Change Scorecard

Change Scorecard

Measuring the progress of people through the journey of change is a challenge for many projects. Any well run project will assume measuring “the big three” – time, tasks and budget. But what about the metric that really matters, the people dimension?

A project can be on time and on budget with all tasks completed but if there is no measure of adoption of the change how can we label it successful?

Here are 3 things to consider when measuring the people side of a project.

1/ Measure What Matters

What is adoption or buy in? Just training people on a new procedure or way of doing things does not equate to using those skills or behaviours back on the job. In the world of training and development there is a widely used notion of “levels” of training measurement. These are:

  1. Did they like it? – Was the training experience one that was conducive to learning i.e. materials were useful, instructor was effective, flow was easy to follow etc.
  2. Did they learn it? – Can you observe the person using the tool, software, skill or demonstrating a behaviour without assistance? (Usuually conducted during the learning session)
  3. Did they use it? – Here is the critical level of measure for this discussion. Can you observe the person using what was taught back on the job in their day to day work environment? Are they choosing to use what they learned back on the job?

It is the 3rd measure that demonstrates buy in or adoption. Make sure you’re measuring what counts.

2/ Measure the journey not just the destination

Measurement is about knowing when you have succeeded but it is also about knowing where you are on the road to getting getting to success. So having a roadmap with critical stops along the way give you information about how to adapt our support for those on the journey. Educating people about those stops also gives them a heads up on what to expect and make it easier for them to travel the journey a little easier.

3/ Keep it visual and simple

Remember that any measurement system or scorecard is a tool for the project. Sometimes maintaining and explaining the measurement system takes up almost as much time as doing the work of the project! I remember being on a project that took me one full day of updates and producing reports. The tail was wagging the dog!

Here are two simple and effective scorecards that we use to measure both the individual and organizational journey of change and each takes only minutes to produce.

Team Scorecard

 

Organization Scorecard

Each of these provides quick insights into who is where on the journey to adoption and helps shape course corrections, extra support etc.

Finally

What gets measured gets managed is a cliche that rings true when it comes large change projects. Considering the three points above when creating your scorecard will help you keep things on track and headed towards success.

Increase Readiness for Everyone

Increase Readiness for Everyone

As change professionals, we know how important readiness is. But how do you achieve the level of readiness that will ensure that major change is adopted and sticks? Before we dive in let’s define the word readiness in relation to change management. A quick Google search delivers this definition of readiness:

“the state of being fully prepared for something or the willingness to do something.”

When applied to change management, we need to consider both willingness and preparedness.

A mid-sized retailer is looking to add 6 stores in a new region. They have promoted 4 assistant managers to managers to operate new locations and hired the remaining two. The new managers participate in a 2-day manager orientation session to give them the skills they need as full-fledged managers and for opening a new store. However, 4 months into the opening process 3 of the 4 promoted assistant managers leave for jobs as assistant managers with competitors closer to home delaying the opening of the stores. The promoted assistant managers were given the training and tools they needed but eventually decided they were not willing to do the new job because of increased commute time and costs.

Readiness is important because it lessens the time needed for adoption and that increases the success rate of organizational change. So now that you know WHAT readiness is and WHY it’s important, I’ll explain three things you can do to ensure that readiness WILL happen.

1/ Focus on the individual, not the team

Readiness is an individual factor not a team or group thing. Because people will adopt or engage when they are personally ready, it’s important to identify which issues in particular are holding them back. Be sure to create a setting where team members feel comfortable sharing what would help them feel most ready for an upcoming change. You can do so by asking for open ended feedback not just asking people to fill out a multiple-choice survey. Let people tell you what matters most to them.

2/ Identify their individual style in order to get on their wavelength

At you-curve, we talk a lot about individual style in change management. Why? Because change always starts on an individual level and everyone has their own motivating factors. Some people are more detail oriented, some are more goal driven, some thrive on a team, while others prefer one-on-one conversations. The more time you spend getting to know the individual styles of your teammates the easier it will be to motivate them to embark on the organizational change journey. Think about it. Someone is much more likely to trust you when they feel like you really “get them”. Once you’ve got a clear understanding of the individual’s motivating factors, you’ll be able to adapt your readiness techniques to fit each style, and increase their readiness on their terms.

3/ Consider the stage of change

Which stage you’re at in the change process matters. Why? Because an individual’s needs vary depending on which stage they are experiencing.  Here is an example of a six-stage model…

The needs of someone that is Jumping In when the impact of the change to them personally is not known are very different than when they are at Rock Bottom and frustration is highest. Remember, readiness is built in at every stage of the curve. Instead of asking yourself, “how ready is this person to experience this change?” reframe the question to “how ready is this person to experience the next stage of this change process.” This will shape the kinds of support programs, communications and other tactics you provide.

The more effective you are at increasing readiness in each of your stakeholders, the more effective they will be to handle each stage and the faster they will reach adoption and success.

Agile Projects and Change

Agile Projects and Change

Agile Project Management is a unique project management approach that has recently been gaining a lot of momentum in the Change Management world. Instead of a sequential approach to implementing a large development project, an Agile approach occurs in small stages and is broken up into small bite size stages or sprints and scrums (what we call “mini-curves.”) Though there are other types of frameworks to implement agile, we like using scrum because it involves highly participative cross functional groups and smaller pieces of work. In other words, it helps your organization get stuff done!

