Change Management KPIs: A Crash Course

Change Management KPIs: A Crash Course
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Why use change management KPIs and metrics?

You use them for the same reasons you’d use them with any other business activity.

Metrics and KPIs help you:

  • Stay accountable
  • Prove the value of your program, product, or solution
  • Demonstrate progress
  • Gain insight into what works and what doesn’t

In change management, the reasons are no different.

You use KPIs and metrics to learn how your program is progressing, then use that knowledge to make improvements.

Also, KPIs and metrics help you:

  • Prove to stakeholders that your program is making a return
  • Prove that your initiative is getting results
  • Show team members their progress

Below, we’ll look at change management KPIs more closely.

First, we’ll find out what they are. Then we’ll look at the best ones. Finally, we’ll look at ways to choose the best KPIs for your change program.

What Are Change Management KPIs?

First things first – what are change management KPIs?

KPI, of course, stands for Key Performance Indicator.

They are key metrics used to gauge the health, progress, and performance of a change program.

KPIs are used in virtually every business discipline, from marketing to IT to finance. In short, they tell stakeholders how well a project is performing.

In change management, KPIs perform the same function.

However, there are countless possible metrics.

Which KPIs are the most useful?

How to Choose Appropriate Change Management KPIs

Metrics and KPIs come in many shapes and sizes.

Ultimately, the best ones are those that diagnose a program’s performance.

To choose the right KPIs, follow these steps:

1. Start by understanding the type of change you’re working with.

First and foremost, understand what type of change you’re dealing with.

Is it structural, cultural, process-based, performance-based, a mix of these, or something else?

What type of change management model or framework are you working with?

Understanding the change type will serve as the basis for choosing the right metrics.

2. Next define your program’s goals.

Your change initiative’s goals will determine your metrics and KPIs.

If your primary goal is to implement a new sales automation platform, then use it to increase previous productivity levels by 50%, that is the final benchmark.

From there, you will work backwards to create benchmarks, milestones, and sub-goals.

3. Use those benchmarks to define your core metrics and KPIs.

The base metrics that you will measure the program against will be the program’s goals.

They will also help you gauge the success of the change management program.

In the example above, these would be based on sales performance goals.

KPIs related to the program itself would include metrics such as:

  • Adherence to the timeline
  • Performance improvement rates and timelines
  • Speed of deployment and implementation

These would help you gauge the health of the program itself, as well as the overall program goals.

4. Create KPIs to specifically measure the program’s health.

In addition to measuring against the goals of the program, you must track the performance of the initiative itself.

Diagnosing your change program’s performance will help you optimize the program as it goes forward.

For instance, key metrics could include:

  • Employee engagement rates
  • Employee complaints
  • Adherence to the project plan
  • Speed of execution
  • Employee learning rates

These metrics can also be used when making a case to stakeholders, demonstrating the change program’s role in effecting change.

They can be used during the current initiative, of course. But they can also be used down the line when obtaining buy-in for a change program in the future.

The Main Types of Change Management KPIs

In the above steps, we briefly covered a few change management KPIs.

Below, we’ll classify some of these.

KPIs to Measure Individual or Team Performance

Measuring the performance of individuals tells you how well a program is working, how quickly employees are adopting the change, and what areas could be improved upon.

Examples of these metrics include:

  • Adoption, engagement, and proficiency metrics
  • Employee feedback, complaints, satisfaction, and participation measures
  • Requests for technical support
  • Usage statistics and analytics

On top of individual metrics, you will also want to measure change performance at the team and organizational levels.

Organizational Performance KPIs

Measuring change results at the macro-level will help you understand the overall results of a program.

Understand change at the organizational level and you’ll be able to understand a program’s ROI, its bottom-line impact, and how well the change is being integrated from a big-picture perspective.

KPIs for this level include:

  • Performance improvements
  • Outcomes of project-specific targets
  • Adherence to the timeline
  • Adherence to the project plan

Finally, as mentioned, you’ll want to measure the initiative itself…

KPIs Related to the Change Initiative

Your KPIs here should focus on what worked, what didn’t, and what could be improved.

Some overlap may occur with other metrics – simply because the same metrics can provide insight into more than one area.

For instance:

  • Rate of employee engagement
  • Performance results
  • Effectiveness of training and communication
  • Participation in training sessions and meetings
  • Adherence to project plan
  • Project goal performance

Measuring your own program’s effectiveness is crucial to the process.

You will be able to adapt as you go, and offer better programs down the line.

Conclusion: KPIs Are Critical for Any Change Initiative

The appropriate KPIs can teach you about your own program, provide accountability, and justify a program’s expenditures.

By measuring your program throughout, you can learn, adapt, and keep improving your organizational change program.

Always make sure to choose the right KPIs – ones tied to your program goals, your program’s effectiveness, and your employees’ performance.

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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