Airline Travel – Tips for Flying Overseas on Business

Planning your overseas business trip should include making reservations as soon as your company confirms the trip. The seasoned traveler always plans to arrive the night before a scheduled meeting to avoid stress, missed flights, and jet lag.Your travel agent will be aware of the plane’s layout, and should reserve a seat with the most leg room. The agent should also request your boarding pass and any special meal requirements in advance.The seasoned traveler has a plan to avoid canceled flights. Many business executives double book flights with another airline carrier as a backup. This practice is a major cause of overbooked flights, so make sure unused reservations are canceled by your agent or office. If your flight is canceled, use The Official Airline Pocket Flight Guide to calculate your own rerouting, or call your travel agent or another airline. Don’t stand in line and wait for an attendant to reschedule you.Overseas Travel Tips
Business casual is the best mode of dress. Avoid wearing clothing that broadcasts your nationality.
Register laptop computers and cameras with customs before you leave.
Use a credit or debit card with a four-digit numeric code. (Many ATM machines outside North America accept only four-digit PINs.)
Bring two copies each of the first past of your passport and photograph, important documents and telephone numbers, and credit cards with the customer relations telephone numbers in case you need to report a lost card. Keep one set of all this information with you, another set in your luggage.
800 numbers may not work outside the United States and Canada. Before you leave, call your bank and credit card companies to obtain their non-800 numbers so you can reach them in an emergency.
If you need cash, wire it through your bank or have a cashier’s check or money order sent to your hotel. Register with the Department of State before you leave. The Department can arrange for a small loan to carry you over until you can replenish your funds.
Obtain a list of recommended doctors in the countries you will be visiting through The Bureau of Consular Affairs before you leave on your trip. The Bureau of Consular Affairs website is
Bring a letter from your doctor stating your need for any medication, along with a copy of the prescriptions as proof of your need for it.
Carry all prescription medications in their original containers. Bring an extra pair of eyeglass or contact lenses.When traveling globally, avoid coming across as a poster girl (or boy) for the image of The Ugly American. Wear business clothes and conduct yourself in a businesslike manner. You are representing yourself, your company, your country, and your culture. Research in advance the attitude and expectations of the culture you are visiting, and remember the old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Will Your College (Really) Help You Find A Job?

To discover how much job search help you will receive from your college, answer the questions below. (Circle your answers – NS = Not Sure)

1. Does your college fully communicate the services that are available from the Career Services Office as soon as you enter college? YES, NO, NS

2. Does your college require students to prepare a written employment plan of action during the Freshman year? YES, NO, NS

3. Are students at your college coached through their employment plan of action throughout each semester of college? YES, NO, NS

4. Are job search preparation activities emphasized during each semester of college? YES, NO, NS

5. Does your college provide students with a list of job search preparation activities that should be completed before the senior year? YES, NO, NS

6. Does your college teach you how to conduct a comprehensive search for employment? YES, NO, NS

7. Does the Career Services Web Site contain all of the job search information and help you will need? YES, NO, NS

8. Is it easy to meet with or speak to a Career Services Representative or Employment Coach whenever you have questions or need help? YES, NO, NS

9. Do you know how many employers visited your college last year to interview students with your major? YES, NO, NS

10. Do you know how many students with your major were hired last year, as the result of campus interviews? YES, NO, NS

11. Do you know the six or eight primary requirements of the employers that hire students with your major? YES, NO, NS

12. Does your college provide you with the contact information for former students with your major who are now working in your field of interest? YES, NO, NS

13. Do the Professors in your major use their contacts to help students find part-time, summer and full-time jobs? YES, NO, NS

14. Is it obvious to you that all members of the college community are working together to ensure that the greatest number of students land good jobs? YES, NO, NS

15. Does your college make it clear to every students that “the senior year job search actually starts in the Freshman year?” YES, NO, NS

16. In addition to your academic performance, there are four other places where you can impress employers. Have you been told what they are? YES, NO, NS

17. Are there internships and part-time job opportunities available for students with your major? YES, NO, NS

18. Are employers, in your field of interest, invited to make presentations to students about their employment needs, requirements and expectations? YES, NO, NS

19. Does your Career Services Department conduct classroom training for groups of students on topics that are needed for employment success? YES, NO, NS

20. Are students trained in employment networking techniques? YES, NO, NS

21. Are students trained in interviewing strategies and techniques? YES, NO, NS

22. Is resumé preparation training available to you? YES, NO, NS

23. Is a large list of employment web sites made available to students in every field of study? YES, NO, NS

24. Are students trained in finding and researching potential employers in their own field of study? YES, NO, NS

25. Is it clear to you that your college is doing everything possible to help students find and land good jobs? YES, NO, NS

