A Comprehensive Guide to IT Project Request Management

Every business wants to make the right investment decisions. Project investments are crucial for their growth. To have smooth project investments, companies implement project management. Project management is complex, especially when there are many organizational constraints.

As information technology intensified into a critical resource for the modern-day business environment, its application too became crucial. Information technology can help gain organizational efficiency, improve the firm’s operational effectiveness, and secure competitive advantage by formulating explicit strategies. The long-term viability of organizational growth invariably depends on the practical implementation of IT in its business processes.

A Comprehensive Guide to IT Project Request Management

Project Request Management

Before going into project request management, you need to know what is a project and what is a workflow?

A project can be defined as a set of tasks that is completed sequentially to arrive at a particular goal. The tasks can be simple or elaborate, depending on the scope of the project. The tasks can also be broken down into simpler ones in order to avoid chaos and achieve the set goals. A project will have six phases – scope, stakeholder, deliverable, milestone, resources, and dependencies. A project manager runs the project and oversees every aspect from beginning to end in each phase.

Workflows can be defined as a series of activities that are essential for completing a task. Each activity in a workflow has a specific step before and after each activity. This helps the workflow to be linear and flexible, and when the last step is completed, the first step will be initiated.

Both project and workflow sound similar, right? Well, sometimes the words “workflow” and “project” get interchanged. Though they have a lot in common, they have unique purposes. The main difference between projects and workflow is that projects are temporary and one-time things. Once initiated, it will be active during its lifecycle and get over when all of its tasks are completed. At the same time, workflow is a repetitive function and periodic process which is repeated within an organization. Since the project is time-bound and workflow happens all the time, you will need separate project management and workflow management software to monitor it efficiently.

A request management system can effectively bring order to a chaotic environment as you can streamline requests irrespective of their origin. Any employee can use the request management system easily with its customizable options. Moreover, the system can be customized to suit different requests – whether created by vendors, customers, or any department within the organization. Here the workflow is of paramount importance as it makes things easier for servers and concerned people to process a query. The forms can also be fully customized as per the organizational requirements.

Any business process within the IT department in an integrated format is initiated by requesting new development work or by analyzing a problem with the existing system. The project request management can receive requests from clients, IT management, and the IT steering committee. The project requests don’t always need to be an initiation of a new project, but also, they can be in the form of problems, opportunities, and directives from the corporate strategic plan.

IT Project Request

The employee in your organization submits a project proposal to the IT department concerning undertaking a new project. The employee submits the project request to the IT department on their individual, departmental, or client’s behalf. Security protocols, network logistics, hardware setups, security protocols, repairs, software installations, and any other updates are some of the categories of IT projects.

The employees use the IT system request forms to submit a new system request. An IT system request form provides all the necessary information for the new system requests. Generally, an IT request form comprises the project title, description, budget, and other details. The IT project request form comprises information such as:

This is a simple IT project request form template:

Request submitted date
Project title
Project owner
Project sponsor
Funding sources
Budgeted amount
Proposed date/”Go Live” date
Project description
Milestones
Project outcomes
Requested IT services
Project justification
Proposed location of the program
Required equipment
Vendor information
Risk factors
Stakeholders
Special instructions (if any)
Decision
Project completion date
Comments
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Basic principles of Request Forms

There are certain basic principles of a project or a service request. How does the IT department cope with digital transformation?

  • Make sure the request management has a single portal where all the employees can interact with the IT department. The user can report an issue, request a service, initiate new project proposals, and seek knowledge from a centralized portal.
  • There is enough communication among the departments when the project requests are initiated. The departments should be engaged such that they understand that circumventing the process cannot be done. So, when a poorly crafted IT system request form is submitted, it will be difficult for the concerned teams to track and manage the requests and implement them on time.
  • When there is an established workflow for common IT system requests, it can be codified within the service request management toolset and allow for automation.
  • When the workflow is automated, the approvals can be made easier, and the tasks can be fulfilled without exceptions and conditional approvals.

IT system request form

A system request form can be defined as the form which is used for requesting a new system, requesting any changes in the network or the computer system. The IT system request form either comes from customers or employees to the IT department. If you are a network or a systems administrator, then you can use this template to create IT system request forms.

The templates used to create IT systems request forms comprise fields that are fully customizable with an in-built builder panel. Generally, users can work in this panel without much coding. The users will be allowed to add more questions to collect more information, modify existing fields, and also to remove fields as per necessity. The IT system request forms allow you to embed them in your project management software and also to be sent as an email link, allowing flexible sharing. Each IT systems request form submission will auto-populate your existing project management account and also integrate with other accounts and websites.

A sample IT system request form template comprises of:

IT System Request Form
Requested Service Hosting Home Driver Storage
Backup (restore) Cloud Service
Server Configuration Patch Management
Other
Additional Request
Urgency Very Important High Medium Low Not Important
Technician System Admin IT Security System Analyst
Contact Information
Customer / Employee Name
Customer / Employee email id
Customer / Employee contact number
File Details Upload any file that you want
Submit

Use of request forms in project management

When you use a request form, you can easily keep track of the requests as they come in. For instance, when there is a need for a desktop/laptop , the concerned department uses the IT system request form. The project request form enables departments to set up a formal process where they can track submissions, evaluations, and implementation of those project requests. The departments can have enhanced end-to-end control over the project requests.

A request management software comprises two parts:

1) a project request form builder that admins can access to create and edit the project request template.
2) the project request form used by requesters.

Importance of project request forms

When there is no standard request process, management becomes chaotic as project requests tend to come from various channels: formal business meetings, informal hallway conversations, instant messages, and emails.

