Performing a Business Impact Analysis for a Project - dummies

Performing a Business Impact Analysis for a Project

By Kupe Kupersmith, Paul Mulvey, Kate McGoey

Part of Business Analysis For Dummies Cheat Sheet

A business impact analysis (BIA) is a business analysis tool that helps you predict how significantly your project will impact the business. You use it to gather information about the project’s various elements, players, and entities so you can determine the depth and breadth of your potential efforts.

Here’s a worksheet to help you complete a BIA. In the third column, write “low,” “medium” or “high” according to the guidelines in the second column. Then count the numbers of each ranking. The predominant ranking denotes the impact of your project.

Factor Impact on Business Rank
Number of users 0–100: low
101–1,000: medium
1,001+: high
Number of stakeholder subject matter experts (SMEs) 1–3: low
4–10: medium
11+: high
Number of team members 1–6: low
7–12: medium
13+: high
Highest position held among stakeholders Manager: low
Director: medium
Executive: high
Number of stakeholders’ geographic location 1: low
2–3: medium
4+ (or international): high
Business complexity Subjective. Consider the complexity of core components,
nonfunctional requirements, and implementation. Assign low, medium,
or high.
Solution complexity Subjective. Consider software, hardware, technical
architecture, support, and whether the task is outsourced. Assign
low, medium, or high.
Relative importance of the project to the organization Subjective. Consider this project relative to the project
portfolio. Get input from project manager and executive sponsor.
Assign low, medium, or high.
Business risk Identify risks. Identify costs for high risks. Consider input
from project manager, executive sponsor, or business SMEs. Assign
low, medium, or high.
Quality requirements/expectation Potential for loss of comfort: low
Potential for loss of discretionary money or opportunity:
Potential for loss of life, essential money, or
mission-critical: high
Due date Movable date: low
Target date: medium
Fixed date: high
Project length Project length > project scope: low
Project length = project scope: medium
Project length < project scope: high
Stakeholders’ knowledge Subjective. Consider the value of stakeholders’ knowledge and
representation. Assign low, medium, or high. Note: This
ranking has an inverse relationship with impact (high knowledge =
low impact ranking).
Project budget Subjective. Relative to size of company or other projects.
Assign low, medium, or high based on input from project manager and
executive sponsor.