Change Request

Definition of Change Request

A change request, in the context of technology, refers to a formal proposal for modifying a system, application, or overall project. It usually includes a description of the requested change, the reasons behind it, and potential impacts on the project’s timeline, budget, or resources. Change requests are typically reviewed and approved by a designated authority or team before implementation, to ensure they align with the project’s goals and objectives.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Change Request” is:Change: /tʃeɪndʒ/Request: /rɪˈkwɛst/

Key Takeaways

  1. A Change Request is a formal proposal for an alteration to a project, system, or product, often used to improve aspects such as design, function, or performance.
  2. Effective change management requires proper evaluation, prioritization, and approval of change requests, minimizing risks and ensuring a smooth implementation process.
  3. Change Requests should be clearly documented and communicated, involving relevant stakeholders, maintaining transparency, and keeping track of the project’s progress and impacts.

Importance of Change Request

The term “Change Request” is significant in the technology field as it represents a formal proposal for the modification or enhancement of a software program, application, or system.

By incorporating a structured change request process, stakeholders can assess, prioritize, and manage these changes coherently within a project’s boundaries.

This disciplined approach reduces the risk of errors, miscommunication, and scope creep, ensuring that a project adheres to its objectives, specifications, and deadlines.

Furthermore, change requests contribute to the flexibility of a project, enabling teams to adapt to new requirements, accommodate shifting needs, and deliver a superior end product that meets or exceeds users’ expectations.


A change request serves as an integral component in the management of a project or a system, as it ensures that potential modifications are thoroughly examined, evaluated, and implemented in an efficient, organized, and controlled manner. In the realm of software development, project management, and IT services, change requests are often initiated by project stakeholders, end-users, or team members to address evolving market needs, improve user experience, fix issues, or optimize system performance. The primary purpose of submitting a change request is to establish a well-documented and systematic approach to managing changes without disrupting the project’s stability and consistency.

By efficiently addressing the impact, costs, benefits, and potential risks of proposed changes, change requests help predict and manage the consequences of alterations, driving better decision-making and the successful completion of a project. When a change is requested, the involved parties follow a structured process to review and approve the potential modification. Initially, the change management team or a committee assesses the feasibility, urgency, and relevance of the proposed update.

This phase is crucial as it ensures that only necessary changes with a clear alignment to the project’s objectives are greenlit. Once a change request receives approval, it is communicated to relevant team members, who are then responsible for implementing, monitoring, and updating their respective work plans and schedules accordingly. As a result, change requests promote clear and transparent communication, helping project managers ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page and maintain a shared understanding of any deviations from the initial plan.

Consequently, change requests enable businesses to stay agile and responsive to ever-changing technological environments, ensuring their projects remain relevant, efficient, and aligned with their strategic goals.

Examples of Change Request

Software Development Projects: In many software development projects, change requests are a common part of the process. For example, a client may initially request a specific feature or functionality for a software application. As the project progresses and the development team encounters unforeseen challenges, or the client realizes their initial requirements were incomplete or not ideally suited to their needs, they may request changes to their initial plans. These change requests are formally documented and go through a review process to assess the feasibility, cost, and potential impact of such changes on the overall project before being approved, rejected, or modified.

Telecommunication Network Upgrades: In the telecommunication industry, network providers continually make upgrades and adjustments to their networks to enhance coverage, capacity, and overall network performance. A change request might be initiated when the network provider discovers the need for an upgrade, such as the addition of new cellular towers, implementation of new spectrum bands, or replacement of outdated equipment. Change requests in this context may be reviewed and approved by cross-functional teams within the organization, including engineering, finance, and regulatory departments, as well as any external stakeholders, such as local or national regulatory bodies.

Manufacturing Industry: In the manufacturing sector, change requests can be related to the design, production, or assembly processes of a product. For instance, if a manufacturing company identifies a more efficient or cost-effective approach to producing its products, they may initiate a change request to update their production processes. Alternatively, a supplier may notify the company of a change in the raw materials, which prompts the company to request a review of their production methods. Such change requests are typically reviewed by relevant stakeholders, including production managers, quality control teams, and finance teams, to ensure the proposed changes align with company objectives and minimize potential disruptions to the manufacturing process.

Frequently Asked Questions about Change Request

What is a Change Request?

A Change Request is a formal proposal or request for modifications to an existing project scope, product, or system. It is a document that outlines the necessary changes, the reasons behind them, and their potential impact on timelines, budget, or resources. Change Requests often occur when new information is discovered or client needs evolve during the project implementation process.

Why is a Change Request important?

A Change Request is crucial in managing changes to a project effectively and ensuring that all stakeholders are aware of the modifications. It helps maintain control over a project’s scope, schedule, and budget by documenting and assessing the impact of each change request. This process helps minimize the risk of project failure due to scope creep or misaligned expectations and fosters better communication between team members and clients.

What is the process for submitting a Change Request?

The process for submitting a Change Request generally includes the following steps:

  1. Identifying the need for a change and gathering key information.
  2. Documenting all relevant details in a formal Change Request form.
  3. Submitting the Change Request to the appropriate project stakeholders, such as the project manager or other decision-makers.
  4. Evaluating the Change Request, considering factors like feasibility, impact, and resource availability.
  5. Approving or rejecting the Change Request based on the evaluation.
  6. Implementing the approved change and updating relevant documentation, such as project plans, budgets, and schedules.
  7. Communicating the change to all affected stakeholders and ensuring they are aware of any new expectations or responsibilities.
  8. .

Who can submit a Change Request, and to whom should it be submitted?

A Change Request can be submitted by anyone involved in the project, such as team members, clients, sponsors, or stakeholders. The individual who identifies the need for a change is responsible for documenting and submitting the Change Request. Typically, Change Requests are submitted to the project manager or the change control board, a group responsible for assessing and approving or rejecting changes in a project.

What happens if a Change Request is approved?

If a Change Request is approved, the project team takes the necessary actions to implement the changes. This may include updating project documentation, reallocating resources, modifying the schedule or budget, and informing all relevant stakeholders of the change. The approved Change Request then becomes an integral part of the project plan, and the team is responsible for delivering the updated project scope.

What happens if a Change Request is rejected?

If a Change Request is rejected, the project team, client, or stakeholders will be informed of the decision and the reasons behind it. In some cases, the Change Request may need to be revised with additional information or modifications before being resubmitted for approval. The project will continue to move forward based on the original scope and plans, without implementing the changes outlined in the rejected Change Request.

Related Technology Terms

  • Requirements Management
  • Change Control Board (CCB)
  • Impact Analysis
  • Configuration Management
  • Change Request Process

Sources for More Information


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