When the project requests come from multiple channels and are not coordinated properly, chances of missing crucial details, duplicating information, and conflicting data happen. Moreover, unorganized project requests don’t provide the exact information you are looking for upfront. Not providing complete requirements is one of the main causes of project failure.

In addition, when you have an organized and centralized request management process, the changes can be made without impacting the approvals and assessments. Project request forms can help you make changes without impacting the assessments and approvals. For instance, when employees use an IT system request form, they can enable a more processed and coordinated workflow with each request. They can also prioritize and add structure to the workflow to simplify the entire work request process. Housing these project request forms and processes within your request management software allows the project requests to be centralized in a common place where all the stakeholders can access and monitor them. This improves communication and accountability. All the team members can see what project is going on, what others are doing, and what the upcoming projects are. Project request forms can keep track of the daily progress, and employees can have real-time access to when they have access to request management software.

Some of the features of a project request form include:

  • With project request forms, you can automatically set start and end dates for new and existing projects. The dates can be matched with your requested time to make it flexible with your schedule.
  • Using visual dashboards, you can segment and monitor different types of project requests efficiently.
  • Report, aggregate, and analyze your custom field responses in your project request forms and can display the numerical and other data present in the projects separately for easy understanding.
  • The custom field enabled in the project request forms helps you to instantly create a reference for each project or task to manage them easily.
  • Well-protected data security is enabled by using request management software as it monitors who has proper access.

Project Request Approval Workflow

Let’s see how the project request forms actually work in detail. So, when an employee submits a project request form for approval, it triggers a business process. This is placed as an event in the list of work items to the concerned approval person. This is generally accessed in the approval field on the project request page when the organization uses request management software or project management software. Here only users with the permission to access the project approval page can approve, decline, return or cost a project request. When the approver does any of these four actions, the project request will be removed from the approver’s worklist. Following are the steps that occur in a project request form approval workflow:

  • An employee creates and saves a new project request form. Based on the project initiation, the owner and approver fields will be populated automatically, which marks the status as Pending.
  • Now the employee submits the project request form for approval by clicking on the submit button on the project request page. Both the employee and the approver will be notified as Submitted.
  • The system sends the submitted project request form to the approver’s worklist and will be notified.
  • Now, the approver views the worklist, clicks on the project request link, and reviews it.
  • The approver will do any of the following actions based on the project’s nature:Approve:When the approver selects the “approve” option, the system then asks for further ways to respond depending on the nature of the approval needed – if the funding department manager’s approval is required. If the funding manager approves, the status will change to “operationally approved,” and the system returns the project request to the cost page. Here the final approval will be given provided all the funding information is provided correctly. If the funding department declines the project, then the same project request cannot be resubmitted. But when the funding department returns it, you can make necessary changes and resubmit it for approval. If you don’t need the funding department’s approval, you can set the process, and when the concerned approver approves the project request, then the project status becomes “active.”Returns:The approver can return a project request when there isn’t sufficient information mentioned in the project request form. The system automatically updates the project requests when they are returned and adds them to the requester’s worklist. The employee can rework the project request form, make additional changes, and resubmit it. Then the approval process starts from the beginning all over again.Decline/reject:

    When the approver declines the project request, it will be automatically updated in the system. If it is properly integrated with the project management system, then the corresponding status approvals will be done quite easily, and the changes can also be monitored effortlessly.

    Cost:

    When the approver moves the request to cost, it means that the project manager needs detailed cost information and requests to update it. Once the detailed cost information is provided, then the project manager approves it, and the project becomes active.

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Project Request Form Templates

You can define templates that can be used to create project requests. The templates have similar characteristics and structures, which can be used for something that is done repeatedly or periodically. For instance, when you have an IT project request form template, it can be used by employees to create new project requests regularly. Project request form templates serve as best practices for some project types and are time-saving and productive.

The project request form templates generally comprise fields such as ID, description, cost, milestone, risks, stakeholders’ information, etc. When an employee establishes a new project request, they can either create it from scratch or they can use the template and modify the necessary details. Moreover, to maintain the templates, you need to use request management software or any project management software which can be integrated with your system. These systems can be fed with the templates and can provide control as to who can access and modify these templates.

The project request form templates differ from the project requests:

  • The project request form templates are not involved in the workflow’s approval process.
  • Employees cannot submit the project request form template alone for approval or cancel it.
  • The project request form template cannot be included in the portfolio analysis.
  • Sometimes, you cannot create or modify different versions of the template.

Accordingly, you can use request management software to maintain the project request form templates. Users can access the templates from the search page in the software and can view, edit, or update a template as per the requirement.

ITSM request management

IT service management (ITSM) can be defined as the process of designing, supplying, managing, and developing the IT services in an organization to its end users. The objectives of the ITSM are generally aligned with the organization’s IT processes and business objectives. ITSM is important for an organization as it encompasses tasks and responsibilities connecting all the departments in the entire organization. Managing the services can be challenging, and fulfilling customers’ expectations is paramount. Therefore, businesses depend on the ITSM to effectively coordinate and manage the tasks and processes, maintaining customer satisfaction. Since ITSM comprises policies and processes for supporting IT services, they help improve overall organizational efficiency and employee productivity. Using this, you can efficiently manage IT project requests.

Making a new project investment can be challenging and requires approvals at different levels and in-depth analysis. Here is where you can use Cflow, which is a multi-purpose workflow software with holistic request management features. The software can help in managing system requests, project requests, and any other requests. These requests can be streamlined and automated, which helps in bringing the most ROI. Cflow is an affordable solution. Using Cflow’s request management system, you can easily create and accept requests and can be forwarded to the right person in the right team and be notified of what is happening within the organization. The software with its robust features connects different departments and boosts organizational performance and capability.

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