Change management framework

The importance of measuring change

Change Management Framework Insights post
Change Management Framework Insights post
Change Management Framework Insights post

When implementing change, how do you know what is working well and what needs adjustment? What metrics help you answer those questions and demonstrate progress?

Now, more than ever, change is at the core of pretty much everything in the corporate environment. From inclusion policies to technology modernization, organizations are moving forward at a rapid pace. The importance of measuring change couldn’t be greater. As a result, implementing a change management framework is increasingly important to driving results for the organization.

The journey your company takes in response to change directly impacts outcomes. So Celerity has put together a primer you can use to increase your success at every phase of implementation.

Establish your journey and prioritize your change management metrics for optimal effect

Let’s think of your change journey within four key dimensions—change activation, change adoption, change capability and change readiness—with sample metrics for each (Figure 1). Depending on the maturity of your organization in regard to measuring progress, prioritize the metrics that will be the most effective given the types of meetings and data available. Remember, you do not need to (nor should you) measure all of these metrics.

Figure 1: Sample change metrics
Figure 1: Sample change metrics

As you begin to prioritize the metrics to measure in your organizational change framework, keep in mind that, with the recent addition of tools in the workplace, it has become even easier to gather point-in-time feedback. With virtual conferencing platforms like WebEx and Zoom, the use of polls are being increasingly used to drive a much higher response rate compared to the traditional standalone surveys.

To help with prioritizing these change management metrics, it is helpful to think through how you will build a story around them. To map out your journey, use the questions below to serve as a guide:

Who is your target audience and why do they care for this change? Identify your champions and key stakeholders.

Where are the change management metrics that show you have been successful? You can gather that evidence through data gathered in already scheduled meetings. This goes back to our discussion on using Slack, WebEx, etc., or you may be able to leverage google analytics for website engagement.

When should you measure progress in your change management framework? Decide how long your cycles will be.

What are your progress targets and what is the best way to measure them? Perhaps you choose to define the targets via a percentage addressed or qualitatively by using guardrails such as “slightly, to some degree, completely”.

How do you keep the momentum going in your change management process? Ask yourself what more can you do from here.

Perform regular assessments to track your support with your key audiences

By answering the key questions above, you will develop the organizational change framework to create your journey. In Figure 2, we show how a regular schedule of assessments play out for one metric.

At the beginning of the project, 30% of employees supported the direction and vision. So as you move from assessment 1 to assessment 2, you may ask yourself, “How can we take that result and proactively search for ways to build support?” Perhaps you increase the number of town halls, schedule interactive Q&As or isolate the champions that need to do more follow up. From assessment to assessment, check in for additional evidence that you have progressed from 30% to 55% to 80%. The key in this change management framework is to get to green but also to stay at green, especially for longer change journeys where you need to continue to search for ways to maintain or increase the energy and momentum.

Figure 2: Tracking progress for one sample metric

Demonstrate your impact across all change management metrics

Now that you are able to follow the story for one metric, let’s take a step back to view the broader change journey as shown in Figure 3. Here you’ll see an example of how you can demonstrate the importance of measuring change across each of the 4 dimensions.

The goal of this assessment is to show progress by integrating feedback received after each assessment. Measurement itself is agile, meaning you may need to replace or add additional metrics as new information becomes available. Even as we approach the 4th assessment, we want to ensure we continue to integrate as new information becomes available. The ability to quickly adjust and pivot is what truly drives the effectiveness of the change management process.

Figure 3: Demonstrating your change impact across dimensions
Figure 3: Demonstrating your change impact across dimensions

Get your team and stakeholders aligned and ready for implementation of your change management framework

It is important to have your team aligned on the metrics to measure and enable each of them to feel ownership in the plan. How do you make that happen? We recommend following four simple steps in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Key steps to prioritize the right metrics
Figure 4: Key steps to prioritize the right metrics

Begin by reviewing the menu of metrics in Figure 1 with the team and address questions they may have related to the definition or intent of the metric. Next, ask each of them to vote on their top 5 change management metrics. This is situational, so if you think it should be top 7 metrics, then ask for top 7. There is no magic number. The key is to drive consensus on the most important metrics to commit to measure.

Next, review the results and confirm that these metrics are holistic and comprehensive enough to get started. This review is to gain confidence and commitment that these are the right metrics and we are ready to make it happen. Also, be sure to confirm that the team has identified metrics along each dimension of the journey vs. in only a couple dimensions.

Now, once we have recommended metrics to measure, how do we make this happen? We recommend conducting working sessions to go through each of the metrics and discuss how best to measure the impact and how frequently. Figure 5 below is an example of how your team may work together to define the measures and frequency for the metrics.

Figure 5: Determining the best ways to measure metrics
Figure 5: Determining the best ways to measure metrics

As you discuss and confirm the metrics above with your key stakeholders, what targets will you use to demonstrate the progress for the measures above? These conversations will drive alignment and commitment to bringing the right metrics to your organization.

Activate your change management framework with expert precision

With your assessment plan in place, you’re ready to activate your change journey. Having an objective third party on board with deep experience facilitating successful integration, driving implementation, and creating impactful change can make all the difference in your journey’s success.

Celerity’s Organizational Change Management Framework, SEALSM (Figure 6), recognizes that people are at the center of everything and will be asked to think and act differently. The tempo will change. The processes will change. The metrics will change. It’s a big adjustment that needs to be handled expertly every step of the way.

Figure 6: Celerity’s organizational change management framework
Figure 6: Celerity’s organizational change management framework

The importance of measuring change is greater than ever, and so are its benefits. If you need more information on how to structure measurement, check out our complete whitepaper on change management metrics. Or, you can read another one of our articles on the topic. If you need help navigating your own change management process, reach out to a member of our change management team.