Why measuring change is not an activity

Apr 26, 2021 | Change Measurement

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Measuring change is no longer a nice-to-have.  It’s a must-have for a lot of organisations.  A lot of stakeholders are now demanding to see and understand what is happening in the world of change.  With the enhanced volume of change and therefore the increased investment made by the organisations, it’s no wonder.  

Why are stakeholders demanding to see change data?

When we look across the room amongst the various disciplines, data forms an integral part of any function.  Finance – tick.  HR – tick, yes pretty much all aspects of people are tracked and reported.  Operations – tick, as we have all types of performance KPIs and efficiency indicators.  Technology – tick, since every part of technology can easily be measured and reported.  Marketing – tick, as marketing outcomes are tied to revenue and customer sentiments.

With Covid it is even more the case that data is integral.  We can no longer ‘walk the factory’ to sense what is happening.  To see what is happening and what is going to happen stakeholders revert to data.  In our virtual working environment, stakeholders require a constant dashboard of data to track how things are progressing.

Why is measuring change not an activity?

In the past it used to be that measuring change is only something you do in a project when you want to see if stakeholders are ready for the change.  No more.  Most organisations have a multitude of changes running concurrently.  There is no choice to select 1 or 2 changes to roll out.  With significant business challenges, most organisations are finding that running with multiple changes is the norm.

With multiple changes, increased stakeholder demands and appetite, measuring change is no longer just an activity.  Measuring change takes a set of structured routines.  It requires effective governance design.  It takes experience and analytical expertise.  Most of all, it is not a once-off event, it is a continual building of organisational muscle and capability.  We are heading into the world of change analytics capability.

What is change analytics capability and how do I attain this?

Here are 7 core components of building and maturing change analytics capability:

1. Establishing change data management procedures and practices

This is about setting up the right steps in place so that change data can be identified, collected, and documented.  This includes identifying the types of change data you would like to collect and how to go about collecting them.  It will be easier to start with the core set of data required and then build from these as needed.  This will reduce the risk of overwhelming your stakeholders.

After the right metrics and collection channels have been identified then it’s about building the regular routines to collect and document the metrics.

2. Sponsorship and leadership of change analytics

To really reap the value of change analytics you will need to gain the blessing and sponsorship of your leaders.  Well, at least in time.  In the beginning, you may need some time to come up with compelling data that tell the story that you want them to before you show your leaders.  Eventually, without strong leadership buy-in, change data will not be effectively leveraged to make business decisions.

Getting your leaders’ blessing isn’t just a verbal exercise.  It means that they are signing-up to regularly review, discuss and utilise change data to realise business value.

3. Build talent and organisation to support change analytics

Think about the various stakeholders and what you need them to understand in terms of change data.  The way you educate stakeholders will be different to how you educate operations managers or the PMO.  Plot out how you plan to help them get familiar with change data.  Do you need particular roles to support data analysis?  Is it a Change Analyst who is focused on the regular upkeep and consolidation of change data?  What roles do you need other team members to play?  

4. Insight generation

With a full set of change data infront of you, it’s now time to dive into them to generate insights.  What is the data telling you?  How do they support other data sources to form a clear picture of what is happening in the workforce?  Is the data accurate and updated?  Generating insights from the data takes skills and experience.  It takes the ability to integrate different sources of data outside of change data themselves.

5. Insight application

This is about setting up the right routines and processes so that any insights generated may be discussed and applied.  It could be through various governance forums, leadership or planning meetings that insights are shared and socialised.  An integral part of this step is applying the insight by making business decisions.  For example, do we delay the initiative roll out or invest more to support leaders?  Are there reasons for us to speed up roll out to support the workforce?

6. Change analytics capability development

Change analytics is a capability.

With good change data emerging, you also need to have the right people with the right skills to collect, process and interpret the data.  You may also want to think about which teams need what analytical skills.  Do you have people in the team who are sufficiently analytical and data-oriented?  Do they know how to interpret the data to form trends and predictions?  

You may want to think about organising capability sessions or training to strengthen data analysis skills.  Are there members in the different governance bodies that need support to be more confident in using change data?

7. Realising business value through change analytics

The last part of the equation is realising business value through change analytics.  This is about tracking and documenting the value realised through using change analytics.  It could include incidents where the business decision made has lead to significant risk reduction or operations protection.  It could be enhanced leadership confidence mitigating risks in negative customer experience.  Tracking value generated is critical to make clear to stakeholders the value of the overall investment.

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Do you have questions on measuring change for your organisation? Ping us on our chat.

To read up more about change analytics go to The Ultimate Guide to Measuring Change.

To download the diagram click here.

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