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How to simplify the approvals of service requests

By ITIL® from Experience ©

Generally, when a service request is for system access or that it incurs spending, an authorization is required before it can be fulfilled. To reduce the burden on users some I.T. organizations have taken the responsibility of coordinating approvals of requests such as an Account Creation or the acquisitions of a new PC. The user simply has to make the request and I.T. takes care of getting the signatures.

The result is that I.T.:

  • Spend resources coordinating the approvals
  • Wastes resources chasing after approvals
  • Incurs process delays and increases the time required to fulfill the request (i.e. process white space1)
  • Cannot commit to an SLA as it does not control the entire process from end to end


A low-tech solution is to instruct all users that service requests requiring authorization can only be submitted by authorized people. For example, all requests for new or replacement of computers must be submitted by the user's manager.

Another approach is for each department to identify one admin individual responsible for all requests to I.T.. The advantage of this latest approach is that both the business and I.T. benefit since there is only one point of contact in the business to coordinate requests.

The result of using one of these methods is that all requests received by I.T. have already been approved thus, I.T. can simply complete the requests. Instructions can be added to the request forms with instructions to help communicate this business rule (see We need a simple Communication Plan that will be actioned). Of course management support always helps (see What does it mean to have CIO and management support).

Needless to say that a Service Catalogue tool that automatically send approval tasks to the right individual based on the user's position within the organization is best.


Last updated on: 2016-12-14


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"We should work on our process, not the outcome of our processes." W. Edwards Deming

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Implementation > Process
ITIL Process > Request Fulfillment



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