Creating a product or a solution is a rigorous task involving many creations and updating processes. It is a total of multiple tasks carried out by multiple stakeholders and members of different teams to create an excellent final product. One such process in creating a solution, which is not mandatory but comes up sometimes, is a request for change. While it comes as a problematic issue for most, the person who is an expert with ITIL 4F Certification has the complete knowledge and expertise to handle this task efficiently. This article will give us an overview of the request for a change process.
What Is a Request for Change
A request for change is a request which comes in the form of a document and is a part of the change management process. It clearly defines the reasons for the desired change in the system or application and must be clear and concise about what must be achieved and how the changes are to be implemented.
When a client or team member comes up with a proposal to change a product or a system, it is known as a RFC in ITIL. This happens mostly for legitimate reasons when the product does not match the client’s goals or can be created in the form of a better product. In a business environment that is constantly changing, the clients are often unsure of the product they want and thus might need an alteration in the middle of the project.
The best way of handling change is by managing it. Avoiding it is a poor option; thus, organizations must not resist change. The alteration can bring in more opportunities adding value to the project.
How to Write a Request for Change?
There is a proper structure and a change request procedure that should be adhered to make the most effective request properly. The elements of an effective change request are mentioned below.
1. Project Name
This portion contains the project details that help ensure that the change is applied to the desired area of the solution. It contains elements such as
- The unique name of the project or identifier used by the organization and the client to identify projects, solutions, and initiatives.
- The version of the product that is to be impacted by the change.
2. Request number
The change management request form must have a unique identifier number. This makes it easy for the stakeholders to identify and use specific requests for change filings and also assists in capturing change requests within the Project Change Log.
This part identifies the person who is initiating the request for change. It might be a part of the internal stakeholders and team or the client stakeholder.
4. Description of the change
This section contains all the essential information that helps an individual understand the request for change through a simple change request form. Here, the person initiating the request adds meaningful information, including a clear and concise description of the change. The person should avoid adding detailed business logic or complex verbose into the description.
5. Reason for the change
This is a vital section as it entails the reason for the change. It highlights the drivers behind the request for change, which can include the following-
- Alterations in the client’s business logic
- Changes in technology
- Regulatory change requirements
6. Impact of the change
The impact of the change section of the project change request template highlights the product or solution areas, such as documents or artifacts, that the change request might impact. These include-
- Specific business requirements
- Specific Business Documentation
- Product specifications
- Application modules
- Business rules or logic
7. Proposed action to be taken
In this part, the person requesting the change has to provide the details of the actions that are to be taken to address the change requirements. This might include details of-
- Functionality or application modules to be changed.
- Business requirements to be altered.
- Business logic or rules to be updated.
- Updated solution configuration
- Updates to Business Documentation
- Updates to Product Specifications
The contributors who work together to do a detailed analysis and create this section of the request for change include Data Analysts, Business Analysts, Enterprise Architects, Solution Architects, etc.
8. Business priority of the change
This section indicates the priority or urgency of the change that needs to be made. It also identifies the priority hierarchy in terms of critical, high, medium, or low levels of urgency. This helps the development leads, QA leads, and project managers allocate the right resources to the change process.
9. Status of the change
This part helps identify the step of the process where the change process lies. The four variants of the status of the request for change application are-
- In Review
The change request form template in the image above is taken from a change request document sample for the reader’s reference to get a clear picture what a change request looks like.
Importance of Change Request Process
The processes may occasionally call for tweaks and revisions to guarantee that the procedures and solutions remain current. There are multiple types of change requests that can be initiated depending on the final purpose of the change required. The importance of ITIL change requests can be summarized in the points below-
- To take charge of the process - The change request process helps the project manager handle the submitted requests. The forms and documentation help them track the process and be acquainted with the changes and modifications.
- Further improvements - A documented change request process helps the team members identify the critical areas that might also be available in other requests. It can also help the management determine how these requests impact multiple aspects of a project, including its effects on the budget or the losses the business has to face due to changes in product quality. Also, this request highlights all the issues the team must see to understand the full impact of the change process, to make significant improvements in the future.
- Imparts information - The request for change imparts essential information and keeps everyone involved in the project updated about the changes that are required. This helps them feel involved in the process, and thus, they can understand the impact of implementing such changes, which can help them stop making errors in the first place.
Steps for Managing Change Requests
Managing a change request is an extensive process that involves multiple processes and stakeholders. However, the project managers and team members must always be ready to encounter adjustments to a project. If the request for change is well-managed, which can be done with the help of change request tools, it can enhance communication among the team and improve efficiency. Mentioned below are a few points regarding managing a change request.
- Identify the scope of change - Change requests could be about a project, product, process, or function. It is crucial to involve all the stakeholders when starting the process to know what is needed and whether the request is valid. They can therefore decide whether to accept or reject the alteration request. They must comprehend whether the change is feasible as well.
- Plan implementation - If the team members consider the change viable, they must begin planning the implementation. They should formulate the necessary documentation on the change request form. Also, they must predict the impact of the change request on the scope, schedule, implementation process and budget of the project. Any possible outcome can impact the whole budget and ad. Thus, all possible outcomes must be highlighted clearly.
- Approval or Rejection - The managers can either approve or reject the request based on the recommendation and the results devised from the second step. In this, the urgency and enormity of the project must also be considered.
- Implementation - Once approved, teams should be notified about the request for the change process and provided with a schedule for carrying out the same. The team members must be notified about the deliverables, and the report will be compiled regarding the change.
- Closure - The team members must close the project after implementing the change. They must carry out a complete post-mortem to identify whether there was a significant transformation in the project and how this can be prevented in the future. Also, they must pay greater attention to the budget and potential impact on the stakeholders.
Request for Change Template/Examples
Before understanding the templates, let's have a quick look at the Change Types:
- Standard Change: These are low risk, low impact, pre-approved and repeatable changes.
- Normal Change: These changes do have a considerable impact and are well planned.
- Emergency: These changes are required to be implemented as soon as possible without following a standard process.
Mentioned below is a request for a change template and a sample change request form that can be used as a reference for creating a request for a change document.
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