How do you Measure Change Success?

August 21, 2018

” I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails always to reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean.

Change is inevitable, and there is a need to be implemented almost on a daily basis. Evolution is a tricky topic. Honestly, not many of us like changes in our life be it at the workplace or in our personal lives.

Just imagine a situation wherein approximately 20 years back, if people would not have accepted computers and continued with the typewriter, what would have happened then? Would there ever be a scope of so many improvements and technological inventions we are witnessing today? A change, even if it is a small one might change our ways of living.

It is always said that the road to success is never easy. The difficulties include changes, patience, perseverance and a strong will power to achieve something different and valuable. But how do we know that the change we are implementing will lead to sure shot results? So in this post, we discuss how do we measure change success.

Before discussing the metrics of change success, we need to understand that it’s not always the result which matters many times the way we manage a situation, and how we tackle the changes is what matters the most.

Success parameters

The Project Success Measure parameters determine if a project is successful or not. But this is just a perspective of viewing the result of the change; there are many other facets of evolution which you need to consider before concluding. For instance, many projects look lucrative from a marketing perspective, but the overall profitable benefits are limited.

Collective team adoption

For any change implementation, there needs to be a change in team formation set up first. Cooperative compliance by the employees especially in the field of technology, systems, and implementation is what you need to consider. We all know that total adoption of change policy cannot be implemented from day one, it will be gradual and over a period.

Often, we tend to misjudge the situation when there is a low benefit realisation. And then the change management team will be held responsible for not performing as per expectations. But the actual reasons for low benefit realisations are many, and that may or may not be related to the efforts taken by the change management team. For example, the change team would have achieved great success, but the overall policy would have been illogical due to which the benefits realisation stands low.

Profits/Benefits Realisation

Benefits realisation is the most uncertain part of the change topic one can explore. Benefits tend to appear over a period, there is no sure shot guarantee to measure the profit realisation beforehand. Hardly there are any projects which would generate profits immediately after implementation, and it takes time.

The process of change and the pathway to success

The quote by Robin Sharma “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end” perfectly puts light on the insight of how a change process takes place. But what matters the most is the execution. A well-planned implementation of a change policy can do wonders to the organisation, and at the same time, a poorly executed plan can fail.

Amazon is an iconic example when we think of change and success. When Amazon went online in 1995, it used to sell books. Next, they started with CDs and DVDs, and today I doubt there’s anything Amazon doesn’t sell.

When we talk about change management, not all changes will result into success, some may occur, and some may not. At times the change policies fail, and at the organisational level, these failures need to be sustained and catered for either with an alternative plan or by just bearing the losses. Scrutiny of ‘what went wrong’ and how to overcome it next time backed by a strong SWOT (Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threats) analysis will lead the path to success.

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