Figure 1: Critical factors in change request execution

The model drives a successful change process because of its capacity to evaluate the project team’s capabilities and competencies, and its ability to handle any amount of change, Khaled Aljuhany from Saudi Aramco, tells OGN

A change is a request that an individual or a group of people in an organisation submit to a change control board or a decision-making group.

Change requests, whether minor or major, should be made through a formal change application. This can be done using the traditional approach of filling out a form or a written proposal.

People who need change have the choice of making such submissions either directly or indirectly, and internally or externally.

In mega-projects, including in the oil and gas industry, the submission of change requests is high and not all are reasonable or accepted.

Consequently, project managers bear significant burdens and tasks — capable of distracting managers from delivering the project with respect to schedule, cost and quality.

Therefore, having a unified and solid process to ease the pre-change requests submission review is a must.

Accordingly, the Prosci change management model (ADKAR) was capitalised on to establish a process that aims to minimise the load on the project manager. It enhances the change request process, in addition to improving the stakeholders' engagement, which is key to the successful delivery of the project.

There is also another approach called the Management of Change Request, which is similar to the Prosci model, and is a simple form set as a pre-request for any change request raised for project manager review, prior to submission to the approval authority.


Understanding why projects fail helps the project team to establish a system to manage the change requests.

This (change request) approach is one where the project manager must evaluate the additional budget required, and the application's overall impact on the schedule caused by the requested change.

There exist some critical aspects that need the attention of the project manager prior to initiating the change:

• A project manager must obtain and then retain alignment among key stakeholders to realise the business benefits a project anticipates. Alignment is critical because it helps define the project's business benefits and ensures that the benefits tightly entwine and support in project associated objectives and strategy.

• The project manager must also ensure team commitment to the requested change. This gives the project team a strong focus on success and increases ownership.

• The project team should confirm the availability of adequate resources to deliver the change to completion. Resources enable project managers to focus on the project and reduce oversights and overstretching.

Change request execution risks failing if project managers do not observe the three factors as shown in Figure 1.


The Prosci ADKAR Model helps people to understand and realise their change. The word ‘ADKAR’ is an acronym for the five outcomes an individual needs to achieve for a change to be successful: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement (Figure 2). These five elements are the basis of all initiatives for creating change:

Figure 2: The Prosci ADKAR model

• Desire: Change management is complex because of the difficulty of determining how the stakeholders react to the proposed change request.

• Knowledge: This involves how people contribute to the change request. The model emphasises that employees and managers need to be aware of the change and its implications on budget and the project.

• Ability: This involves how the initiators of change encourage people to take their responsibilities seriously and also identifies what resources are needed to implement the change.

• Reinforcement: This involves ensuring no regress in every milestone that a project makes, and this also gives the green light to the team to execute the change.

The Prosci Model was translated into a simple form, which needs to be filled out by the project team for a project manager decision. The request is then submitted to the approval authority.

The form includes description of the change, justification for the change, resources required for the change, alignment of the stakeholders, and endorsement to proceed (Figure 3).

These elements are derived from the same element of the Prosci Model with a slight resequencing.


Figure 3: The change request management form

The management of change request process shares the definition of success with the project manager. This process focuses on planning, developing, and delivering solutions to the project team's challenges.

Besides, the process addresses every possible opportunity that can lead to the project's success. In essence, it provides the project manager with the structure, process, and tools for easier evaluation of the change requests raised during the project.

Moreover, the enhancement to the change request procedures supports the project manager and the team in keeping track of all the change requests, along with their supporting documents and references.

The effective engagement of stakeholders increases trust and confidence levels, and improves communication channels between the stakeholders and the project team (Figure 4).

Good communication involves keeping stakeholders aware of the changes that potentially will take place during the execution of the project and the fine details of the project.

With effective communication, stakeholders increase support for the project in various ways. They help the project team in collecting crucial information about the change request.

Besides, the engagement of stakeholders also smoothens the product acceptance, as they are aware and involved in any change requests or modifications that may impact the final product at the initiation stage of the change. Moreover, it speeds up the decision-making process for any potential change.

Utilising the Prosci Model to create the new pre-change request process helps an organisation manage the change request better. It drives a more successful change process because of its capacity to evaluate the project team’s capabilities and competencies effectively.

Figure 4: Impact on the stakeholders

Besides, the model can handle every amount of change that occurs. Many changes happen all the time in projects, which they need to consistently manage.

Also, the new process addresses the costs of poor management of change outcomes. It ensures that all players in the change process clearly understand the need for change and endorse its execution.

The process creates a shared objective whereby both stakeholders and the project team support one another. The proactive approach enables shareholders and the project team to achieve alignment and smoothen the final product acceptance.

The improved information exchange and opportunity for participation build trust between the two groups and relieve some of the load from the project manager.

* Khaled Aljuhany is a project engineer working for Saudi Aramco’s Project Management Team for seven years. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee, US. He is also a certified project management professional (PMP), and executes oil and gas mega projects in his current role.