There are a lot of blogs and websites that talk about best practices for implementing a project’s deliverables, but project success is more than implementation. Success also includes a project’s adoption and integration into everyday business within the company. However, roadblocks to success become evident when teams underestimate their project’s impact on the organization as a whole.
With all the moving parts of a project, it’s easy to be sucker punched by an unknown factor affecting your processes, people, or technology. To take a defensive position against your project, include an assessment of the impact that the project and its pieces will have on that department’s current state in your timeline and strategy. By defining the affected audiences and areas, you can target your efforts to establish a solid foundation on which to build your change management and future state blueprints. That strong foundation will also aid your teams when they develop their tactical plans for addressing the effect of the project on internal programs, such as risk mitigation.
At the core of an impact assessment is one question; “What effect does the change to, or creation of, a process have on the existing system?” From that core question, there are a few next steps for you to take in order to ensure that the impact assessment is complete and successful, including:
Accurately assigning a representative from each area to do the impact assessment.
A key here is to make sure the representatives know what the proposed changes are and why it is important for them to conduct the assessment.
Setting a reasonable deadline to receive all of the assessments.
You may be tempted to find out right away where your risk lies, but you must remember to give the representatives ample time to complete a thorough analysis of how the project will impact their work. A rushed assessment will not provide the quality of data needed to create successful change management strategies.
Compiling all of the assessments in one place.
After documenting all of the project impacts, publish all of your impact assessments in one place that is easily accessed by department heads, team leaders, and anyone else who might need to be looped in on project impacts. This ensures that you will have a complete view of both the areas that have impacts and those that don’t, as well as an archive from which to draw insights for avoiding future project weaknesses or recreating successes.
With a completed impact assessment, you can reduce the risk of implementation delay or failure. The departments that will feel the effects of the project will know that they have been considered and are more likely to have a smoother adjustment period, and more time to prepare their staff for using new technologies and processes. By keeping your gloves up and conducting an impact assessment, you will protect your organization from the unexpected right-hooks of your project.
Want to See an Impact Assessment in Action?”