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If you’re struggling with measuring the effectiveness of your change management activities, you’re not alone. Yet today’s practitioners face growing pressure to build a measurement strategy into their standard change management framework.

Measuring the people side of change is becoming an expectation and even a requirement in many organizations. Forty percent of Prosci research participants say they must report on change management effectiveness for their projects. Most commonly, they report measurements to project sponsors, general leadership, and project (and program) personnel.

Measuring change management used to be considered elusive and complicated. And although measuring change management can vary from project to project, measurement fundamentals are emerging. Prosci’s extensive research sheds light on how to craft a well-rounded measurement strategy.

To gather insight on change management measurement and metrics, we asked practitioners about their overall experience with measuring change management variables. We also inquired about the frameworks they use to support measurement. The specific questions we asked practitioners in multiple studies over nearly a decade include:

  • "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?"

The Growing Trend of Change Management Measurement and Reporting

Through this Prosci research, trends on how to measure change management effectiveness have emerged. At the highest level, your measurement strategy should assess.

  • The change management activities you’re tasked with completing
  • The outcomes of those activities at both the individual and organizational levels

We will explore measurement in three categories: organizational performance, individual performance, and change management performance.

Gaining alignment across stakeholders at the beginning of a project on the measures in each category is essential. The project sponsor, project team, and change management team should collaborate to define which measures are most meaningful for the project, plus establish a cadence of collecting and reviewing data. You should then track those measures throughout the project and adapt the change management approach to ensure expected project results are achieved. The actual measure used in each category is highly project-dependent. However, research participants report using some common metrics.

Measuring Organizational Performance

The first category of measurement is organizational performance. These measures are associated with the project achieving the desired outcomes for the organization. Organizational performance metrics should answer the question, “Did the initiative deliver what was expected?” Here are some examples from research participants of organizational performance metrics:

  • Performance improvements
  • Adherence to project plan
  • Business and change readiness
  • Project KPI measurements
  • Benefit realization and ROI
  • Adherence to timeline
  • Speed of execution

Measuring Individual Performance

The next category of measurement is individual performance. These measures indicate whether the individuals impacted by the change are progressing through their change journeys. Since the individual is the unit of change, measuring individual progress can be a leading indicator of overall project success.

Based on our research, the individual employee metrics below are commonly used by change management practitioners when demonstrating change management effectiveness. Many of these measures identify where employees are in the change process and how they are progressing. The methods used to obtain these measures include surveys, tests, assessments, observation, and performance evaluations. Individual performance metrics revealed in our research include:

  • 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
  • ADKAR® Model surveys

Measuring Change Management Performance

The final category for measurement is change management performance. The metrics in this category are connected to the actual activities carried out by the change management team. While it’s helpful to monitor these activities, the other two outcome-oriented categories of individual and project performance are necessary to determine if the change management activities are successful. Common change management performance measures from research participants include:

  • Tracking change management activities conducted according to plan
  • Training tests and effectiveness measures
  • Training participation and attendance numbers
  • Communication deliveries
  • Communication effectiveness
  • 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

Whatever your project, look for ways to measure project performance, individual performance and change management performance so you can thoroughly gauge and report on the effectiveness of your change management activities. If you could use some help with these measurements, the Prosci Change Scorecard combines these activity and outcome measures into a simple framework. Learn more about the Prosci Change Scorecard with this webinar replay.