request for approval

Easy Ways to Submit a Successful Request for Approval (incl. 8 Templates)

Chances are if you’re working on anything of significance for your company, you’ll find yourself asking for approval on a variety of occasions. The people to which you submit your request may vary depending on the subject matter. Every request, whether it be project proposal approval, extending deadlines, or deliverable approval, for example, should be treated uniquely and given the proper care when drafting a request.

Best Practices for Approval Request Message Format

Whether it be time constraints, geographic restraints, or just the nature of your business, many instances arise where face-to-face requests cannot be made. Even when they can be made, they are often followed up by documentation. If your only chance for approval comes via an email, be sure to make it as persuasive as you can without going overboard.

It is your job to convince your boss or other powers that be why your request deserves to be approved. For managers, some requests are easier to approve than others. Milestone completion and approval may be easy. Deadline extension requests may not. Your ability to clearly state a well-founded justification for your request makes all the difference.

When crafting a request for approval, take the following best practices into consideration:

    1. Be clear and concise. Flowery words and overstating the purpose is not productive.
    1. Craft your subject line well to communicate the intent of the email.
    1. Know your audience. Craft your email with your audience in mind.
    1. Break up long requests into smaller sections with headers and bullet points.
    1. Describe the positive impact on the company this request would have if approved.
    1. Show Your enthusiasm for the matter pending approval.
  1. Put your best argument forward. You may be competing with other project teams for limited resources.

8 Types of Approvals Every Marketing Project Manager Needs to Obtain (inkl. Request for Approval Templates)

Project managers in agencies and companies of all kinds have a longstanding, committed relationship to requests for approval, especially if the nature of their projects are complex and require a significant amount of company resources.

For any team member or project manager whose typical day includes requests for approval, templates are a great way to start with a request outline and customize it according to the specific request. The more streamlined your request for approval writing process becomes, the more comfortable you’ll become asking for approval and advocating for yourself and your team.

Most managers want to say yes to requests. Nobody wants to be the bearer of the dreaded “NO.” That being said, they must be presented with a clear and convincing argument that demonstrates your competence and confidence in the project. A well-crafted request based off of a consistent template will do just that, and it will provide a familiar, easy to read format for approvers.

Situation #1: Project proposal needs to be approved.

Project proposals may need approval both internally and externally. While the specific language may change slightly depending on the nature of the recipient, a standard format that states the request establishes a justification, explains the nature of the project and the approximate budget, among other information, will serve as a good template for future project proposal requests

Our Approval Email Template

Approval | Project Proposal

Hi [Name],

Our team has been hard at work envisioning the ideal [insert project] for your [insert organization]. We would like to request your approval for our project proposal so we can continue innovating!

For the past two weeks, we’ve spent a great deal of time investigating the myriad ways to approach this project, and to identify the ideal solution. We’ve come up with a really exciting project and we hope you’ll share our enthusiasm as we look forward.

Here is a brief summary of our proposal including the scope, budget, and objective:

[Insert Relevant Data]

Here are a few aspects of the proposal we are most excited about accomplishing. We hope these highlights accurately demonstrate the goal and vision of our project to you:

[Insert proposal highlights here]

Please let us know if there is any other information you need regarding our proposal to help you make your decision.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

Situation #2: Freelancers need to be hired due to increased workload. Project manager asks his supervisor for approval.

For this situation, internal approval from a manager is needed to release funds for hiring outside help. The focus of the email should be on justifying the need for a freelancer. The need for additional help may have not been initially planned, so your argument should be convincing. The style of this email may not need to be formal. But, make sure you’re reading your audience appropriately. Be sure to include the current workload of your team members, while identifying gaps in production that need to be remedied, as part of your justification.

Approval Email Template

Approval | Additional Help

Hi [Name],

I’m writing to request approval to hire a freelancer to help with the increased workload on Project _________. As you’re aware, our team has been working on [project] for the last [no. of days/months/etc.]. We are currently in ________ phase of the project. We’ve come across shortages in personnel due to unexpected increased workload as a result of _____________.