Rate your college:

If you answered yes 20+ times, your college is doing a superior job. A grade of (A)
If you answered yes 15 – 19 times, your college is doing a good job. (B)
If you answered yes 11 – 14 times, your college is doing only a fair job. (C)
If you answered yes 7 – 10 times, your college needs much improvement. (D)
If you answered yes 1 – 6 times, your college should reevaluate its commitment. (F)

Sending well educated college students into a highly competitive job market with little job search preparation assistance and training is not the way that concerned college leaders should operate. Therefore, parents and students at underperforming colleges must begin to demand more and better from them.

The Stock Market Vs Real Estate Investing

I am often asked about the stock market vs. real estate investing in terms of which is the better investment. Both offer growth and income. Real estate investing has its advantages and so does the stock market. How about the best of both worlds?

Other than the often touted fact that real estate investing has an advantage because “they’re not making any more of it”, many people have felt more comfortable in the past owning real property because it’s tangible. The stock market is not. Real estate investing traditionally takes the form of buying a property, renting it out, and dealing with maintenance and tenants. The need for active management and the fact that real property is not liquid (easy to sell quickly without significant expense) are its disadvantages.

On the other hand real estate investing has traditionally had one giant advantage called FINANCIAL LEVERAGE. Making a small out-of-pocket investment and borrowing lots of money to buy a property is how many people got rich in the past. After all, if your investment goes up in value by $50,000 or $100,000 your rate of return depends on how much YOU actually had invested. The average person has not been allowed to use heavy financial leverage in the stock market since the early 1930′s.

Financial leverage is now a dirty word in finance since the recent financial crisis threatened the world economy. The rules have changed, but there are still opportunities for the average investor. Forget the past and forget comparing the stock market vs. real estate investing in conventional terms. There’s really no sense in comparing the two as they have traditionally existed, because buying property is like actively running a business. Average working people often don’t go there because they have other duties and obligations to attend to.

In the stock market you simply buy and sell. That’s the advantage: liquidity, with no active management. Today you can make a transaction for $10. You can invest in any stock you like and buy or sell in your brokerage account over the internet. If you want to get into real estate investing the easy way, even on a budget, you can do it IN THE STOCK MARKET. Now you can own a piece of the action in commercial properties for an admittance price of $10, and sell in a matter of seconds if things don’t go your way.

Equity real estate investment trusts (REITS) invest in apartment buildings, shopping centers, office buildings and so on… diversified across the country. They’ve been around a long time and for years were steady performers that offered investors both growth and higher than average dividend income. Their stocks are traded in the stock market. When real estate got cheap so did these stocks. Two big names here: Simon Property Group and Vornado Realty Trust. And then there’s something quite new.

To get the best of both worlds… real estate investing and the stock market… without having to pick which stock(s) to go with consider an ETF that invests in a multitude of stocks like the two mentioned above. Stock symbols IYR and VNQ are two such ETFs.

You can invest anywhere from a few hundred dollars to millions, get in or out in a matter of seconds and be a real estate investor by simply buying the right stocks. With today’s unpredictable economic environment and markets a basic truth has become obvious to even the most casual observer. All markets, even the market for real properties, are dynamic and subject to change. Why not put liquidity on your side?

Strategies of Digital Marketing and Content Marketing

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the targeted, measurable, and interactive marketing of products or services using digital technologies to reach and convert leads into customers and retain them.The key objective is to promote brands, build preference and increase sales through various digital marketing techniques. It is embodied by an extensive selection of service, product and brand marketing tactics, which mainly use the Internet as a core promotional medium, in addition to mobile and traditional TV and radio.Digital marketing activities are search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, and e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimisation, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e-books, optical disks and games, and any other form of digital media. It also extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback and on-hold mobile ring tones.The fundamental concept in digital marketing is based on the inbound marketing approach or generally it’s called customer centric approach.To make B2B content marketing successful in 2016, you need to decide the strategies you are going to use, plan accordingly and know about the predictions of content marketing in this year. Here are some tips for you that would help you to succeed in B2B content marketing:-As Content marketing plays a vital role in the B2B marketing, it is essential to plan your content strategies for this New Year. In 2016, digital marketers will face many challenges in B2B content marketing. Before you think about new strategies, rethink and analyze the content marketing strategies that you have used in the previous year. Remove the unbeneficial things from your plan and add new innovative ideas. The success of your business/company depends on the content that you produce. So, give value to the content and make it preferable for the viewers to read.Many B2B marketers have understood the importance of content delivery. So they are creating more unique content and using it effectively for their business growth which has led to the heavy competition. To succeed in this situation, you need to have a documented content strategy and create more quality content. As a content marketer, you have to be clear that the main motive of content creation is to generate more leads and achieving more sales rate. Make sure that you use the right content format and expose your content in the right place.Think differently & innovatively and give something special in order to make your content stand out. Content creation is going to be more in this year so make your content interesting, valuable and unique to attract the customers. Concentrate on the target audience, reach your content to them and build strong relationship for gaining their attraction. Make use of content in the video and in addition to that you can add audio for making it more worthwhile.

