5 key questions to ask to assess the impacts of a change

When introducing a change you need to assess the impacts to be able to respond with the appropriate change approach to be able to support all impacted stakeholders in an effective way.

Some project teams and managers will down play the impacts that a change has on a team. When asked 'so is this a big change' the response may be 'it isn't much of a change' and then as you unpack the impact you realise that the change is bigger than most thought. The driver often to down playing the change is the perceived inconvenience or the amount of perceived effort there will be in managing the change, however what is undermined by downplaying the effect of the change is the project or program's ability to effectively manage the change for optimal results.

The top 5 to ask

So my initial questioning is really to get an idea of the impacts of the change. And here are my top 5:

1) Who is impacted by this change?

2) What products or processes need to be modified as a result of this change?

3) What technology changes need to be made?

4) Is anything changing in the physical environment?

5) Are there any policy changes that need to be made to support the change?

These are just conversation starters. A culmination of these questions creates an idea as to the impact the change will have on stakeholders, however it is just the beginning of the change impact assessment process. More to get the wheels turning in relation to what else there may be. By looking at particular aspects such as people, policy, process, technology and environment, these questions also begin to raise awareness to the facets of change to be considered by the project.

With one of the reasons for failure to adopt change being that the project didn't fully scope the extent of the change, this assists in raising this as an early issue to be dealt with.

So always remember these aspects for any change and be sure to ask the questions sooner rather than later.









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