Scope or: how to manage projects for organization success; impact analysis template

Share this:

On my previous post, Scope or:  how to manage projects for organization success that included the eBook Scope – Kills Bad Breath and Kills Projects [link below] I introduced the importance of scope before a project launches.  The numbers on project failure are sobering:  70% – 90% of all projects fail and this post follows up both the blog and eBook with the first template available for you to download and use:  The Impact Analysis.

With an impact analysis you hope to unearth the layers and levels that change will effect.  Just like tossing a pebble into a pond, projects cause ripples that carry beyond the initial splash.

An 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 you want to invite people into the change.  Invitation develops deeper commitment, understanding, and ownership to the change they will work and live within.  Involvement impacts success.

Toby Elwin, impact analysis, telwin, amajorc, template, scope management, risk, project management

Link to download Impact Analysis Template – fully editable Excel .xls file via Amazon Web Services

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 and eBook.

The goal of any impact analysis:

  • Understand sponsor goals and expectations;
  • Understand strategic context and intent;
  • Assess internal context:
    • stakeholders,
    • process, and
    • technology

Here’s Looking at You

A start guide to increase an impact assessment’s value:

  1. Identify impact issues through focus groups, interviews and conversations with key personnel, drawing on past experiences and knowledge, and project team discussions
  2. Categorize areas of impact;  the departments affected are identified (i.e., HR, Communications, etc.), employee positions affected are then ascertained, following classification of the impact issue by business area
  3. Prioritize impact by:
    • Frequency (i.e. how often)
    • Criticality (extent to which the impact threatens project success)
    • Complexity
    • Time Involved
    • Number of Business Areas Impacted
    • Position Impacted
    • Difficulty of Implementation
  4. Develop impact strategy:  After prioritizing the impacts, highest priorities are addressed 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.  Those issues with high degrees of impact are addressed first and given more time, energy and focus
  5. Implement:  After impact strategy development, the strategy is reviewed with the project sponsor.  Findings should be factored 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

Impact Analysis Objectives

  • Identify risk
  • Identify every touch point upstream and downstream of the project
  • Invite expert insight
  • Identify process inter-relationships affected
  • Collaborate
  • Ask for involvement
  • Discover critical success factors
  • Identify resistance
  • Share accountability
  • Who does it impact?
  • What will it impact?
  • When will it impact?

The template is fully customizable and provides not only a base line 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 presentation below.


  1. says

    Managers need to think broder and they should have the courage to convert impossible to possible .thats what i believe.Definitely managers should know how much they are important for their company and that is the way how they can do something unique for their company as well

    • says

      When management does not think of their role in the organization system it is leadership’s fault for letting the organization grow too fast, promoting individual contributors into management without clear preparation, and a broken culture.

      Managers, and others, focus on what makes their life easiest to accomplish tasks. In absence of guidance, direction, and consistency, they, like most, take care of themselves.

      There is a two-way accountability here. Thank you for the comment.

      What would you do to change manager disconnect?