Learn Digital Photography Now – The Power of Black and White Photography

It is said that everything comes around full circle, creating a cycle. This is most certainly the case with reemergence of blank and white photography onto the scene. Why is black and white photography becoming en vogue again in a world that so emphasizes color? Despite the incredible popularity of digital photography in general, and creation of color images in particular, there will always be room for black and white.Over the past few years, we seem a movement back to the classics, yet combining the technology of today. More and more modern movies are being filmed in black and white. Magazines are incorporating black and white ads into their publications. It is even common for the high end art galleries to have featured exhibits all in black and white. This movement is due to the artistic and emotional qualities that are just not possible to capture using color photography.The most notable quality of black and white photography is its ability for emotional power. What might be a simple shot can take on a new appeal for a viewer when seen a different way. That is why black and white photography has a tendency to make photos look more like works of art. It transforms a dingy or overcast look into a striking photo evoking emotion while producing a clean, crisp look. Try incorporating black and white into your portfolio to help expand your range of artistic style.Black and white has the ability to focus the attention to the emotional center of the photograph. The human face provides a great subject for black and white photography. A small lift of the chin or a look upward with the eyes can all change the emotion of the piece. the vast range of expression a person carries is endless. The smoothness of a child’s cheek, the wisdom in another’s wrinkles all have a story to tell in a photograph.Black and white almost always invites the viewer to want to know about the story behind the picture. If it’s a landscape, “What happened here?” is the question that often springs to the mind of the viewer and the longer they gaze at the photo, the more their imagination fills in the details. If you are viewing the face of a serene or melancholy girl, it is almost impossible not to wonder what she is dreaming about or what of life’s issues is weighing on her mind.While emotional power and invoking the search for meaning makes for compelling reasons to incorporate black and white photography into one’s portfolio alone, the romance of the genre is most certainly another. Black-and-white photography speaks to the simplicity and elegance that love often is. It has the ability to capture the thread of emotion and passion that touches the heart. A picture that might be considered lewd by the harshness of color, becomes an art form in the more subtle shadings of black and white. Try surroundings that incorporate moisture or water such as the beach, or the rain, or even the dew drops of early morning to bring about feelings of sensuality to the viewer.Experiment with black and white and ask friends and family their opinions to learn how to master the subtle but powerful artistic effects that black and white can bring. The digital camera has brought about in a whole new generation of black and white photography. More and more, black and white photography is being sought as an option for all types of occasions.If you have not started to experiment with black and white shots, it’s worth the time to learn how to capture the powerful images this type of photography can make possible. Along with the creative use of light and framing, black and white gives itself well to editing that you can do with Photoshop to bring out the emotional center of each shot. Before long, you may actually find your self seeing black and white shots in a color world. Your awareness of what will make a great moment in this format will become acute and you will be ready to capture those moments spontaneously, which is always the best kind of photography.

