Automating the Change Request Process: A must-have for IT Projects

Change requests come with challenges, when managed wrong, it often leads to major headaches for IT operations. Efficient change control processes ensure project development & DevOps teams to stay on track and the impact of the updates on the business and on customers is minimum.

Lena Software

28 Sep 2020
Automating the Change Request Process:

Automating the Change Request Process: A must-have for IT Projects

In today’s IT environment, the only constant is change. Technology is advancing constantly and changes are a routine part of it. The automation of the change requests smooths the change management process, fuels innovation and process improvement. Whether the change is to a product, a project, a contract or hundreds of other change request use cases, you need to have a standardized, trustworthy change request control process to ensure that change activities are not full of confusion, errors, and trouble. Here are a few key points to manage an automated change request process and increase the speed of implementation.

Change requests comes with challenges, when managed wrong, it often leads to major headaches for IT operations. Efficient change control processes ensure project development & DevOps teams to stay on track and the impact of the updates on the business and on customers is minimum. 

When you clearly define and automate the controls and policies involved in project changes, project team members have a reliable way of ensuring deadlines are met and projects continue as they’re planned –without the headache.

Automating your change request management process for receiving, reviewing, and implementing change requests can increase project efficiency and create a positive impact on project outcomes.

How to manage project change requests

Change requests can come in all shapes and sizes and it is very important to standardize it as much as possible. When automating the process of change requests there are 3 main things that you should take into account: change request collection, routing and workflow, and tracking, reporting & impact analysis.

Effective change request collection

First and foremost, you need to collect change requests. The change request collection process is considered important as it provides the foundation for defining and managing the scope of the project. With that in mind, you should act on this process in a predictable method that helps your project and development team to boost the quality of your project.

The collection of change requirements is handled via forms which capture all necessary information to process a change request. This information can include fields category, importance, impact, complexity and so on.

An additional way of collecting these requests can be done by attaching documents that include additional information. But of course, capturing as much information as possible in the form itself is the best way to go as it enables smoother processing and retrieval.

Straight-forward routing workflows

Following a change request submission, we move on the next step. In this step, there needs to be a pre-built workflow to handle routing. Here, we look at the change request to find out if it is based on form information and see if it is marked as “High Importance” or “Not Urgent” to see how these requests should be handled.

We then figure out the milestones and sign-off points. For example, there might be a need to get more information from the team member who made the request. In that case, the change request can be routed back to the requester. These and many other aspects should be taken into account and clearly defined before building an effective change request automation.

Following that, you need to decide on who will be managing the approval process. Here is an example to explain it further:

A change request can start with an assessment team. The assessment team's recommendation, risk-level, justification, and approval can all be captured in a form. If this request is accepted, then it goes to the planning team where another form collects all the necessary information regarding the planning team's estimate, regression plan, and resource allocations. Once this is done, the request finally is passed to the implementation team for scheduling.

Powerful change request tracking, reporting & impact analysis

To be able to have a powerful change request tracking and reporting, all the analysis must be communicated before building the workflow automation. This helps to build the processes with the end reporting goals in mind. You can analyze your change request impacts easily and do not lost in details.

Let’s say, it’s important to know the time needed between change request stages on a specific project. With the right change process automation in place, you can easily find out about the time it takes between these two stages.

With reporting, you can clearly see which departments submit the most request. This ensures that none of the essential steps are missed and it also helps you to get the big picture about all the requests that are made.

A single point of control for all change requests

The best way to handle change requests is to have the right processes in place to manage them. A sure-fire way to do that is by using the right change request management tools. Once you have that, you can manage and track your workflow and ensure that every project team member stays in the loop. And because every step is recorded you can always go back and retrace your steps if something goes wrong.

Change requests no longer have to be disruptive. If you’re well-guarded with the right automation such as Maestro where you can seamlessly manage all the change requests in one place you can lead your team to success with speed and transparency.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can automate your change request process, start to use MaestroCR for free!

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