The major event lifecycle is long - for some events, it's close to a decade - and technologies, practices, budgets and stakeholders will change massively. That's why it is vital to have a formal change management process.
A change is anything that impacts a project or task and necessitates an alteration in dates, scope or other aspect of that project or task. Such changes need to be managed intelligently: identifying when they are needed and when they are not, understanding the implications of the change to projects and milestones, and putting that change into practice - approving it, communicating it and ensuring it has been enacted.
The consequence of a poor change management process is the risk that milestones are pushed back without understanding how that impacts other milestones - causing cumulative and eventually damaging delays to the overall progress of your major event programme.
In a similar way to risk management, change management works best when it is predictive and proactive: updating projects and milestones at an early stage when something has changed or might change. Again, you don't want to respond to everything you identify - otherwise your project plan will never be consistent, and you'll waste a lot of time and money through unnecessary disruption - but an acceptance that your organising committee and functions need to be adaptable is key.
It is also wise to build some contingency into your milestone plan - where possible - so that one change does not disrupt the entire baseline plan for your major event.
Appoint a Change Manager role within your Programme Management team, set up a simple mechanism for change requests, and go from there.
Simple Change Management Flowchart
1. Function lead proposes a change
2. Function lead justifies change
3. Change Manager considers impact
4. Change Manager approves or rejects
5. Change Manager works with function lead to enact change
6. Change Process closed
Learn more about how WeTrack can boost the planning of major events and organisations in sport. Or, watch a short introductory video to WeTrack where you can learn about the operational challenges that we help to combat.