Changes without change requests

I belive a PM should be able to do changes without change requests and formal approvals.

Example an activity is delayed for one day, or it took or costed more than agreed, other activities and the schedule will be affected.

Shouldnt the PM have freedom to adjust to those without CR's?

PM may not have expertise to approve the CR and that is why you established Control Board which has experts from other departments who can jointly make a decision

I see this question from more a real experience than going into books as you will never get answer from book. To my knowledge, project manager or his team members can easily implement change request and document the same. The questions come, why change request process then?

Think from business, in business you should see everything from money. You should just give what promised (Approved project scope). Anything less or more or different that what’s promised is wrong as per business ethics.

The concept of change request has come just because of this i.e. if you demand me anything other than what’s promised, please be ready to pay the price for all. It’s more a question on integrity. As a rule of thumb – I will not break any rules (process) whatever the situation is. Hence, every change request is seen like a small project and all necessary process like, evaluation, impact, estimations, approvals, implementation, quality check etc are all followed even if a change is simple. Organization, sticks to the process saying….I am not going to break any process even if work is very simple.

I am not sure, what other expert feels, I see this question more from ethics and business integrity and not from the cost of actual work.

but me as a pm i see my team as chess horses so if i wana switch who and when things are done without affecting the scope, milestones and externall activities.. i shouldnt anyone... no issues if i asses and  document this.

PM can make changes within his control as long as it does not affect critical path, scope and other factors affecting project deadlines, scope, budget. If any chnage affects these, then it has to go through change control process.

admin's picture

Situation you have described is not a change request . Change happens when there is an additional requirement which impact project's triple constraint.

If work was delayed then you have to manage to get the project back on track either by crashing, fast tracking or some other idea. 

PM cannot approve changes either in theory or real world. it has to be always in consultation with a group of key stakeholders called Change control board. For small project it may just mean couple of people , but that is best practice and much required.

 Rita's book said:

5) Perform Integrated Change Control:

C) Change is approved or rejected. If a change does not affect the project management plan, baselines, company policies and procedure, the charter, the contract or the scope work, the company's change management policies may allow the project manager to approve the change


So it means that we can have some change request that do not affect the baseline.


but it also says:

"Any corrective actions that would change the project management plan, baselines, policies or procedures, charter, contract, or scope of work require a formal change request"

this means that only change affecting project document require a change request.


I am kind of confused about which changes can be handled without CR and Integrated Change control.

For example, we should not need CR to fix a defect that does not affect the baseline.

Which changes should be managed with change control?

  1. Only changes that affect the baselines (cost, time, scope)
  2. Every changes that affect a project document, e.g. task is delayed but does not affect the schedule, however it requires the update of the plan to keep it realistic..

 any thoughts about when a CR is required?

 - defect

 - change that does not affect the baseline

 - change that does not affect a project document. I don't think that this one is possible, every change should have an impact on the projec, hence an update of the project document


I would think that only change affecting the baseline would require a CR but Rita's book is not so clear about that.

One is-  Changes mainly in process, which does affect - any baseline , objectives, policies, inerest of stackholders or customer, but those are preventive or corrective or more productive, (little positive impact on baseline) then PM and his/her team may take action, and document and inform to change controle board and respecive stackholders and concerns, with a due flexibility under a company's self authorisation system.

Second one is - PM also can send a change request like a stackholder, with a formal procedure to change controle board. Here he /she will specify the full details as described in point one.

It is CCB part to do it approved or rejected.



"Stackholder" kya cheez hai?

If not see Page 450 of PMBOK definition of STAKEHOLDER.

Actually I am a student of Engineering from HINDI language Background.

There is a very common word we use - stack-means heap, or chimney, etc, now u can laugh what should be a stackholder.

 I have been worked and interacted with many Europeans and Americans, Most of them have similar kind of misspelled english.

I mean to say they do not care too much as much as Indians are cautious about.

I observe south indians are very perfect in english literature even Britishers surprised on thier English perfection. Dr.RADHAKRISHNAN is a renouned name among them.


 Could you give me some business examples of CR that do not affect the baseline nor any project document?

About defect CR, they are necessary only when they affect the baseline or any project document, right?


CR Related to corrective or preventive actions may not affect the baseline but just the performance(page 97 of PMBOK). For example: Let us say we have a baseline(Scope,Schedule and Cost) established for the project . And we are in execution and my 10 consultants suppose to arrive next week from company A. But for some reason those consultants will not be arriving so I have to put a change request to get consultants from company B as preventive action. So our baseline was not impacted by this CR but preventive actions were taken.

Hope this helps.

 Thanks for this clarification.

However I am still not sure to grasp the "trigger" of a CR, when do we have to use a CR and when can we proceed to the change without CR?

e.g. we will not use a CR for all defects.