Technology to Make Project Management Easier

At its heart, project management is really more about people than anything else. It’s about your team members, your stakeholders and the company’s customers. However, while projects should be people-centric, that doesn’t mean that technology doesn’t and shouldn’t play an essential role. That’s particularly true today, with the incredible pace of technological evolution in myriad industries. In fact, there are quite a few pieces of technology that can make project management easier and more effective. What should you know?
The Master Multi-Tasker
Perhaps the most essential piece of technology for project managers and their teams is the master multi-tasker – the modern cell phone. Once clunky, bulky and capable of nothing more than making phone calls, today’s cell phones have evolved considerably. These smartphones can still make calls, of course, but they can also send email, instant messages and even run program management apps that sync to desktop computers and tablets. For any PM and his or her team, having good cell phone technology underlying your efforts is invaluable. That doesn’t mean you all have to have the latest and greatest device on the market, but they should all be comparable in terms of software capabilities.
The New Kid on the Block
There are many new innovations out there, but few have had the same repercussions on the world of industry that the tablet computer has had. We’re not talking about jumped up e-readers here. We’re talking about true tablet computers – the iPad, Microsoft’s Surface, and the myriad Android devices out there. These handy little devices take the capabilities of the modern smartphone and build on them, offering most of the functionality of a desktop computer in a portable package that’s smaller and more transportable than a normal laptop. That’s particularly true of the Surface, as it runs a full version of Windows 8, but the iPad and those aforementioned Android devices can also work just as well. Tablet computers are must haves for any PM and their team.
While both tablets and smartphones are immensely capable devices, they don’t offer much without the right apps. Mobile apps provide a broad range of capabilities, and can be found in a dizzying array of types, formats and price points. There are full-blown project management apps designed for the needs of massive projects using waterfall management. There are svelte apps designed for teams operating within the bounds of Agile. There are apps designed for file sharing, those for basic communication and more. The world of mobile apps has grown so diverse that it can take a considerable effort to sort through and choose those most appropriate for your needs, but it’s important that you take the time to do so.
Between smartphones, tablet computers and the host of mobile apps available, you and your team can enjoy the best in terms of collaboration, communication, information and file sharing, and much more. It’s vital that every team have the right technology underlying their project, and PMs will find that technology can make their job much, much easier.

Reviews of the Book ‘Effective Complex Project Management’

Just because a blog has a tongue-in-cheek name, doesn’t mean it can’t impart some serious wisdom. Or, at least a good review of some serious wisdom in the case of Herding Cats’ review of the book, “Effective Complex Project Management: An Adaptive Agile Framework for Delivering Business Value.”

The book, available via Amazon, is written by Robert Wysocki. An online blurb about it says the book has these key features:

Demonstrates why program and project managers need a framework that continuously analyzes and adapts to changing conditions to be consistently successful in managing complex projects
Defines the four-quadrant project landscape in order to classify Linear, Incremental, Iterative, Adaptive and Extreme project management model types
Presents an implementation model for defining and transitioning to an effective complex project management environment
Defines a complex project support office and emphasizes meaningful client involvement using a co-manager project team model to increase business value
Glen B. Alleman, writing at Herding Cats, says in his review, “The book is based on an Adaptive Complex Project Framework. The notion, a naive notion, that complexity can be reduced and complex systems should be avoided, is just that notional. In practice complex systems can’t be avoided in any business or technical domain where mission critical systems exist. That is non-trivial systems are complex.”

He explains how it was derived from a 2010 IBM report of 1,541 executives in 60 countries about the preparedness for complex systems work. Capitalizing on Complexity. Alleman, in his review, points out 10 critical success factors from the report. Here are what he considers to be the top 5 in order of importance:

Executive support – if those at the top aren’t willing to support your project, it’s going to be difficult to get help when things start going bad.
User involvement – projects are about users getting their needs met through new capabilities, delivered through technical and operational requirements.
Clear business objectives – if we don’t know what Done looks like in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers, we’ll never recognize Done before we run out of time and money.
Emotional maturity – project work is hard work. If you’re easily offended by blunt questions about where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, assures that when you arrive the product or service will actually work and what evidence there is to show you spend the money wisely – you’re not ready for project work.
Optimizing scope – full functionality can never be foreseen. But a set of needed capabilities must be foreseen if the project is not to turn into a death march.
Others have also spoken up about the book. “Change drives today’s business, it is the only constant. Unfortunately, the processes that businesses use are decades old and built for a time that was much more predictive. Effective Complex Project Management is the first book to define a practical and rigorous yet adaptive solution for addressing rapid change in projects,” said Todd C. Williams, president, eCameron Inc.

Kathleen Hass, project management and business analysis practice leader, consultant, and author of “Managing Complex Projects: A New Model,” says, “Wysocki’s approach is to use an adaptive framework and decision-making tool which includes a robust project management methodology that seamlessly integrates change, and can be applied to all types of projects across industries. This adaptive complex project framework is aligned with the most contemporary principles of innovation, agility, and lean approaches to change, and represents the most advanced thinking in applied complex project management to date.”

