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The Value of Change Management

The value of change management is a challenge with executives and leaders who need to quantify their investments in this area. How do they know they are getting a true return on investment? Even some of the largest change teams, where there are high levels of change maturity and awareness, are constantly being scrutinised to provide tangible visibility and metrics.

The greatest fear is to invest in key initiatives that do not provide the expected benefits. This could be a $1B enterprise-wide Transformation program where the new structure and processes are not understood or adopted, or could be a $1M Technology project where staff then do not use the newly implemented system.

What is the ‘opportunity cost’ of not getting it right, and not getting it right the very first time? There is obviously a huge financial saving to an organisation when getting it right, and that financial number will depend on the scale of the initiative.

Success over failure

In my last article titled Strategy Execution Trends for 2017, I summarised the current top trends that executives are driving to improve organisational performance and execute strategy ‘better’. A key trend was the investment in change management:

‘Taking a proactive and integrated change management approach to business transformation and project delivery is providing savings and an increased return on investment (ROI). Change management effort and output is being quantified by measurement of these savings, and also the ‘opportunity cost’ of failed delivery directly resulting from a lack of change management investment.’

Change management expertise is critical to the success of organisational programs, projects, and initiatives. Investment in change management has increased as a direct result of executive acceptance that this is now proven and can be evidenced. Change management expertise provides a higher likelihood of change adoption and benefits realisation.

Measuring Change Management

Change management has in the past been measured through soft or qualifiable methods and key indicators rather than quantifiable methods and hard numbers. Change management is not a one-size-fits-all approach and can be scaled to fit different organisations. There is also not one standard benchmark formula that provides a hard value measurement on Change Management.

Typically the measurement has been linked to key outcomes. For example: a project was delivered on time and within budget, 10 key strategic benefits were realised, productivity increased by 20%, there was an 85% employee uptake, project waste or re-work was reduced by $500,000.

Some industry approaches to measuring change management include:

  • Measuring productivity of the workforce before and after a change was suggested.
  • Measuring progress and adoption rates.
  • Surveying engagement levels.
  • Developing tools that assess the effectiveness of specific change management activities and measure the outcome of a change initiative.
  • Building scorecards for change and creating a set of metrics to gauge effectiveness.
  • Quantitative measurement linked to reaching key goals.

Prosci – world’s leading change management research company:

‘The top trend identified in our global benchmarking studies was a greater recognition of the value of change management.’ 

‘A discipline focused on enabling and encouraging employees to embrace, adopt and utilise change required by a project or initiative will directly contribute to higher return on organisational investment through faster adoption, greater utilisation and higher proficiency. Change management directly contributes to ROI.

For more information on Transformation and Change Management please visit:

Enterprise Transformation – executing strategy more efficiently through the Enterprise Program Management Office

A framework that provides visibility and transparency is often necessary to drive accountability and track results. Each organisation tends to have a slightly different approach to this but the objectives and characteristics of the frameworks are very similar. The framework needs to have as ‘light a touch’ as possible on the organisation and needs to create alignment as well as provide the right level of visibility and accountability.

There is a trend towards formalising the structure into an Enterprise Program Management Office [EPMO] or Transformation Office. The value of this structure is that it creates transparency and enables the organisation to prioritise investments and resources as well as facilitating fact-based decision making. This structure also allows for the regular reporting of leading indicators of success such project health information.

The drivers for setting up an EPMO have primarily been to:

  • have greater visibility and of the current programs of work and investments;
  • ensure the project benefits are established and are aligned with the strategic objectives;
  • provide strategic oversight and dependency analysis across key projects; especially where ‘whole of business’ changes are occurring;
  • ensure that the investments are occurring on the right projects, achieving the stated benefits within budget and agreed timeframes;
  • provide ‘thought leadership’ on project prioritisation;
  • provide executive level reporting and decision making tools;
  • support the business with frameworks and tools that allow for consistency and efficiencies in delivery.

A research initiative on Enterprise Transformation – Executing strategy more efficiently through the Enterprise Program Management Office had the following key findings:

  • the EMPO is considered to be strategic and critical to the successful execution of strategy for many organisations;
  • establishing an EMPO has delivered notable improvements in the benefits realisation process, financial tracking, the prioritisation process and executive level reporting; although most agreed that all of these areas could be improved further;
  • ideally the accountability for delivery sits within the business units; with the EPMO providing strategic oversight and alignment between key areas;
  • the greatest area of ‘pain’ and ‘opportunity to do things better’ to execute strategy, drive efficiencies and gain value in the shortest period of time; is having an effective change management capability; investing in strategic and enterprise-wide change management capability is being seen as a way to accelerate the execution of strategy.

Download the full paper here. 

Driving transformation and managing change

Janellis use the VisionScope process for business critical initiatives, major change or transformation.

It is a framework that gives rigour to the development of a clearly articulated strategic and tactical plan that links the short term activities to the longer term strategy.

Beyond strategic, financial or resource requirements, the VisionScope process is a powerful tool for initiating and fostering communication, collaboration, and consensus among key stakeholders within an organisation.

It is particularly powerful when the outcomes are dependent on input from a diverse group of people including representatives from vastly different parts of the organisation or external stakeholders who may not have worked together before.

Download the full paper here.