During the implementation phase of a BPI project, you have to think about the changes that need to occur in order for the new improved process to work as designed. Will the finance department have an objection to a particular change for some reason? Will another department affected by a handoff have a concern? Will a stakeholder disagree with a proposed change? Business process improvement does cause changes to occur in any organization and not everyone likes change.
The impact analysis, a key component of the implementation phase in any BPI project, provides you with a tool to use in identifying all the issues that can surface that could create roadblocks to your implementation. Develop the impact analysis by walking through the newly improved process map and identifying any activity that requires a change in the organization. Create a table in Microsoft Word or Excel that includes the following information for any potential problem area you identify:
- Reference number
- Process change
- Area impacted
- Population/group impacted
- Change management
- Process change: This is where you describe the change that has to occur. For example, eliminate three of the current approval levels. You have to decide if you will include changes that only affect external groups (outside the sponsor’s span of control) or all groups.
- Rationale: State why the change is important to the business. For example, reduces cycle time by speeding up the approval process.
- Area impacted: List the departments or business areas impacted by the change. For example, purchasing, legal, or entire company.
- Population/group impacted: List the population or groups impacted by the change. For example, purchasing manager, vendors, or clients.
- Change management: This is an explanation of the anticipated push back you expect with the proposed change. For example: Purchasing may not feel comfortable with a reduced number of approvals and may want to set a dollar limit for purchasing approvals, or Clients are not accustomed to being told “no” even though their request falls outside the department’s guidelines.
You can do this step at the end of your work or while you are building the new process map, but I like to jot down notes while building the new map because you hear the project team’s discussion about potential problems and this helps you to remember everything.
Sponsors appreciate the impact analysis because they often own most of the responsibility for gaining agreement on the required changes and this summary gives them the information they need to do their job.
Copyright 2010 Susan Page