The PMBOK® Guide recommends that when a scope change request is submitted, an impact analysis is performed to assess how the change could affect the overall project. How does this work affect the overall project budget? Is it customary for the company to bear the costs of performing the impact assessment as part of the cost of doing business, or would you include that in the customer's bill for the change request?

What if it's determined that the changes cannot be actioned as part of the project? How would you prevent a project from going over-budget because of work spent on multiple impact analyses for change requests if there is no way to recoup the money from the customer for their requests?

  • 2
    Did you really mean 'manage the cost of the impact analysis?' or did you mean 'manage the cost of the results of the impact analysis?'
    – Sarov
    May 15, 2017 at 20:57
  • 1
    I mean the cost of the impact analysis May 16, 2017 at 8:21
  • 1
    Do you mean an internal cost for doing the investigative work of the request, or are you talking about billing the customer for time spent looking into the request?
    – JennieK_NS
    May 16, 2017 at 13:17
  • 2
    I confess that the question is broad. To make the question more concise, the question is: Who should bear the financial responsibility of the impact analysis, that is, the time and effort that the business analyst will consume in order to make this analysis? May 16, 2017 at 15:32
  • 1
    Thanks @JennieK_NS :). I need to improve my English, it's time! May 16, 2017 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


Part of every project, no matter its size or complexity or industry, there is some level of effort--hours, dollars, people, tools, etc.--allocated for the pure purpose of managing the project. This includes planning, oversight, schedule and cost tracking and control, managing risks, communications, reporting, metrics analysis, and on and on. This also includes managing changes to the contract. Your dollars that you allocated to the managing the project contain the dollars you need to execute impact analysis of each and every change that hits this particular process. It does not matter if the change is adopted or rejected; you have the dollars necessary as part of the project budget to conduct this analysis.

Of course there is risk here, as there is with every other management task and every other project task. You could estimate too low and overrun your budget but this is what PM is all about--managing your variances, estimating contingencies, deploying those contingencies when necessary, mitigating everything else.

As the seller of services, the assumption is you included the necessary dollars for this impact analysis and your contract type has reimbursed you accordingly. If your sold your project as a firm fixed price, you carry all the risks and hopefully you estimated well to include fat contingencies if you predicted a lot of changes. If cost-type contract, then you need to keep your customer aware of how your costs are accruing in this area and warn them when you are starting to run hot. It is up to them to slow down the requests or fund your overruns, in that case.

If you did not consider changes and doing impact analyses as part of your price, then capture this as a lesson learned and include this in your next proposal. If you have price-to-win pressures, then welcome to the club.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.