Imagine this… as a project team member you know a change is coming, but you have no idea how big the change really is [scale and/or significance], and who will be impacted the most.
The team begins to feel uneasy, and you think, there has to be a way to measure the impact of the change.
And, you’re right, a change impact assessment can help you answer the question: How big is it?
How does it answer that question? It identifies:
- Who is impacted (by role)
- The number of people in each role
- What is changing
- When it is changing
- The degree of impact (low, medium, or high)
- If training is required
- Key issues
The insights provided by the assessment help you and the team prioritize the upcoming changes. This allows the team to devote time and resources to the areas that will experience the highest levels of change.
Focusing resources on the highest priorities will help to accelerate the change and generate the largest return on investment.
While the change impact assessment is a useful tool, it is most successful when used properly.
Let’s take a look at when and how the assessment should be used.
- Timing – Conduct the assessment when “what” is changing has been identified.
- Best practice – Use the current state and future state process flows to determine “what” is changing, and provide focus for analysis.
Important note: the project sponsor must approve the use of this tool prior to using it. Using this tool without the permission of the sponsor can cause confusion, resistance, and loss of credibility.
Change can be unsettling. Using a change impact assessment shines light on the upcoming change and gives the project team tangible ways to minimize the impact.
About the Author
Heather Segelke is highly skilled in organization change management. She co-founded 6th Level Consulting Group and is currently a Managing Partner.