number of change requests in the future

  • Carry out the required planning tasks even before drafting change requests

  • Convey your change requests to the partner in writing, using appropriate visualisation tools