Measuring change management results is a fundamental step in the change management process. It is essential to have a comprehensive framework in place to measure the results of change initiatives.
A good framework should provide both qualitative and quantitative data that can be interpreted in a meaningful way. The framework should include metrics and easily understandable and measurable indicators. For example, a metric might be customer satisfaction, while customer feedback surveys could be an indicator.
The framework should also provide data on the effectiveness of the digital change initiative in achieving its goals. This includes an analysis of impact, return on investment (ROI), and cost savings.
The advantage of having a complete framework for measuring change results is that it can help identify areas where improvement is needed. It also provides a means to track progress and measure success over time.
But how do you measure change results?
And what areas are important to focus on?
In this article, we will answer both of these questions – but first, let’s start with a more fundamental question.
Why Measure Change Results at All?
Measuring change management efforts is important for several reasons:
- Measurement allows change managers to gain insight into the performance of a program
- Stakeholders, managers, and executives can see the ROI of the change program for themselves
- Metrics and performance data can be used to further refine the program, identify growth opportunities, and make adjustments.
Like any other business investment, change management should be built around performance, data, and measurement.
A Process for Measuring Change Results
Below we will explore a repeatable process that can be used to measure any process’s change results.
Set goals and objectives
A change plan forms the starting point for measurement.
From that plan, change managers can develop the following:
And these will become the basis for the actual performance indicators.
Establish metrics and KPIs
Metrics and KPIs are quantifiable indicators used to track and measure performance.
These should be directly connected to the goals and objectives established above.
In change management, are several performance levels to measure:
- Change management
A change effort to improve sales ecosystem productivity would monitor specific metrics tied to program objectives, such as time-to-close or other sales numbers.
A product adoption effort would track metrics such as employee proficiency, software utilization, and time-to-competency
Other metrics, common to all change efforts, would revolve around employee sentiment, employee productivity, speed of execution, and so forth.
Of course, creating these metrics is only one step; the change project must be implemented next.
Implement the change and collect data
To track the metrics created, it is necessary to develop data collection mechanisms, which can include:
- Employee surveys
- Software analytics
- Employee performance data
- Financial performance indicators
Over time, those metrics will offer insight into the health of the change effort, what is working, and what needs fixing.
Analyze, learn, and adjust
Generally speaking, it takes time to learn from data collection and analysis, especially in the case of change projects, which take time to implement.
In some cases, large errors or discrepancies may evidence themselves from the outset of a program. For instance, if employee resistance presents a problem, early employee feedback, and performance numbers will likely indicate this.
Since change managers must rely on data to drive their efforts, they should be prepared to make course corrections as needed.
- Implementing agile change management practices
- Boosting the organization’s change readiness
- Ensuring that employees are fully engaged and supportive
- Keeping a tight loop between real-world data and change tactics
- Staying responsive and adaptable can be a key determiner of success.
Rinse and Repeat
A change program should be continually evaluated to ensure it performs appropriately. To keep projects on target, change managers should be ready to repeat all the aforementioned steps.
This can mean re-engineering the change project by shifting the goals, objectives, metrics, etc.
However, the more agile and responsive the change management approach, the easier it will be to make improvements based on the measurements covered here.
What to Measure
Here are three levels to focus on in change projects:
Organizational change programs are typically designed to improve organizational effectiveness, so corporate performance indicators should be a central focus.
Areas to measure include:
- Targeted organizational performance indicators
- Change management effectiveness and efficiency
- Adherence to deadlines and the change project
- KPIs for targeted business functions
These indicators can be used as a baseline for the overall effectiveness of the project itself.
However, organizational performance metrics are not enough – to gain true insight into the program, it is as important to measure employee performance.
Employee Performance Indicators
Change management frameworks focus on change at the individual level – and for a good reason.
Employees themselves are the ones who drive a change program, so their cooperation and support can determine the outcomes of a change project.
If employees fail to support a change effort, it can fizzle out before it even starts.
However, if they are engaged and motivated, the project’s outcomes will reflect that.
Here are a few metrics to focus on:
- Engagement and buy-in
- Sentiments such as satisfaction and frustration
Metrics such as these can help change managers gain insight into the effectiveness of their efforts.
They can also refine many other areas of the change project, from employee training to the communications strategy.
Change Management Effectiveness
Finally, it is important to measure the change program itself.
Measurements such as the following can offer even more insight into program health:
- Communication effectiveness
- Project KPIs and metrics
- Adherence to project deadlines
- Overall project outcomes
- Impact of project outcomes on organizational performance
It is important to measure these three areas to gain a complete perspective on the impact of change efforts.
When change managers take a data-driven approach, they will create relevant, productive, and profitable programs.
The Impact of Measuring Change Results
Change initiatives are complex and require constant monitoring and refinement to be successful. Change managers must measure their organization’s and employees’ performance indicators to ensure they are on the right track. Additionally, they must measure the change management process itself to ensure it is helping meet targets and objectives.
By taking an evidence-based approach and understanding these three levels of change management metrics, organizations can ensure that their initiatives are successful. It will help them stay agile, responsive, and effective in their approach to organizational change.
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