Reasons we have fell on increased workload include the following:

______

______

______

Hiring a freelancer to perform __________ work will remove an anticipated delay in project deliverables by _________ days. Furthermore, a freelancer will assist in work we are not able to perform because of __________.

If you need any other information to help inform your decision, please let me know.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Situation #3: Project takes longer than expected and the budget needs to be adjusted.

Either internal or external stakeholders may be addressed with this request for approval. Language directed at external stakeholders may need to be more formal, depending on the client. Internally, the formality of the language depends greatly on your current operating environment.

When requesting an adjustment in the budget, your language should be specific. Detail the exact circumstances that have resulted in the project delay. Describe why the circumstances were unavoidable in order to reassure the approver that the same circumstances won’t repeat themselves after the budget adjustment is approved.

Project timeline and budget adjustments are not uncommon at all. But the better you justify the reason for the adjustment, the more accepting the approver will be of the request. The language of the request should reassure the approver and avoid diminishing the positive energy around the project.

Approval Email Template

Approval | Budget Adjustment

Hi [Name],

I’m writing to request approval to adjust the budget on Project ______due to a delay in our timeline. As you’re aware, our team has been working on [project] for the last [no. of days/months/etc.]. Our team has been hard at work and completely invested in creating an excellent __________ for _____________. We are currently in ________ phase of the project, and we’re excited to approach the next deliverable. However, we’ve encountered unexpected delays in our deliverables due to the following circumstances:

__________

__________

__________

An adjustment of the budget will result in the following positive outcomes:

______

______

______

We are fully invested in staying on track for the remainder of this project. It has been our pleasure to create this _____________ for ______________.

If you need any other information to help inform your decision, please let me know.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Situation #4: Deadline will be missed and needs to be adjusted.

This situation is a little less sticky than a budget adjustment. However, clear and convincing justification should be given to reassure your approver, whether internal or external. Your missed deadline may affect subsequent deadlines, so authenticity is key here.

Explain the circumstances surrounding the delay, and what an extension would do for the project in terms of quality. Reiterate your commitment to sticking to the project timeline, and communicate your understanding of the importance of doing so.

Approval Email Template

Approval | Deadline Adjustment

Hi [Name],

I’m writing to request approval to extend the deadline on Project ______due to a delay in our forecasted timeline. As you’re aware, our team has been working on [project] for the last [no. of days/months/etc.]. Our team has been hard at work and completely invested in creating an excellent __________ for _____________. We are currently in ________ phase of the project, and we’re excited to approach the next deliverable. However, we’ve encountered unexpected delays in our deliverables due to the following circumstances:

__________

__________

__________

An adjustment of the deadline will result in the following positive outcomes:

______

______

______

We are fully invested in staying on track for the remainder of this project. It has been our pleasure to create this _____________ for ______________.

If you need any other information to help inform your decision, please let me know.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Situation #5: Requesting feedback and approval for particular project deliverable (for example, video, graphic or PDF)

Feedback and approval for a particular project deliverable is a much more routine process than requesting adjustments of time or budget. Because of that, your language can be more standardized. And, you can present the information in a more structured way that reflects the project management approach you’re using.

Within this approval request, include data such as project name, phase completed, next phase, deliverable, tracking ID (if using one), deliverable due date, acceptance criteria, etc. You can even present this in table format or another format that flows best with your firm’s operational tempo.

Approval Email Template

Approval | [Deliverable Name]

Dear [Name]I’m excited to inform you that we’ve completed phase ______ of project _________. We request your feedback and approval for this video project deliverable. Please see the following details for further background:

Project Title:_______________________________________

Project Start Date:__________________________________

Project Due Date:___________________________________

Project Sponsor:____________________________________

Project Manager:___________________________________

Project Contact Info:_________________________________

Team Members:____________________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Deliverable: _______________________

Deliverable Format: _______________________

Deliverable Due Date: _______________________

Current Phase: _______________________

Description of Deliverable:_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Acceptance Criteria: _______________________

Required Action: _______________________

Approver: _______________________

Approved?       YES / NO

Feedback: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Additional Comments: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Best

[Your Name]

Situation #6: New inquiries result in changing the project scope. Project scope has to be adjusted.

