With any large project, software implementation, upgrade, or reorganization, change is inevitable. No matter the industry or size of your organization, navigating change can be complex and result in real-world consequences for your organization, whether those consequences are intentional or not. The importance of overseeing and managing change cannot be overstated, and oftentimes this is overlooked when undergoing a large project, simply due to focus being elsewhere. Below, we’ll explore certain key performance indicators (KPIs) you should look for to gauge Change Management success.
The Importance of Change Management
Every organization is unique, and your Change Management solutions and resources you leverage should reflect your specific situation and circumstances. This will help ensure that your team is prepared for your planned transformation. If Change Management efforts are a low priority, your organization or project team is understaffed, and/or your team started on Change Management too late, then your entire project’s success is put at risk.
Having a support team that will provide the experience, expertise, proven Change Management Methodology, and customized tools to complement your organization’s culture and deliver a successful project can be crucial elements that ensure success.
Time and energy spent on delivering a project is wasted if your resources are not ready to perform their jobs in the new system or process. Organizational Change Management, communications, change champion programs, and training are all tools and strategies at your disposal that will help maximize the value of your project. Having proper change management in place will minimize business disruption, reduce resistance to change, and accelerate the speed of transition.
Key Performance Indicators for Change Management
Once you have established the importance of Change Management and put Change Management efforts into place (whether that’s by partnering with a team of Change Management experts or implementing Change Management best practices on your own), measuring the effectiveness of your Change Management program is essential. Learn more about Change Management Best Practices here.
Beyond demonstrating the effectiveness of your Change Management strategy to key stakeholder and higher ups in your organization, looking to KPIs will help Project Managers and other project members understand if employees truly understand and use the new system or process, or if more training or transition time is needed.
Looking to key performance indicators throughout the project lifecycle will make sure you’re not blind-sighted by any unforeseen areas of disconnect or misunderstanding when it comes to training or communication. Look to the following KPIs when evaluating and strategizing your Change Management efforts.
In terms of measurability and producing quantitative data, a critical resource in your Change Management toolkit is the ability to measure Change Management success with surveys. At minimum, you should complete surveys before the project or process change gets underway, during implementation, and after go-live. There are opportunities for surveys to be completed at almost any step of a project or process implementation, however, having a balance of measuring what’s important to your organization while also being mindful not to overwhelm or fatigue employees with a burdensome number of surveys is important.
One of the key benefits surveys offer is the ability to capture employee sentiments at a given point in time and see how those feelings change or views change as the project progresses. Surveys also allow you to gather information about areas of confusion or misunderstanding and gives you the ability to address any disconnects employees are dealing with in regard to recent changes.
Surveys allow you to assess confusion, find out if training materials are helpful, and after go-live, evaluate how employees and stakeholders feel about how things went, gaining feedback on what the team can improve upon in future. Particularly in large organizations worried about overwhelming employees with a burdensome number of surveys, utilizing Change Champions can be a worthwhile option for more frequent surveys and evaluation points, and lets you measure their specific feedback rather than surveying everyone in the organization.
Depending on the nature of your project or procedure change, looking at process times before and after the project to see if the planned change was a success is another useful KPI. An example of this would be a process change where manual, analog processing of expense reimbursement requests typically took four days to complete, and now with automated expense tracking software it only takes two days.
Though not every project will deliver a hard KPI such as processing time reduction to indicate success, it’s nevertheless a worthwhile metric to look out for, even if at first glance the change your implanting doesn’t appear to deliver a quantitative KPI such as processing time.
While a project is in progress, tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of communication efforts can be a KPI showing if your Change Management strategy and efforts are going according to plan. Are employees completing your preliminary asks? Are they receiving and retaining your communications regarding the project or initiative? If not, this can be an indicator that changes need to be made. Asking why and reevaluating when you receive feedback will help going forward.
After a project or initiative has gone live, looking back on communication efforts and evaluating whether or not they went out on time and as planned, and whether or not they were effective is a KPI that will reveal a lot about the project success. Evaluating communication post-go live will also give you valuable “lessons learned” information that teams can learn from and take into the next initiative.
As a subset of communications, looking at post go-live help desk metrics as a KPI of project success is worth looking at. Assessing ticket volume to see how the change went and where areas of potential struggle or disconnect are can provide both a hard and soft metric from which to evaluate project success. In general, if there is a large number of tickets that come through during the post-go live support period, it may reveal areas in which training or Change Management efforts fell short.
Navigating change and leveraging a change management strategy complete with post project analysis and crucial KPI milestones can be daunting. Turning to the experts for assistance and support is a great way to ensure project success.
Reach out to [email protected] to get in touch with our team of experienced consultants and find out how we can help lead your next Change Management effort. In the meantime, view our webinar recording of “Leveraging Change Champions” and learn how to utilize key members of your company’s internal team to drive the success of your internal initiatives.
About the Expert:
Thomas Kwiatkowski is a Business Process Consultant for Elire who specializes in organizational change management, current state mapping, and process redesign and improvement. Thomas has a long professional history and experience working with clients to support their ERP assessment, implementation, upgrade, and optimization projects.