In an ideal world, projects would start with a pitch and they would simply be done in one go without any changes and alterations. But in reality, that’s rarely the case.
Whatever size project you’re working on, there are always some change requests coming from different directions. And handling them without compromising anyone’s productivity isn’t always an easy task.
Luckily, change requests templates are here to help you navigate those changes and prevent you from having any project management disasters.
What is a change request template?
A change request template is a document that helps you establish a structured and repeatable change request process. It’s a valuable piece of the puzzle in change management and helps teams across your company save time and focus on doing their best work.
But just like with everything else in business, different situations and tasks call for different change request templates. To make sure your teams are ready for any type of project, you should take a look at different change request forms and templates and adjust them to your needs.
Why you need a change request template
Creating an effective change request process can be harder than it seems. Of course, when working on an internal project in a smaller company, this can be a one step process with a short text in the Slack channel. But with bigger external projects things can get pretty tricky.
With a change request template, everyone working on the project (and the ones reviewing it) will know exactly which information to provide when requesting a change. And the more people are involved in the change process, the more important it is that there’s no space for different interpretations of change requests.
Here’s how change request templates improve your overall process:
- More standardized process
- Improved transparency
- Clear communication
1. Standardized change request process
Having a template for requesting changes in your organization will help build a more standardized process through different projects. That way you won’t ever have to worry about unclear requests that lack key information.
Also, everyone requesting changes will have to think through their proposals as they’ll have to provide some very tangible information like expected benefits and outcomes of the requested change.
At the end of the day, everyone included in the process will save time and stay focused on their most important tasks. No one will be wasting time on deciphering what someone means by a certain change request and going back and forth to get everyone on the same page.
2. Improved transparency
Once there is an established process in place with templates and guidelines on how to request a change, everyone will enjoy the benefits of improved transparency. Just think of the times when your colleague dropped you a message with a “quick change request”.
This not only removed your focus from what you were doing, but also decreased transparency as no one else involved with the project could see or agree with any of what’s been requested. It didn’t go through a standardized process and through everyone that was supposed to approve it.
So, if you want to say goodbye to feedback chaos and getting change requests through various channels, try using templates to build your own change request form.
3. Clear communication
One great thing about templates and forms is that they leave no space for misinterpretation. There’s nothing more exhausting than scheduling meetings to align on something that could have been solved with a form.
With a template, it’s almost impossible for a project manager to have one takeaway from the request and then the person implementing the change a completely different takeaway. Thanks to clear communication, you’ll avoid making mistakes and everyone will save time on aligning the requests.
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9 more change request forms and templates for every situation
The success of your project hinges on your ability to take control of the change request process. One of the best ways to own this process and set yourself up for success is by using clear and practical change request templates and forms.
You should share these templates with your stakeholders at the outset of the project (or even the feedback phase). These templates will help you make the changes you receive more useful.
These templates will also help your stakeholders structure their feedback in a predictable way. And they help you make sure change requests are realistic and within the scope of your project.
We’ve put together this free change request template to help you secure realistic and actionable feedback for you and your team.
1. Online change request form
CSS-Tricks has a great example of a website change request form template. This form is hosted on this site, and it allows its visitors to request changes. You can see that the form includes a range of fields that guide feedback, in order to make sure it’s constructive and actionable.
2. Excel change request template
Smartsheet offers an excel change request template, which makes it easy for your stakeholders to track which project their change corresponds to. It also gives a variety of additional information. If Excel is the preferred tool of choice in your organization, this tool could be helpful.
3. Excel change request template (direct download)
The University of Western Sydney offers a simple yet effective Excel change request template. Your stakeholders will be able to use this form to request their changes without derailing your project.
4. Change request document template
MyPM offers a document change request form template that’s available in both Word and PDF formats. This form asks the stakeholder to provide a wide range of information, including the reason for the requests and the risks that might arise from it.
5. Change management form template
Project Management Docs offers a change management form that you can use for project management. Available as a Word doc, this template clearly asks stakeholders to strategically outline the necessary changes. It will ask why the change is being made, the risks involved, and the alternatives being considered.
6. Project change request form
The University of Waterloo has a project management office, and they shared their project change request form. This template can help with the request, approval, and documentation of changes related to your project. Since the template comes as a Word doc, it’s a great choice for organizations where MS Office is used.
7. Project change request template
The University of California has a detailed change request template for projects that’s free to download. This Word doc provides a lot of information for stakeholders, including the reasons why the template exists, how it should be used, and how to get the most from it. If you want the most comprehensive template possible, this option will work well for you.
8. Website change request form template
WPForms is a leading WordPress plugin that helps businesses and individuals collect information through attractive forms. This plugin offers a change request template, which makes it easy to collect change requests online. This plugin is simple to use, and you can get an attractive online form for change requests up and running in no time.
9. Simple change request form
Project Templates Guru offers a simple change request form. Available as a Word doc, the request form runs across a single page and speeds up the change request process. You may find that your stakeholders are more likely to constructively interact with this template than more exhaustive options.
Three change request examples
Change requests are formal requests about changing certain elements of the project. These requests can have a major impact on the course of the project and its outcome depending on what they are about.
Here are three most common examples of project change requests:
- Changing the project processes
- Changing the methods and strategies for the project
- Changing deadlines and timeline
1. Changing the project processes
Project processes are a result of the company’s goals and objectives and have a big impact on how the project will be carried out. The project processes typically consist of setting up clear goals and objectives, reporting through the project and setting up the tools that you’ll need during the project.
Requesting changes in that aspect of the project means changing one of the core elements of the project like objectives or the tools that will be used throughout.
This change can cause a whole project to collapse if not handled properly. That’s why it’s important that you make sure to establish good change management.
And you can do this by incorporating the parts of the project that are already done to the new processes instead of doing everything from scratch.
2. Changing the methods and strategies for the project
Methods and strategies are concrete ways of how the project will be run. Here you determine whether the project will be done in an agile or a more traditional way.
These strategies guide everyone on a day-to-day basis and make sure that the project is carried out in the optimal way. And requesting to change your team’s methodology from agile to traditional means a lot to everyone involved in the project.
It means that their role in the team and how they document and track progress will change significantly. So once you implement this change, make sure that you follow up with adequate strategies and tools for making the transition as smooth as possible.
3. Changing deadlines and timelines
This change is a pretty obvious and tangible one. Deadlines in the project are not just the final due dates until the project needs to be fully completed. It includes a range of deadlines for every milestone and review step you’ll have.
Such changes are straightforward and leave no space for misunderstanding, but can also impact other aspects of the project. That’s why it’s best to communicate such changes in a timely fashion so everyone can prioritize their work.
Change requests are difficult to master without a good change request template to follow. You can easily miss out important information and turn projects into chaos instead of success. That’s why you should never be shy to use templates and introduce a new process to your organization!