Leaders ask regularly, “Why is my change not happening faster? When will I get the business value from this change that I need?” Often by the time leaders are asking these questions, they are well into implementing their change initiative, and so measuring the root causes of a gap in the desired results begins late.
So how can you, as a sponsor of change, get in front of these questions? The answer – create a comprehensive scorecard for your change initiative as part of the planning. Surprisingly, we’ve found the reality is that change scorecards are rarely used, and when they are, it is most often only the implementation phase that is measured – not the entire project.
A change scorecard is a mechanism to formally track or monitor how a desired change in your organization is doing, so that you can identify successes and make improvements or adjustments if you have gone off track. If you want to get a true read of how you are doing along the way, then your scorecard should address these three key areas:
1. Defining the Outcomes
Organizational change comes in many forms, from major technology implementations to cross functional process re-engineering to corporate restructuring. Underlying these changes are benefits the organization is expecting to realize. Ensuring that the change program is anchored in these benefits is critical. Understanding the benefits and outcomes of the change helps to drive business adoption and becomes a way of maintaining leadership alignment around what is important. Is there new business capability or skill set? Improved process flow that will result in increased productivity? Consistent customer experience? Whatever the desired outcome, you need to establish what change you are trying to achieve and set specific and measurable goals around the change itself, not just the project goals.
2. Measuring Adoption
Next on your scorecard is measuring the adoption of the change by those involved. Measure how the stakeholders are progressing through the change process using management evaluations, observations based on data and employee self assessments. These measures will give you an indication of how your changes have been adopted by the stakeholders, including:
- How did individual employees respond?
- How well are the necessary employee skills developing?
- Was there any resistance to the change?
- Are there any workarounds to the change?
- Are stakeholders adhering to the action plan?
- Are their goals and timelines of change management plans being met?
- Is overall performance improving?
- Has the change improved efficiencies?
It is important that you monitor the adoption of your change as it progresses. Integrate this information with the change management activities measures (below) to gain deeper insights into the success of your change adoption.
3. Measuring Change Management Activities
Project leaders also need to assess the effectiveness of specific change management activities themselves in order to make appropriate adjustments. Some of the change management metrics you need to track include:
- Are employees breaking away from the plan? If so, how can you get them back on track?
- What is presenting as “resistance” to the change? And how can change management or leadership actions minimize it?
- Are employees receiving training? What is the attendance turnout and how can you improve it? How effective did employees say the training was in building their skills and confidence? What post training learning reinforcement activities could help?
- Are there effective communication channels in place? What is the feedback?
- Are participants coming up with suggestions or innovations? How can we gather these and can you use them?
- Was the engagement and collaboration with stakeholders effective? Did their work together to produce positive results?
A Scorecard Forces Focus on the Right Things
According to a Willis Towers Watson report, “Companies with high effectiveness in change management and communication are 3.5 times more likely to significantly outperform their industry peers than firms that are not effective in these areas.” 2 By tracking your change management scorecard throughout the course of your implementation and sustainment period, you can quickly identify gaps in business adoption and focus on the best course of action to be taken. Getting in front of these means that the change can happen faster and derive the benefits and outcomes that made the initiative important in the first place.
“What gets measured gets done.”
— Tom Peters
A successful scorecard will drive the results and outcomes you intended when you made the investment in the change program and prove that your change strategy was successful.
HR Transformations uses a collaborative approach to create a change scorecard that engages and aligns the critical leadership in your organization. Whether your project requires one consultant or ten, we have the proven talent, tools and follow-through practices to achieve the change you want. We get results by creating change that endures. Contact us to learn more.