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Capturing Changes in a Project: The Change Log

Despite the best of intentions and the formulation of plans, things change during the implementation of projects and programmes. This is especially true for projects that operate in fragile contexts.

However, not all change is equal in a project. Some changes are small and have minimal effect on the project while other emerging developments may result in a total re-design of the project. Whatever the change, it must be managed and analyzed. A useful change management tool is the change log.

What is a Change Log?

A change log is a change management tool that's used to document all the changes made to a project plan or any contracts.

What does the Change Log consist of?

The content of a change log includes the following information:

Change number.

Type of change (scope, budget, schedule)

Description of the change, including a justification

Date of the request

Impact to the project constrains (scope, budget, schedule, quality)


Approval status (approved, pending, denied)

Escalation to steering committee or board.

Assigned staff in charge of executing the change.

Date approved.

Date change completed.

For every change, it is important to document and analyze the change, this will ensure that all changes contribute to the success of the project and that everyone involved in the project is aware of the changes.

All changes should follow the organisation's policies for managing changes, especially if the change requires a revision of the programme.This will include the process for authorization of any changes to the plans and budget revisions.

A matrix with different categories to log change in a project
Example of a Change log

Why is a Change Log Useful?

A change log gives a historical account of all changes in one place. This will make it easier for the changes to be traced and for a rationale to be given in case the project or programme need to be re-designed or even terminated.


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​​​Ann-Murray Brown

Monitoring, Evaluation and
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