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Whenever a client requests a change, I manage the process by leaving a comment in a trello card. The problem that I am having now with one client is where they are requesting a lot of changes to the point that it is becoming impossible to keep track. It tends to get very complicated when they backtrack.

What is the best way to manage change requests?

  • In your current process, do you go back to the client how much extra a given change request will cost them and how much additional time? – Ashok Ramachandran Mar 3 '17 at 15:27
  • Normally yeah we do – bobo2000 Mar 3 '17 at 15:48
  • The question could specify whether the question is about managing the general change of scope or whether it is about execution of accepted changes (via Sw tools, procedures, processes). There are two separate valuable answers according to this nuance. – Gürkan Çetin Mar 22 '17 at 20:26
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  1. Try creating Change Request Flow(plan, protocol). Agree with the client on the steps which are going to happen each time they request a new change. E.g. if they request a new feature, the feature will be included into the next iteration/sprint.

  2. Try to systematize their requests. If they want to add a new button to the existing page, create it as a separate card, not as a comment. If they ask for numerous copy updates, put down these requests to a separate "Copy updates" card.

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You need a change management system to collect, document and adjudicate change requests in a formal manner. Part of your change management system assigns IDs to each change request. Your change control board assesses the impacts of each change request and then votes on whether or not to accept the change.

Your question points to a larger problem: If you have that many change requests, it tells me that you missed a stakeholder, your stakeholder's expectation are not aligned with yours, or your requirements need work or you have missing requirements.

Regardless of your change management system, you need to find the cause of so many change requests.

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Great question!

I will assume you have some process in place, where if the change is above a certain number of hrs effort, or $$ cost, a formal scope of work is required. If you don't have that, you may want to consider looking into that as well.

Regarding your question, I've found the best way to manage these requests is with a shared spreadsheet that outlines each request for change against that project.

I know we all love our cloud based, pretty looking UI tools, but there's no reason you can't host a google spreadsheet, or put a .xls file on Dropbox to share with your client.

It provides visibility for your team and the client, and you might find that items will get deprioritised more frequently when they're listed against all other changes.

The minimum columns I would have, would be something like:

  • Unique number (CR001, CR002 ect.)
  • Type (Design, Functional, Front-end, Back-end)
  • Description of work required (couple of lines)
  • Effort in hrs / days
  • Priority (1,2,3)
  • Status (accepted, rejected, open, blocked, complete)

The number, priority and effort can really help when you're negotiating with the client about pros and cons of a certain CR and what to focus your teams effort on.

As a bonus, having something like this available for a post implementation or post sprint review, can help a lot when planning your next project.

It's always tough managing a change backlog with a client, even when you've got these processes in place, but something like this can make it a lot easier.

Have a look around on google for a template or just start something yourself and iterate as you need!

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