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Change impact assessment template

Mapping impacts of the project on key audiences

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Use this template for mapping the impacts of a project or initiative on key audiences to guide you in the change planning process. 

A change impact assessment is most commonly started at project initiation. It provides key stakeholders and decision-makers with a view of the degree of the impacts. By using this template, you’ll gain a better understanding of the potential effects of implementing changes. This could be how it affects your team's workload, organizational processes, or overall customer experience. Through this assessment, you’ll be able to evaluate factors such as scope, resources, and bandwidth to inform decision-making and minimize risks.  

The change impact assessment template helps you determine: 

  • Who'll be impacted by the change(s)
  • How they will be impacted 
  • What activities you need to consider and plan for 
  • Which changes have minimal risk  
  • What kind of messaging will help bring changes to life for impacted roles

How to use the change impact assessment template

To get the most out of the change impact assessment template, follow the steps outlined below.

1. List out stakeholders 

The first step is to list out all of the stakeholder teams or roles that would be affected by the change. If you have an organizational chart for your company, it would be beneficial to refer to it during this step to identify impacted audiences. Once you have everyone identified, group them by department, area, or function if it helps organize your list. 

2. Review change dimensions 

Next, review the existing change dimensions on the template. Our template includes common change dimensions that companies often use to evaluate impact, such as:

  • Customer experience
  • Location
  • Process, policies, and procedures 
  • Skills and knowledge

However, every company is different, and you might have additional change dimensions that aren't listed but would be helpful to add to the template. 

3. Identify impacts for each group 

In this step, identify which change dimension impacts each group as well as the relative complexity. Add a colored sticky note based on the change complexity and a short description of the impact on each group. Our template has three colored sticky notes to represent a complexity rating scale: 

  • Green sticky note (low complexity): Minimal impact on the current ways of working as the changes are routine, easily absorbed, contained in a single function or area, and mitigated through area leadership and their teams. 
  • Orange sticky note (medium complexity): Impacts are contained within a department, a working shift is required for internal functions, change facilitation is needed for readiness planning and cross-functional alignment, and there will likely be an impact and dependency on other programs. 
  • Purple sticky note (high complexity): Typically affects a new customer segment or acts as a potential market disruptor. This impacts most, if not all, teams and requires stakeholder alignment across internal and external members. It also requires shareholder or board visibility as significant ways of working will change. 

4. Validate complexity ratings with stakeholders 

In the final step, review and confirm the accuracy of the impact and complexity ratings with relevant stakeholders. If you initially ran this assessment without everyone involved, it’s important to get their input before moving forward. They'll be able to provide more in-depth detail on the impact of the change as well as more accurate language that resonates with their area. 

Tips for running a change impact assessment session  

  • Before the assessment session, prepare a Change Narrative, an elevator pitch for non-technical audiences to create a shared understanding of why the change is occurring. 
  • As you identify impacts for each group, continue referring to the Change Narrative to understand the rationale and implications to the business. 
  • Use consistent and clear language when describing the impacts. Consider developing a category naming system for the different types of impacts (e.g., organizational, operational, financial, cultural).
  • Write all ideas and questions down. Highlight any uncertainty that requires more clarification on a specific impact. 
  • Set a date to come back and evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness of your predictions. It’s also an opportunity to improve the change impact assessment process.

How to create a Change impact assessment template

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Change impact assessment template frequently asked questions

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What is in a change impact assessment?

What are the 10 aspects of change impact?

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