Change Impact Assessment, CIA, Change Management, Change Manager, Analysis, Impact Assessment, Business Impact Assessment

How to Complete a Change Impact Assessment (and Free Template)

Apr 11, 2024

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A change impact assessment is the assessment of the current state versus the future state, with the future state being what individuals and groups are changing 'to' i.e. new ways of working, new technology, new organisation structures. It includes suggested mitigation activities which are the activities to reduce the impact and support the shift to the future state.

Key points

  • Change impact assessments are integral to change management

  • They are assessments of the current versus the future state

  • They are used to plan mitigation strategies

  • We've created the best Change Impact Assessment Template available 

What is a change impact assessment in change management?

When it comes to change management mastery, there is one essential skill every change manager needs to become an expert.

Learning how to conduct impact assessments in change management is the key to building your skills and confidence to truly lead organizational change in the business world.


Ready to learn this essential skill?

ENROL now in Change Impact Assessment Formula Online Course (2hr)

Learn how to conduct both high-level change impact assessments and detailed change impact assessments yourself in less than 2 hours


The key piece of change management analysis

An impact assessment in change management is a piece of analysis conducted to understand the proposed change and how this will impact different groups.

This is where the change manager collects information and reviews process documentation to dive into the current and future state for different job roles, processes, stakeholders and pieces of technology.

Also called a 'CIA'

Here, the change manager develops a detailed understanding of the upcoming changes for individuals and groups of team members and defines the 'change impacts' via an analytical assessment, called a 'change impact assessment' (frequently called a CIA for short).

The organisational change analysis is conducted to develop the change plan

The purpose of the change impact assessment is to determine the strategy, tools and resources required to manage the change within organizations. It is the key tool used in the change management process by change practitioners.

The first step in a successful change impact assessment is ensuring you are set up with the right tools, templates, assessment process and information to conduct the assessment and understand the change impacts.

Ensure you are set up with the right tool and templates

Delta Mash is giving you free access to our change impact assessment template to help you implement change in your organization.


Who is this change impact assessment template for?

Change impact assessments are the main piece of analysis we do as change managers. Part of the role of every change manager is analyst, no matter what level you're at.

Essential change management skills

For this reason, analytical skills are one of the key skills required in organizational change management to understand the change impact to an organisation.

Who is this template designed for?

Designed for change managers, project managers, and those who are part of the project team or within a broader group of stakeholders, our template is the tool to help you understand the upcoming change and ensure the change impacts are properly documented.

Proper impact analysis supports project management by providing a path to support stakeholders and the organization progress through the change.

Minimize and manage risks to your team

It is critical that on any project impacting people, that impact analysis is conducted, changes to processes are clearly defined and change impacts realised. If this is not done correctly, risks to the business, culture, and project benefits may not be realised or managed.


Ready to learn this essential skill?

ENROL now in Change Impact Assessment Formula Online Course (2hr)

Learn how to conduct both high-level change impact assessments and detailed change impact assessments yourself in less than 2 hours



How do I conduct a change impact assessment?

A core part of the change process, first we need to understand the current state processes and compare this to the future state processes.

The common elements assessment are bucketed into people, process and technology changes, though assessments can go much deeper than this to include changes to the business vision, strategy, culture, customer. 

Types of change impact assessments

Depending on the level of understanding required of the change impacts for the organization, and depending on the stage of the project or implementation, different types of assessments may be required. These include:

Change Impact Heatmap

This initial assessment is also known as the executive summary and is generally a summary on one page of the types of impacts for different groups.

High Level Change Impact Assessment

This next level down of assessment provides more insights on the types of impacts and proposed interventions for different groups.

Detailed Change Impact Assessment

This is a very detailed level of assessment providing insights on all impacts for all groups and proposed interventions.


Ready to learn this essential skill?

ENROL now in Change Impact Assessment Formula Online Course (2hr)

Learn how to conduct both high-level change impact assessments and detailed change impact assessments yourself in less than 2 hours


Who is involved?

Key stakeholders

When conducting a change impact assessment, representatives from groups of impacted individuals must be engaged to take part in the assessment to provide insight on how they view they will be impacted by the changes to the organization.

They provide commentary and validation to the initial assessment of changes to systems, processes and technology.