Give Employees Actionable Feedback

Even the best employees can stand to improve their performance. Every worker has nearly limitless potential and can grow if handled properly.
Now, this doesn’t mean that contributors have to be coddled and treated like delicate flowers. In fact, that approach could be quite problematic, especially when project managers need their team members to improve from one initiative to the next.
You need to give constructive feedback so that your employees can develop new skills. If you offer an overabundance of praise, your workers will likely become complacent and production will stagnate as a result.
It can be a bit difficult to tell employees that they aren’t meeting expectations. Further, talking to talented professionals about ways in which they can improve might feel useless because they’re already your best associates. However, your job as a project manager is to ensure that workers are on the right path to continually grow throughout their careers.
Be realistic
If you’re explaining to contributors that they need to double their production while also handling other duties, you’re already making a couple of mistakes. While you want employees to reach for the stars, you shouldn’t set them up for complete failure by creating unreasonable objectives.
Before you start critiquing your team members, think about how they performed on the latest project. Identify trouble areas and praiseworthy moments so you understand everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. Once you have those, you’ll be able to create realistic goals for the entire staff and provide actionable feedback based on their most recent performance.
Give instructions
You shouldn’t compliment or critique a contributor and leave it that. Feedback should entail both your professional opinions and instructions on how to act on those thoughts. Scott Dobroski, community expert at Glassdoor, recently explained to Fox Business’ Andrea Murad that this strategy should be used at all times, even during positive discussions.
“When giving positive feedback, also give suggestions and direction on how they can improve and get to the next level,” Dobroski said.
As the project manager, you know what it takes for an employee to ascend to new positions and develop additional skills. However, your workers likely don’t share that same knowledge so they’re left wondering how they should go about implementing your suggestions.
By giving directions as well as feedback, you’re ensuring that your team members know how to respond and grow as professionals. Ultimately, this will strengthen your team and lead to enhanced production on future projects.
Further, directions will also show that you’re not just giving feedback just for the sake of being critical. The instructions will show your contributors that you’re invested in their development and want to give them all the necessary tools to thrive.
Frame it in a positive way
Your tone and delivery play a large part in how your employees will react to your feedback. If you’re overly positive, team members will walk away thinking that they don’t have to do anything in order to improve because you seemed so happy. Meanwhile, a negative approach can cause unnecessary stress and lead to emotional reactions, which can prevent contributors from learning.
In a report for the Harvard Business Review, Robert Pozen, a senior business lecturer at Harvard and author of “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours,” wrote that managers have to find ways to cushion the blow so that workers can act on feedback instead of feeling attacked.
One strategy is to offer a compliment for every critique. This will show staff members that you’ve noticed the positive aspects of their performance and aren’t just focusing on the negative ones.

Why Project Management Software Is A Necessity

Almost every project team is completely reliant on technology to complete even the simplest task. This is mainly because cutting-edge tools have streamlined intricate assignments and eliminated unnecessary steps.
However, project management software isn’t a necessity just because employees are accustomed to using digital resources. There’s a veritable laundry list of reasons why technology is essential to the production of every single project. Let’s take a look at some of items from that list.
Advanced planning and monitoring
Our own Marie Larsen recently pointed that there are applications that allow project managers to plan their initiatives and track progress. The software assists teams by providing detailed insights into an assignment from start to finish, enabling every worker to see what’s been completed and what’s on the horizon.
Larsen even recommended some of the best applications: Mindjet MindManager, MindMapper and Mind Genius are all effective options becomes they integrate various services to create central project hubs. Managers can rely on these to carefully monitor progress.
Perhaps the most notable benefit of these software systems is they combine disparate elements so a project can be easily completed. This is an improvement over employees working in silos and then spending time combining all of their completed assignments.
Enhanced collaboration
Every project team has to be highly communicative in order to succeed so managers have to find ways to encourage associates to collaborate on every issue. In a report for Business 2 Community, Julian Hooks explains that project management software can facilitate communication between employees. Many applications have chat functions and messaging tools so team members can ask questions and provide feedback.
These features are especially beneficial for supervisors who are leading remote teams. When workers aren’t in the same office, there needs to be a way to overcome the distance. By implementing a reliable system, managers can ensure that everyone can stay in touch.
A project tool with an integrated communications platform is much simpler to use than a separate resource, such as a video conferencing channel. Some employees might not want to download applications and running multiple programs can slow a computer’s performance to a crawl.
Further, Hooks points out that there are some programs with document-sharing features. This can be a boon to collaboration as workers can edit and update each others’ reports without having to email them or load them into hard drives.
There are applications that feature cloud integration so companies can capitalize on online tools. The additional functionality can be helpful as it ensures that employees can work on their projects from any location, instead of being forced to come into the office every day. This benefit also helps project teams overcome hardware malfunctions as workers can access their documents from any Internet-connected device.
Better budgeting
In today’s uncertain economic environment, project managers have had to become adept at managing finances and ensuring that they are working well within their budgets. Leaders who frequently exceed their spending limits damage profit margins and negatively affect how much revenue the company can generate from an assignment.
Fortunately, management software has made this task somewhat simple. According to an article Arif Mohamed wrote for ComputerWeekly, many applications provide budgeting assistance. This is an invaluable feature for every supervisor, especially those who have limited funding for new initiatives.
Because the software can track expenditures and estimate potential costs, managers won’t have to keep close eyes on their wallets. Instead, they can spend additional time working with their team members and focusing on important matters, including identifying risks, resolving conflicts and communicating with stakeholders.
The days of desktops being the only devices project teams can use are long gone. These days employees can use laptops, tablets and smartphones to work on almost everything. That’s why it’s so important that managers implement solutions that are compatible with multiple devices.
We recently published our list of the best project management apps, some of which are available on various mobile operating systems. This allows employees to use the same applications despite using gadgets with different software.
Managers should search for systems that can work on every platform to ensure that team members won’t need to buy new hardware to access their company’s tools. Ultimately, choosing a universal channel allows an enterprise to increase productivity.

