Change Management

The Change Management Plan outlines the process for identifying, documenting, evaluating, approving, and implementing project changes. It defines the “who, what, why, when, where, how and how much” needed to analyze the impact of a change.


Change denotes the transition that occurs when some aspect of a project goes from continuing as planned to something different. Failure to manage change can lead to project delivery issues. Conversely, effective change management can lead to better-than-planned performance. That is why it is good practice to embrace change, but in a controlled way, so that it can be evaluated and implemented in a beneficial and timely manner

The Change Management Plan consists of a narrative that describes the processes that the PM and team will use to:

1. Identify and Document Changes

       The Plan describes the change identification process:

  • Routinely discuss change at regular project team meetings to identify potential changes; change should be a standing agenda item.
  • Document new changes and review status of existing changes recorded in the change log (AID-Change Log).
  • Review the implementation of risk responses as they sometimes bring about changes. 

2. Analyze Changes:

The Change Management plan helps the PM and project team to determine whether changes are within scope.  The appropriate stakeholders need to be engaged in the discussion.  If a change is beyond the original scope, it is important to determine the following:

  • Does it increase the cost of the project?
  • Is the stakeholder providing funding?
  • Will the change impact the schedule and by how much?
  • What is the impact to scope, schedule, cost, and/or quality? 

3. Approve Changes:

The Change Management Plan describes the process for approving changes:

  • Regions have established thresholds for determining the appropriate approval level - Consult your PMO Rep for specifics
  • State/PMO Governance approval is required when the overall planned expenditures (total for all projects) for a Region vary more than +/- 5% variation from the Calendar Year Target

The PM will need to determine if a change is minor or major.  Many changes occur that are relatively small, only have minor impacts, and can be approved by the PM or Resident Engineer:

  • Minimal impact to project performance indexes, per Region guidelines
  • No anticipated delay to project AD Date
  • Negligible or small impact to cost, scope, quality, etc.

Major changes have potential for causing significant impacts such as:

  • Impacting the project’s performance indexes
  • Delaying the AD date
  • Impacting Region’s ability to achieve the CY target
  • Requiring a revision to the Region or statewide calendar year expenditure target

The Change Management Plan includes a formal Change Request process for significant     changes:

  • Follow Region guidelines and thresholds for escalating decision-making to the appropriate level
  • Include requirements for tracking and communicating the approval status of changes
  • Require that scope, schedule, milestones, drawdowns, etc. be revised as needed

4. Communicate Changes:

The PM is responsible to follow the Communications Plan to inform Project Team Members and Stakeholders of changes.

Change Management Plan: Change Approval
Type of Change Approval
Minor Changes
These changes are not anticipated to delay milestones or impact project costs or scope, and are typically approved at the PM or RE level. Change control ensures that appropriate communication and vetting occurs with project team members and stakeholders, but a formalized change request is not required.
Project Manager and/or Resident Engineer
Major Changes
These changes most likely will impact the ad date and/or construction expenditures within a calendar year, and are subject to the formal change control process. Region-level thresholds determine when change approvals are escalated to the region's regional transportation director.
Program Engineer
Regional Transportation Director
PMO Governance

The Change Management Plan should include a Change Management Log that will be maintained by the PM to document change decisions.

The Change Management Flowchart shows the roles and responsibilities for managing and approving changes.