How to do Impact Analysis,
with James Manktelow & Amy Carlson.
James Manktelow: Hello, I'm James Manktelow, CEO of MindTools.com, home to hundreds of free, career-boosting tools and resources.
Amy Carlson: And I'm Amy Carlson from Mind Tools.
Many of us have been through major changes in our organizations.
And, often, the impacts of major changes aren't well thought-through. When this happens, the results can be pretty disastrous.
Using a technique like Impact Analysis can help you avoid all this.
This technique allows you to brainstorm the unexpected negative side effects that a proposed change might cause.
JM: There are five steps to conducting an effective Impact Analysis.
First, you need to prepare.
As part of this, gather a good team of people, with access to all of the information you'll need about the proposed change.
Next, you need to brainstorm the major areas affected by the change - such as departments and business processes - and think about who or what it might affect.
Here, it's a good idea to use different approaches to make sure that you cover all relevant areas.
For instance, the McKinsey Seven-S Framework will help you to brainstorm potential impacts in areas such as strategy, systems, structure, and staffing.
AC: The third step in Impact Analysis is to look at all of the things affected by each of the areas that you just identified.
For instance, if you know that several departments will be affected by the potential change, or if you know of any processes that will be affected, then list them.
It can be easy to get bogged down in micro-detail here, so do what you can in the time you have available.
JM: Now you should have a list of everything that will be affected by this change. The next stage is to identify the positive and negative impact of each of these things.
What will be the biggest benefits of this change? What is it going to cost to manage the negative consequences?
Clearly, your analysis will be much better if you talk to people in key areas to get their views.
AC: Once you have a clearer picture of the effects of the change, it's time to take action. So your last step in conducting an Impact Analysis is to manage these effects.
Look at everything that you just mapped out.
Do you still want to go ahead with the proposed change?
Is it worth it?
How will you prepare the people affected by the change so that they'll support it?
Once you go over these important questions you can think about how you'll manage any negative effects. This gives you and your team a structured approach for anticipating and dealing with these problems.
JM: Impact Analysis helps you to spot potential flaws before you make a change, rather than implementing the change only to find that you've made a situation worse.
You can find out more about conducting an Impact Analysis in the article that accompanies this video.