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Establishing Change Management KPIs 

As with any endeavor, KPIs are critical to understanding and communicating your progress toward the stated objective. Change management KPIs are no different.

Every business has heard of KPIs, or key performance indicators. But how do we use them, and what can they show us?  If you think about it, KPIs are part of our daily lives. ESPN uses KPIs to discuss athletes’ performances and progress throughout the season, such as Steph Curry’s 3-point shooting percentage. Curry’s 3-point attempts and how many he actually makes throughout the season fall in the category of a KPI. Or, think about the smartwatch that monitors your exercise – tracking the number of steps taken or distance walked toward a daily fitness goal. Isn’t that a KPI as well? 

With KPIs all around us, why is it difficult for businesses, then, to include them in their strategy for change management?  

KPIs and Change Management 

Change management is the process of moving people from the current state to a desired future state. When change is made in any organization, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page and to understand the shift that is happening – whether it’s moving warehouse inventory tracking to an ERP system or transitioning to a new ERM software – and then enable an organization to embrace that change. Change management ensures a seamless transition for all stakeholders involved.   

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that KPIs are always left out of change management. In fact, KPIs are always included in the Statement of Work (SOW) for a new project. The challenge is getting the KPIs to have context. 

In my 15 years of change management experience, KPIs seem to be viewed as a destination and not a journey. KPIs are metrics for measurements; they are not goals. Rather, KPIs provide organizations with the metrics to monitor progress toward achieving set goals. They must be evaluated regularly to determine if those metrics are being met; if not, your business might need to 1) adjust the KPI, or 2) have a mitigation strategy in place. With any change management plan, businesses must consider and monitor KPIs throughout the entire change management journey as they work toward a successful, seamless implementation. 

Change management KPIs fall into two categories: “Pre-Go Live” and “Post-Go Live,” and it is necessary that these KPIs be specific when thinking through the metrics measured both before and after implementation.  

Here are some examples on how to include change management KPIs: 

Pre-Go Live: 

  • Vague: “We want to increase project awareness.” 
  • Change Management KPI: “We want to increase awareness in the first quarter by 20%.”  

With direct feedback from employees – such as through surveys or focus groups – you will be able to measure progress toward that 20% project awareness goal. 

  • Vague: “We want everyone to be trained on the new software.” 
  • Change Management KPI: “We want 95% of the employees trained one week before go-live,” or “Employees need to have a minimum proficiency score of 75% before system access is granted.” 

By including specific metrics for employee training, businesses can monitor the training process to ensure employees are comprehending the information provided and are prepared to go live.  

Post-Go Live: 

  • Vague: “We want to go live with minimum disruption to our daily operation.” 
  • Change Management KPI: “We want to go live with no more than a 10% drop from current levels,” or “We want zero calls to the HelpDesk.” 

Providing a KPI in the change management plan can help measure execution and track improvement before, during, and after implementation. 

Navigating Change Management KPIs 

Key performance indicators are designed to be a measurement and not an end, and they must be given a chance to work within your change management plan. By including KPIs in your organization’s change management plan, you can reduce the implementation gap with measurable insights and make data-backed decisions to more efficiently achieve your strategic goals. Our team at Clarkston can help you establish those KPIs and navigate a change management plan. 

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Tags: Change Management