Stop the Creep! Change Control for Project Requirements

There aren’t many ways that you can stop change completely on your project, and frankly, that would be a bad idea. However, changes to project requirements can have a massive financial and schedule impact.
Take, for example, this anecdote from a McKinsey study. The project team at a bank only involved the finance department towards the end of the project, a few months before the transformation project was due to launch. Unfortunately, this led to the need to make changes to the system’s accounting modules. Recent changes to how the bank operated hadn’t been picked up by the project team, and as Finance hadn’t been involved to that point, they had no way of knowing the impact. The changes delayed the project by 3 months, at a cost of over $8 million. That’s a huge impact that probably could have been avoided by having the right stakeholders on the team, but it shows how important it is to manage change well.
The changes in this example sound to me as if they were essential, but you’ll often get asked to incorporate changes that don’t truly have to be done right now. If the initiator understands that their request is going to cost millions and delay the project overall they might better appreciate why they should back off and agree to bounce their change into Phase 2.
Higher project cost and schedule delays are two reasons why change control for new project requirements is important, but there are other benefits too. A Forrester study concluded that businesses are hit with 5 other issues when change control isn’t carried out appropriately on IT projects:

Poor software quality
Dissatisfied customers
Unnecessary rework
Failed changes
Downtime in production systems.
The change control process can help you avoid all of those issues. Your change process should look something like this.

1. Change request
The change arrives with the project manager. This could be via email, a formal request template, or through a chat in the corridor or during a meeting. You may require formal documentation or you may be happy to take on ad hoc requests – that’s up to you and will probably depend on the scale of your project. Anyone should be able to put forward a request but if it’s a really big project you may want to implement some control on that to say, for example, only team leaders can propose changes on behalf of their team.

2. Change log
The change is added to the change log (or register). Record the date, the originator, a brief description and the person responsible for seeing this change through the process.

3. Change analysis
Review the change. What implications does it have for the project? The budget? The schedule? The team? What work has to stop so we can do this? What’s the risk of not doing it? What’s the risk of doing it?
Analyse the change from all angles so you have a thorough view of what is going to be different on your project if you decide to go ahead.

4. Change decision
Are you going to do it? Sometimes as the project manager you can take this decision if it is within your area of control. But often you’ll have to take a recommendation to the change control board or project sponsor so that they can assess it too and make the final call.
Typically you’ll decide Yes, No or Not Right Now. This last one, Not Right Now, is good for changes that are sensible and will improve the product but that have come at the wrong time for the project and you don’t have the budget/capacity/time/something else to do it properly now. Record the decision and the reasons in your change log.

5. Change implementation
Of course, you only do this step if you are agreed that the change is going to go ahead. Update all the project artefacts and ensure everyone knows what they have to do. Then get on with it.
If you aren’t going to implement the change, then make sure that the originator understands that and the reasons why their change was rejected.
Personally I used to call this change management, but it seems to me that there’s been a bit of a shift in thinking and ‘change management’ is now in wide use as a term to mean organisational change preparedness or readiness. Change management is a discipline that helps the business prepare for and maximise the changes that projects deliver. Change within a project is easier differentiated as change control, so I’ve stuck to that term in this article.
Whatever you call it, you should do it! Does your process include all these steps? Is there anything that I’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments below.