Managing Change Requests in Project Management [Template]

Shubhangi Pandey
By | Updated February 27, 2024 | 7 min read
Managing change requests

Key Take Aways

  • Learn what change requests are in project management
  • Understand the basics of a change request management process
  • A simple template for managing change requests

Change happens in projects, whether we’re prepared for it or not.

Sometimes, the change is minimal and doesn’t have any impact on your project. In other cases,  the change requires adjustments to your project’s scope, plan, and budget.

To make sure your project goes to plan, you need to stay on top of the change so that it doesn’t have any negative impacts. It’s nearly impossible to stop change from happening, but you can manage it. You need a mechanism for change request management.

 

What are change requests?

A change request is a formal proposal to modify any element of the project from the baseline.

A baseline is a formally agreed version of scope, time, cost, or other aspects between the performing team and stakeholders.

Change Requests are submitted when issues are found while project work is in progress.

Project issues may arise when product scope, project cost, project schedule, or quality of the project or product results are modified. Other change requests cover the needed preventive or corrective actions to forestall a negative impact later in the project.

 

What is change request management?

The needs of a project might change despite the best of plans. Such changes need to be approved and executed.

Change request management in projects refers to a process or mechanism set up for processing any changes that arise during the course of a project. Project managers might see fit to make changes in the plan, tasks, budget, timelines, or even team members as the projects move along. Project leads or stakeholders might also want to make changes in any elements involved in a project to mitigate new risks or issues that show up along the way of a project.

Project team members need to raise change requests to the relevant stakeholders and/or senior management so they can be approved and delegated in time. Efficient project teams ensure they have a standardized change request management process to draft, record, approve, and address such change requests. Some PMOs and project teams also deploy change request templates with specific change request forms.

See what the Project Management Institute has to say on change request management process and the roles involved.

Manage Project Portfolios with Microsoft 365

Collaborate from anywhere with BrightWork 365 and Microsoft Teams.

 

Manage Project Portfolios with Microsoft 365

Collaborate from anywhere with BrightWork 365 and Microsoft Teams.

 

How to manage change requests?

Any project stakeholder may request a change. Teams that are internal or external to the project can initiate the change request, and they can be optional or legally/contractually mandated.

Initiated change requests are submitted to the Project/Organizational Change Control Board (CCB). Some organizations and teams also have a change request template or change management request form.

A change control board (CCB) is a formally chartered group responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, deferring, or rejecting changes to the project, and for recording and communicating such decisions.

Change control meetings are held with a change control board (CCB) that is responsible for gathering and reviewing the change requests and approving, rejecting, or deferring change requests.

See what Microsoft Support has to say on ‘how to evaluate project change requests’.

3 Types of Change Requests in Projects include:

  • Corrective Actions
  • Preventive Actions
  • Defect Repairs

 

Corrective actions are process changes that realign current performance with the plan.

Preventive actions are process improvements that focus on future performance.

Defect repair actions modify a nonconforming product or component.

 

Approved change requests are an output of the Change Control Review Meeting. They include any requests reviewed and approved for implementation by the project manager or by the change control board (CCB) when applicable.

The passed and recommended change request may be a corrective action, a preventive action, or a defect repair. Approved change requests are scheduled and implemented by the project team.

 

What is in a Change Request form?

  • Change Number: Change request number for tracking
  • Requestor: User who requested the change.
  • Category: The category of the change
  • Short description: A synopsis of the change request
  • Detailed description: Explain the problem.
  • Recommendations: Solution for the problem
  • Priority: To define how quickly this change should be approved ad implemented
  • Impact: To measure the effect of a change on the project aspects/elements. Details of Scope Impact, Quality Impact, Requirements Impact, Cost Impact, Schedule Impact, and Process/Documents Impact
  • Risk: The risk level for the change. The risk of a change. High, Medium or Low is a possible option
  • Justification for proposed change: Indicate the reason for the change.
  • State: The state of the change request. It can include New, Under Review, Approved, Deferred, or Rejected.
  • Disposition: Explanation by CCB for approved, deferred, or rejected changes.

 

Download your Change Request Template

Shubhangi Pandey
Shubhangi Pandey

Shubhangi is a product marketing enthusiast, who enjoys testing and sharing the BrightWork 365 project portfolio management solution capabilities with Microsoft 365 users. You can see her take on the experience of the template-driven BrightWork 365 solution, its unique project management success approach, and other personalized services across the site and social channels. Beyond BrightWork, Shubhangi loves to hunt for the newest Chai Latte-serving café, where she can read and write for hours.

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