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Leading the Change Control Board (CCB)

Each Project Manager, soon or later needs to invoke the Change Control Board (CCB) to manage changes in his/her project. But successful Project Managers not only call the CCB they also lead it.

Change Control Board is key for implementing the integrated change control process.

The CCB is a committee formed by key stakeholders as the Sponsor, Senior Management, Client Representatives, PMO Representatives, Project Manager and others as required.

The idea is to make key decisions about change requests on the project. These change requests can be submitted by the Client, but also by the Sponsor or Project Team, if something set up at the initiating phase of the project now requires to be changed.

The CCB will analyze and review the change requests submitted and make a decision whether to accept or reject them.

As it was said at the beginning of this article, the Project Manager needs to lead those decisions, being a trusted advisor for the stakeholders in the CCB.

A Project Manager as a trusted advisor never goes into the CCB with fear of loss. He/she enters not only with questions but also with answers, value, ideas, and with the desire to gain for the long-term benefits expected for his/her project.

Giving advice is not saying, “trust me, we need to do this”. No. The idea is presenting options to the committee. Also it is helping them to understand the problem. Probably the Project Manager should better explain and educate the attendants about the topic for which it is going to be made a decision. Always trying to give them objective information, based only in facts, not opinions.

Finally if the Project Manager thinks the committee is also interested also in knowing his opinion, he/she can give his recommendation. If that is not the case the Project Manager will not give that subjective information.

In any case, leading and influencing doesn’t mean making the final decision, this of course will be made by the committee.

Remember that no one knows the project better than the Project Manager. The Project Manager knows all the underlining issues and problems that the project is facing and probably also the best solutions for them. So the Project Manager needs to go to the CCB with solutions and to ask permission for applying them, not only to ask others for providing him those solutions.

When the Project Manager becomes a trusted advisor for the CCB, something is growing that will last more than the project itself.

Make sure the actions you take and decisions you influence to be made are in the best long-term interest of the Client, not only in the short-term or for your own benefit. Self-orientation and ego are inverse to Trust.

Your clients are counting on your advice to help them produce an outcome and make a profit. If they let you contribute in those important CCB decisions, it is because you also represent their interests and are going to strive to find the best solution for them.

Mastery at becoming a trusted advisor comes only when you have become proficient in it. It is not only a matter of mastering your actions as a trusted advisor, but also being consistent with them and your integrity. Integrity is the most useful tool you have for persuading the CCB.

For being a trusted advisor in the CCB, you need to master your reliability and your consistency. This way they will not only be interested in the changes and problems, but will also count on you to help them to find the answer.

That’s the spirit they are looking for in you as a Project Manager leading the CCB: a trusted advisor and a leader for managing projects and also solutions.

What’s your role in the CCB? Are you looking for others to make your decisions?

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