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In the Best Practices in Change Management Report – 2014 Edition, participants shared if and how they were measuring and reporting on change management effectiveness. If you already have measurement methods in place, the research findings below are a good opportunity to compare and contrast your efforts with other change management professionals. Or, if you are just beginning to measure change management effectiveness but are not sure what metrics to use, these findings will give you plenty to consider.
To gather insight on change management measurement and metrics, we asked the following questions:
- "Did you measure the effectiveness of your change management effort in support of the project?"
- "Did you measure whether the change was occurring at the individual level?"
- "Did you have to report on change management effectiveness of the project?"
- "How did you demonstrate the value-add of applying change management on the project?"
- "How did you measure the overall outcome of applying change management?"
We focused our questions on the overall experience that participants had with measuring change management variables, as well as what frameworks they had in place to support measurement.
The Growing Trend of Change Management Measurement and Reporting
Depending on the type of change, measuring change management effectiveness has long been considered a lofty attempt. It can be difficult to implement measurement systems and metrics that provide solid data and information on how change is progressing, but there are practitioners leading the way. In fact, measuring the people side of change is becoming an expectation and even a requirement in many organizations. Almost half (45%) of participants had to report on change management effectiveness for their projects. Most commonly, they reported to project sponsors, general leadership, and project (and program) personnel. So what metrics were they using to track change management effectiveness? The following lists are excerpts from the 2014 edition of Best Practices in Change Management:
Individual Employee Assessments
The individual employee metrics below were commonly used by study participants when demonstrating change management effectiveness. Many of these measures identify where employees are in the change process and how they are progressing.
- Adoption metrics
- Usage and utilization reports
- Compliance and adherence reports
- Proficiency measures
- Employee engagement, buy-in and participation measures
- Employee feedback
- Issue, compliance and error logs
- Help desk calls and requests for support
- Awareness and understanding of the change
- Observations of behavioral change
- Employee readiness assessment results
- Employee satisfaction survey results
Project Performance Metrics
Those that reported on change management effectiveness also measured overall project performance. The metrics below expose how important it is to have gone through a thorough planning phase at the beginning of the change initiative that identifies these measures. Integration with project management may help make these measures more compelling.
- Performance improvements
- Progress and adherence to plan
- Business and change readiness
- Project KPI measurements
- Benefit realization and ROI
- Adherence to timeline
- Speed of execution
Change Management Activity Effectiveness
Finally, participants gauged performance by tracking change management activities. Regardless of the type of change, all structured change management initiatives involve these activities, making these metrics useful for any change program.
- Tracking of change management activities conducted according to plan
- Training tests and effectiveness measures
- Training participation and attendance numbers
- Communication deliveries
- Communication effectiveness
Not all of the metrics identified by study participants will be applicable for every change project. For example, tracking help desk calls to measure individual transitions is not possible if your organization does not have a help desk or if the change is cultural (and a help desk would therefore not be a plausible feedback channel). However, you could have employee-facing roles, such as sponsors and managers, forward you any email inquiries they get related to challenges during the change.
Whatever measurements you use to track change management effectiveness these findings will provide some guidance for leveraging best practices to track your initiative’s progress and measure the overall effectiveness of your change management program.