Approval for changing project scope should be straightforward if the inquiries are initiated by the client. Unlike a change in timeline or budget that originates from internal circumstances, external forces outside the scope of the project team have necessitated changes be made.

When this is the case, a simple and clear explanation of the inquiries and how they change the project scope is all that is needed. If it causes subsequent changes in budget and timeline, then more exploration of the situation should be offered. Otherwise, the purpose of this approval is to make sure all stakeholders are kept abreast of the changing scope of the project, and everyone supports the change.

Approval Email Template

Approval | Scope Adjustment

Hi [Name],I’m writing to request approval to change the scope of Project ______due to a new inquiries regarding ________________________  of the project. As you’re aware, our team has been working on [project] for the last [no. of days/months/etc.]. Our team has been hard at work and completely invested in creating an excellent __________ for _____________. We are currently in ________ phase of the project, and we’re excited to approach the next deliverable.

The current scope of Project ______________ is defined as follows:

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

The new scope of Project ____________________ will be defined as follows:

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Impact of the change in scope on the project:

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

It has been our pleasure to create this _____________ for ______________.

If you need any other information to help inform your decision, please let me know.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Situation #7: Project milestone is completed and needs to be approved.

Depending on the structure of your project, a project milestone could represent a single item, such as a video, graphic, or PDF. Or, it could represent a grouping of interrelated products. Either way, the format of your milestone approval request may be similar to that of a deliverable. Because of that, your language can be more standardized. And, you can present the information in a more structured way that reflects the project management approach you’re using.

Within this approval request, include data such as project name, phase completed, next phase, deliverable, tracking ID (if using one), deliverable due date, acceptance criteria, etc. You can even present this in table format or another format that flows best with your firm’s operational tempo.

Approval Email Template

Dear [Name]

I’m excited to inform you that we’ve completed Milestone ______ of project _________. We request your feedback and approval for this milestone. Please see the following details for further background:

Project Title:_______________________________________

Project Start Date:__________________________________

Project Due Date:___________________________________

Project Sponsor:____________________________________

Project Manager:___________________________________

Project Contact Info:_________________________________

Team Members:____________________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Due Date: _______________________

Current Phase: _______________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Acceptance Criteria: _______________________

Required Action: _______________________

Approver: _______________________

Approved?       YES / NO

Feedback: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Additional Comments: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Best

[Your Name]

Situation #8: Entire project is completed and delivered asking for feedback and approval.

This is perhaps the most comprehensive form of approval request compared to past examples. While you won’t need to relive the entire project in the course of your email body, you’ll need to provide enough information to give your reader a clear idea of the project’s journey from start to finish.

Depending on your firm’s organizational structure, you may need to submit the approval request information in a standardized form. If your agency is smaller, you may simply ask for approval and attach a link to the project site or original project proposal.

Approval Email Template

Project Completion

Project Title:_______________________________________Project Start Date:__________________________________

Project Due Date:___________________________________

Actual Project Completion Date:________________________

Project Sponsor:____________________________________

Project Manager:___________________________________

Project Contact Info:_________________________________

Team Members:____________________________________

Project Phase #1:_______________________

No. of Milestones in Phase:_______________

Phase Completion Date:____________________

Milestone #1: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date:_______________________________________________

Milestone #2: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone:_____________________________________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Milestone #3: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Project Phase #2:_______________________

No. of Milestones in Phase:_______________

Phase Completion Date:_________________

Milestone #1: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Milestone #2: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Milestone #3: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Project Phase #3:_______________________

No. of Milestones in Phase:_______________

Phase Completion Date:________________-

Milestone #1: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone:_____________________________________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Milestone #2: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Milestone #3: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Approver: _______________________

Approved?:       YES / NO

Approval Date: _________________________

Feedback: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Additional Comments: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Conclusion

The kind and number of approval requests are as limitless as the nature of your business. Whether you’re a large firm invested in large scale projects with multiple stakeholders, or a small scale startup with a small but cohesive design team, formulating a clear, well-articulated request can mean the difference between approval and project delay. Using a template can help you streamline the approval process, and keep the red tape down to a minimum.

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