A Change Request Form Template for Comprehensively Managing Project Scope

Each project management team needs to focus in on managing changes through effective use of a Change Request template structure

by Rod Dunne on February 22, 2011

in Creative

Your change request form is one of the key tools used in project change management. It is a dynamic document used to specify what changes are requested, the impact they will have one sort of decisions are made about the change (i.e. to approve or reject it).

In this post I’ll show you what the key structures and change requests should be whether you are using simple word documents or a dedicated change management software utility.

Change is always going to occur in projects so your overall project proposal template and project plans should factor in change as well as how risks issues arranged and change requests handled in general terms.


The basic structure of the change request form has three key sections as follows.

Section 1:  Details of the proposed change

This section allows the project manager to define exactly what changes have been requested. In some circumstances the originator of the change request (e.g. a person from another team your department) may actually fill out this section as part of the project change management template. It is important however that the project manager reviews and edits the section so that they are familiar with what the actual request is.

  • Description of the change request: Included technical description all of what alterations, issues or productivity improvement ideas have been defined.
  • Goals, benefits or reasons behind the change in: Provide details of the value proposition for making this change.

Section 2: Impact assessment

The project manager should complete this section in cooperation with their team members. Sometimes it is beneficial to have team members help with the assessment in order to provide technical details of how long certain pieces of work will take. The project manager should assess any changes in relation to impact on innovation strategy plans or long-term business growth strategies for your team.

  • Identifiable benefits: Detail exactly what beneficial outcomes may be observed. This could include performance gains, increasing customers, extra website traffic etc.
  • Cost of change: Specify the financial cost of making the change or is more traditional to specified in terms of man days of work. This can then be used to assess if there is enough contingency in the plan or which other features/work need to be dropped to permit this change to be implemented.
  • Impact on schedule: All things being equal, how many days won’t implementing this change move your time-lines.
  • Resourcing impact: Specify what your current resourcing constraints are, workloads and availability of staff. Detail if employees from other teams could conceivably do the same work.
  • Effect on dependent projects: Detail if other projects will need to be technically involved, at least in testing, the change request.

Section 3:  Change decision

This section is to be filled out by the approver for the change request (i.e. this may not necessarily be the project manager themselves, but most likely be a project sponsor) at the end of the project change management steering meeting.

  • Decision outcome: You specify if the change request has been approved or declined. There can be nuance in approving a change request as you may additionally specify it is approved pending modifications are approved with deferred implementation (i.e. will not be immediately started).
  • Name of approver/decliner: The approver’s own name. Preferably signed for tracking and non-repudiation purposes.
  • Date of approval.

Related posts:
Introducing a seven step change management strategy  that’s easy to use

Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and sole writer Rod DunneI am the owner and sole writer on Product-ivity.com. This is my personal blog detailing troubleshooting tips for small businesses. Posts are based upon 2 decades in consultancy & innovation management within startups/maturing companies.

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