There are only two reasons to start a project:
- Improve something that exists or
- Introduce something new
The numbers on project failure are sobering: 70% – 90% of all projects fail.
The more projects an organization has the more operation resources are unavailable. Scope is about the clear alignment the project delivers to strategy.
Impact All Around
This post follows up both the blog and eBook with the first template available for you to download and use: The Impact Analysis.
An impact analysis intends to unearth the layers and levels the project will affect. Just like tossing a pebble into a pond, projects cause ripples that carry beyond the initial splash. Too often projects sponsors fail to link the change a project has to people, process, and technology internal and external to the organization.
The impact analysis is an early-phase assessment to unearth all stakeholders, their needs, their awareness, and their insight into the project – these people are not only sponsors and customers, but the people to invite into the change journey as these folks could easily disrupt or halt all progress.
Invitation develops deeper commitment, understanding, and ownership to the change they will work and live within. Involvement impacts success.
Participation is the difference between getting a project done and getting a project accomplished. This is the beginning of risk management: managing the scope is managing the risk.
This blog and link to the downloadable and customizable Impact Analysis template coincides with slides 28 – 34 of the blog’s eBook.
The goal of any impact analysis:
- Understand sponsor goals and expectations;
- Understand strategic context and intent;
- Assess internal context:
- People – stakeholders,
- Process, and
Here’s Looking at You
A starting guide to increase an impact assessment’s value:
- Identify impact issues through focus groups, interviews and conversations with key personnel, drawing on past experiences and knowledge, and project team discussions
- Categorize areas of impact, identify:
- Departments affected (i.e., HR, Communications, etc.),
- Jobs/positions/roles affected,
- Classification of the impact issue, by business area
- Prioritize impact:
- Frequency (i.e. how often)
- Criticality (extent to which the impact threatens project success)
- Time Involved
- Number of Business Areas Impacted
- Position Impacted
- Difficulty of Implementation
- Develop impact strategy:
- After prioritizing the impacts, address highest priorities first. The focus is to address and minimize negative results of change and typically done during team meetings to ensure that the strategy will incorporate a diverse perspective. Addressed first and given more time, energy, and focus allows deeper commitment, understanding, and ownership – improves change management buy in.
- Identify risk:
- After impact assessment develop a strategy and review with the project sponsor. Findings should factor into the project scope and project constraints
Impact Analysis Principles
- An organization is inter-related and change to one unit causes bigger ripple effect;
- Identification of who is impacted will guide how to manage stakeholders, scope, training, communication;
- To understand impact you need to include every conceivable point of contact: customer, audience, influencer, competitor; and
- Time invested on impact directly improves:
- Scope planning,
- Project execution,
- Stakeholder awareness, and
- Project change management
Impact Analysis Objectives
- Identify risk
- Identify every touch point upstream and downstream of the project
- Invite expert insight
- Identify process inter-relationships affected
- Ask for involvement
- Discover critical success factors
- Identify resistance
- Share accountability
- Who does it impact?
- What will it impact?
- When will it impact?
Involvement impacts project success. True project scope identifies all involved in project success.
The template is fully customizable and provides not only a baseline view of impact, but a management, monitoring, and measurement tool along the project road. Select this link for an Excel.xls file to edit and build your Impact Assessment.
Also, view the Scope eBook presentation.