This is also a key opportunity to collaborate with employees from the impacted team to understand any change risks to their teams.

The project team

The project team is another key group to include in the process to develop the assessment and ensure everyone is on the same page with the scope of what is to be implemented and the tasks required for the successful management of the changes to systems, process, tools, software or business practices.


What is included in a change impact assessment?

To create the assessment a clear process must be followed as part of the change process and is generally undertaken by change practitioners in projects.

Start with the project scope

The first step is to understand the scope of what's changing as part of the project. This is essential to the assessment process and assessing the change impacts to employees.

Look at who is impacted

Next, focus on which employees are impacted by changes to business practices, resources, or by a process or piece of technology.

Use the tool to define and rate the change impacts

To determine the impact to the organization and to individuals and teams, use the example template provided for your assessment.

Creating interventions to minimise impacts

Collaborate with representatives from the impacted team to determine the best way the organisation can serve and support them in the change.

Explore options and commence planning.

Focus on the best way to manage the change for employees and keep them involved in the planning for your project to ensure they are actively supported.

Impact analysis validation

Keep representatives from impacted groups in the loop and actively involved in validation of the assessment. Ensure leaders of teams are included and any risks and escalated up to the leader of the relevant team. 


Why is this important in a change management process?

Impact assessment data

If you are looking for data and insights on how your organization is impacted by the change and what it will mean, collecting impact assessment data will provide the information you need.

Data-informed decision making

To back up strategic decision making, use the assessment data and insights to provide commentary on options to scale changes to teams and the extent of the benefits or risks this may bring to people, projects and organizations.


Common change process challenges that creating an impact assessment can fix

Lack of stakeholder alignment

If you are experiencing a lack of alignment between the project team and business stakeholders on what’s changing, the development of a change impact assessment can help fix this by increasing alignment to the change process.

No clear path forward

If there is no clear path forward of change activities to support the transition, development of the impact assessment and associated change activities and interventions will contribute to the change plan for the business.

Lack of ownership

No clear, documented or agreed ownership for change activities to support the business transition. Agreeing and documenting the extent to which individuals are responsible for managing and executing change activities will be resolved through the assessment.


Benefits of conducting a change impact assessment

There are many benefits of using the right templates to conduct impact assessments and our Delta Mash template encourages you to achieve the following benefits on your change project:

Supporting the change process and change journey

Stakeholder group representatives have been consulted and brought on the journey.

Creating stakeholder alignment

Stakeholders group representatives are aligned on what’s changing and what it means for their teams.

Developing understanding

Project team has a clear understanding of the change impacts and the current state compared to the future state of the organization.

A documented change approach

Mitigation actions with owners and due dates are documented and approved by business owners or key stakeholder representatives.

Development of change plans

The change team has a clear understanding of mitigation actions to contribute to the creation of critical change plans such as training plan, communication plan, resistance management plan.


Download your Free Change Impact Assessment Template



Ready to learn this essential skill?

ENROL now in Change Impact Assessment Formula Online Course (2hr)

Learn how to conduct both high-level change impact assessments and detailed change impact assessments yourself in less than 2 hours




Hello, I'm Jane Waterson

Founder of Delta Mash

Delta Mash is your go-to practical resource and lifeline when it comes to managing change and working as a change practitioner. We give you the skills to lead change, so you can create a positive impact. 

At Delta Mash we only focus on what you really need to run a successful change project, to work as a change practitioner who can lead with confidence. 

Through trial and error, testing and learning, I have curated a practical toolkit and series of online courses for you, to help you lead with confidence day in and day out. And know what should happen when, and why. I worked my way up to leading change management teams for national transformation projects, and I have been fortunate enough to have worked globally and managed complex change across finance, education, infrastructure, technology, health, media, energy and resources.

I’m here to share all of my experience with you.

So, have you been searching for more practical and pragmatic information and support when it comes to managing change?

Maybe you’ve been finding some-what helpful advice, but not exactly what you need right now to help solve your immediate change management problems.

Or maybe you are gearing up for a big change or transformation project, or you’re even partway through, and just feel stuck.

So if you are ready to tap into your innate curiosity, empathy and analytical thinking. Step into your true self, and build your confidence with a paycheck to boot. 

I have the blueprint for you.

Welcome to Delta Mash