Implementing an Agile approach pretty much guarantees that you’ll be engaging a lot of stakeholders in new process with very different group dynamics. That’s why it’s important to understand the “journey” these stakeholders will experience. Below are three things to consider:

1/ Mini-curves

People experience change through a defined process. We describe these in the six stages illustrated below:

 

Instead of experiencing one curve of change, people will experience several “mini-curves” as a result of each sprint or development iteration. The mini curves will ultimately contribute to the overall project curve.  Due to the compressed time from start to completion, these mini-curves may feel a bit more intense. Don’t worry though, this is completely normal and should be expected.

2/ Define success differently

For Agile development, you may find that you need to define the success of the sprint and scrum mini-curve differently that you might define it for the overall project. Each scrum mini-curve is more like getting the task “roughly right” instead of absolutely perfect. Each iteration is designed to get closer to the final goal not achieve it all at once. As long as the scrum mini-curve is contributing to your overall project goal, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

3/Personality Styles

Understanding and being sensitive to an individual’s personal styles is critical when connecting Agile implementation with the change process. If some people involved on your scrum team are detail oriented they may feel they haven’t really reached success at the end of the sprint. Be sure you make it clear to them how the “roughly right” scrum accomplishment contributes to the overall project success. Understanding the personality types of your scrum teams in advance will not only save you a lot of time and disruptions, but it will help contribute to the development of a productive work culture. Tailor your conversations to suit the needs of each individual’s personal style. Take some extra time to help your people connect to what you are doing and more importantly, why you are doing it.

Use the concepts of mini-curves, success defined as roughly right, and personal styles to ensure your agile project approach is a success.

Get the Funding You Need

Get the Funding You Need

So, you’ve decided that you’d like to increase the likelihood of success for your project by adding a change management aspect to it. Now comes the fun stuff – having to convince the higher-ups to invest the extra dollars in the project to accommodate change management. That can be a mountain to climb in itself, so to help ease the journey, here are 4 things you can do to build your case and get the budget you need…

1. Credibility is a matter of perception

Be sure you have facts/ stats that are as recent as possible and from sources that are credible to your boss. If he/she isn’t a fan of academia, don’t quote the Harvard Business Review. If they are “nationalistic” find stats from your country versus worldwide studies.

2. Be brief and be gone!

Execs are juggling way too many balls and have little time to waste. Consider a 20 minute meeting versus an hour long extravaganza. Keep your presentation concise and get to the point quickly. Five slides maximum! Remember they live and die by the phrase “what’s the bottom line”.

3. Don’t take my word for it

Enlist others to help tell the story as well. Connect your boss with people at the same level (or higher) in other divisions or companies that have lived through it. It’s amazing how much more a voice from outside is heard than one from within.

4. Speak Their Language not Yours

Remember this is a financial discussion. So know the metrics that are being measured. Some common ones are:

Finally

Remember this is a business decision. Maintain this perspective. Be balanced in presenting both sides of the equation (cost/ risk as well as benefits). In fact be conservative in stating benefits and liberal in stating costs. That sets up the under promise and over deliver cliché that everyone strives for.

A Business Case for Change Management

A Business Case for Change Management

Implementing a new project or a large change in process in any company is challenging on many fronts. There are budgets and timelines to be met and hurdles to be crossed, however the largest challenge often comes from “the human factor”. Big or small, change of any kind can rock the boat and send people into a tailspin. Any project is doomed for failure if it does not have the buy-in of the employees.

Obtaining employee buy-in is never easy, so what is the best way to get employee on borad with your big project? Invest in change management. This will increase the likelihood of achieving the return on investment of your project.

There are a lot of facts and statistics on why one should invest in change management as part of a large project.  I’ve listed just a few below.

When looking at all these different perspectives, one thing becomes blatantly clear – not investing increases your chance of failure.  The trick is to convince the boss to increase the budget by 12% to 15% for the “soft” activities on a project.

Your chances of getting funding will increase if you to treat it like an actual investment (because that’s what it is!!). And all investments are measured by the return they provide. Here’s how ROI is calculated:

The challenge is articulating hard benefits and conveying all the reasons why change management is a good investment to busy executives. Sometimes it seems virtually impossible.

The best way to get their attention?

Treat your project like any other investment. And demonstrate the ROI of adding change management to your budget.

So, you’ve decided that you’d like to increase the likelihood of success for your project by adding a change management aspect to it. Now comes the fun stuff – having to convince the higher-ups to invest the extra dollars in the project to accommodate change management. That can be a mountain to climb in itself, so to help ease the journey, here are 4 things you can do to build your case and get the budget you need…

1. Credibility is a matter of perception

Be sure you have facts/ stats that are as recent as possible and from sources that are credible to your boss. If he/she isn’t a fan of academia, don’t quote the Harvard Business Review. If they are “nationalistic” find stats from your country versus worldwide studies.

2. Be brief and be gone!

Execs are juggling way too many balls and have little time to waste. Consider a 20 minute meeting versus an hour long extravaganza. Keep your presentation concise and get to the point quickly. Five slides maximum! Remember they live and die by the phrase “what’s the bottom line”.

3. Don’t take my word for it

Enlist others to help tell the story as well. Connect your boss with people at the same level (or higher) in other divisions or companies that have lived through it. It’s amazing how much more a voice from outside is heard than one from within.

4. Speak Their Language not Yours

This is a financial discussion. So know the metrics that are being measured. Some common ones are:

Finally

Remember this is a business decision. Maintain this perspective. Be balanced in presenting both sides of the equation (cost/ risk as well as benefits). In fact be conservative in stating benefits and liberal in stating costs. That sets up the under promise and over deliver cliché that everyone strives for.