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I have been discussing the question with a co-worker lately. We saw a project that was on track and almost ahead, and during the meetings the stakeholders were quiet and "satisfied" telling that everything was OK and they understood everything. However, after testing and ready to transfer the product to the end-users, a stakeholder told that something was not OK and wanted a fix for that.

The PM was performing this near to closing phase preparing his final report, and shared this with some colleagues.

As he was ahead, someone told him to apply the change to avoid friction, and I said that he should request a change control process formally. According to PM, the feature was a nice to have, but stakeholder insisted.

We are always trying to be compliant with best practices, but there are some situations that make us think in an accurate solution.

I was reading last time that any change that impact the baselines should go for a review in the Change Control Board and even more if the PM and sponsor are not part of it. However, minor changes that could not affect the project should be within the PM's decision/authority.

  1. Is this was a problem of communication or engagement or identifying well the stakeholder?
  2. As this PM is ahead of schedule, should he include the feature if there is no impact according to him and record the issue on the log?
  3. Should wait for approved change any ways?
  4. Or talk to the customer to close this project and incur in a contractual phase 2? This is risky as the stakeholder can be resilient to this decision and create a bad reputation for the product even if the product is fine.
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I suspect you'll hear book answers and so called "real life" answers. I have chosen to follow the book answers to the degree possible since most likely the book answer was a practice that seemed to work and it found itself written in a book. If a stakeholder's comment about a requirement is inconsistent with your requirement baseline, then do a change under control. Whatever the process is, follow it even for a minor change because a lot of minor changes equal a major change. If you do work for free, even minor work, you're conveying what your work is worth.

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