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How to Implement Change Requests in Your Projects

written by: Jean Scheid • edited by: Marlene Gundlach • updated: 3/9/2013

If you have a good change control process, it should contain guidelines on how to implement change requests. No one likes change they say, but it does happen and change requests are often necessary to achieve your project goals.

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    Using Change Requests

    Change Processes by Thomas Pix When you write your change control process, it should contain examples of the change request process or change order procedure. Your change request form should contain space for describing the needed change and identify the reason for the change. Most change requests don't offer a solution on a project change but should be submitted by anyone on the team who identifies a project need or change.

    Change requests should include the project name, name of team member requesting the change, the priority level of the change, general description of the change, and the areas of the project the change will affect. The initiation of a change request should be outlined in your change control process such as, "change requests should be submitted to the project manager if:....."

    • There are errors or bugs in the project that need to be analyzed or fixed.
    • The project could achieve a higher end result if a change was implemented.
    • By initiating a requested change, it will affect future projects.
    • Any change is requested by top management or the client.

    Change requests should also be approved by the project manager and assigned to a team member to research the need for change and if indeed it will improve the project outcome.

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    The Rules For Requesting Change

    Fierce by Aaron Kent 

    Every change control process should have definitive guidelines on how change requests should be implemented, and the team must understand they are not for placing blame on fellow co-workers, individual ideas that should have been presented at the beginning of the project, or personal opinions about the project. Change requests are not an avenue for team members to complain and should be used specifically for the areas identified above or written by you in your change control procedures.

    Not every project or industry is the same in the business world, but a good change control procedure that offers a change request form or template is essential. Often, a project manager may receive a change request and, once the change idea is researched, find no need for the change. Be sure to stick to your change request rules and make sure your team members are aware of the rules and agree to follow them.

    If a change requested is deemed to be necessary for your project, you should assign team members to initialize the change as well as hold a team meeting to explain the change. The main focus of change management is analyzing problems up front. When change is the only option during a project, having good change request guidelines will ensure you aren't inundated with requests that are meaningless or won't even affect the project outcome.

    Good change management skills include planning, controls, and managing change or the need for change. Your change request process should outline your controls as well as a good change control tracking method for use on future projects. To have good change management in your organization, write a change control process first that includes specific rules on submitting change requests.



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