How to measure the effectiveness of organizational change management

  • October 26, 2023

Organizations are required to continually improve their people, processes and technology to stay competitive in a fast-paced market. As stated in part one of this series, building adaptability over time through the effective implementation of organizational change management (OCM) interventions is an effective way to facilitate and streamline the process of change. In this post, we outline how to measure change interventions and the overall success of OCM through the thoughtful establishment and management of metrics.

Think about your program as a journey. Your goals are the destination. The collection of metrics serves as the GPS to get you there, and your measurement strategy is the route itself. Expect to shift directions along the way when a quicker path becomes available.

Goals: The destination

Effective measurement begins at the top. This means linking your organization’s vision, strategy and objectives to your program goals. All team members supporting the program should be able to easily connect the program's goals to the go-forward strategy and desired future state of the organization.

When working your way down to the program level, make sure that your goals are SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Some examples may include “meet adoption % of a new tool by a specific date” or “reduce total number of IT support tickets by X% in the upcoming quarter.” Each goal should be assigned to specific teams to increase accountability and drive progress for the program.

In the People and Organization Consulting Practice at NTT DATA, we partner with clients to develop a thoughtful list of program goals first and then drive and track accountability for those activities via interactive tools and supporting processes.

Metrics: The GPS

Once SMART program goals are defined, determine which of those goals should be supported or fully achieved via OCM. OCM metrics should clearly demonstrate how the addition of OCM bolsters support for human elements of change such as enhanced experiences, increased adoption, reduction in errors, increased productivity, risk mitigation, and so on.

Two types of OCM metrics that we’ll discuss in this article are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Experience Level Agreements (XLAs). KPIs are a standard and common type of metric defined as a quantifiable measure of performance over time for a specific goal or objective. A newer type of metric that is growing in popularity is the Experience Level Agreement (XLA). XLAs are a type of agreement with specific metrics that focus on the overall experience of the user, rather than simply meeting service level objectives. This metric allows users to measure the quality of a service from the perspective of the client and thus, fall into the OCM space. As these types of metrics grow in popularity, it'll be primarily up to the OCM team to measure, track and continuously improve based on findings.

Expanding on the example we used earlier, if one of the program goals is to “meet adoption % of a new tool by a specific date,” an OCM KPI supporting the achievement of that goal could be to “track level of adoption before and after OCM interventions.” An OCM XLA supporting that goal could be to “conduct a user satisfaction survey focused on usability of the new tool.”

Our People and Organization Consulting Practice uses XLAs to create more meaningful metrics and track the experience journey. Recently, we established XLAs for a national airline company by first creating high-level objectives for their user experience. From there, we established measurements and scores supporting those objectives. Finally, we scheduled a reporting timeline that allowed us to gather baseline measurements, identify ways to improve, implement appropriate improvements and repeat.

Whether it be KPIs or XLAs, your metrics should always provide useful information and/or clear direction on how to make improvements.

The following are examples of insight you can glean from the right metrics:

  • If you have a problem or change in the organization, who and what is it impacting?
  • If you implement a change, are you getting the results or outputs you expected?
  • If a new process needs to be followed, is it being followed and/or completed and is the expected process outcome being achieved?

Measurement strategy: The journey

Now that you know your destination and how you’re going to get there, it’s time to start tracking! The reporting generated from your metrics as well as your continuous improvement plan makes up your measurement strategy. Our People and Organization Consulting Practice excels in developing thorough plans for implementing, measuring and evaluating metrics, leveraging both existing and emerging data.

Using existing data allows us to understand why goals weren't met after the completion of a program. We then partner with our clients to create a measurement strategy retroactively to make immediate improvements. The second is through emerging data. We work with clients to establish a measurement strategy that is implemented throughout the duration of the program. We can evaluate data in real time and form continuous improvement plans and/or change interventions around developing needs.

Organizations should expect to change and evolve with their people, using the measurement strategy as the guide. You have set your goal. You're following the GPS, and you should be using those outcomes to re-route as needed. Be realistic about where you are today, but always keep an eye on what is ahead in your change journey.

Start your journey to create adaptability and measure OCM efforts

Once a measurement strategy is in place, it's important to continually track, refine and adjust, as needed. In the end, the purpose of a measurement strategy is to continually improve over time and meet or exceed program goals. As an IT services innovator with more than 5,000 global clients, NTT DATA’s People and Organization Consulting Practice enables businesses and their people to thrive.

Stay tuned for the final installment of our three-part series, where we'll build upon the concepts of creating adaptability and measuring the effectiveness of OCM. Part Three will offer best practices to sustain changes long-term.

Learn more about impact of organizational change management strategies by visiting NTT DATA’s People and Organization Consulting Practice.

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Marisa Zdroik
Marisa Zdroik

Marisa leads the Organizational Change Management (OCM) domain within the People and Organization Consulting Practice for NTT DATA Services. Marisa has held senior positions focusing on transformational change and adoption, organizational strategy and design, talent development and employee engagement. She is an expert at finding creative yet pragmatic solutions to complex business challenges. She drives organizational effectiveness with clients across industries, achieving business goals and promoting sustainable change through transformation.

Susie Wiley_Profile Pic (2).jpg
Susie Wiley

Susie is a consultant within the People and Organization Consulting Practice for NTT DATA Services. Susie has experience in Organizational Development and Change Management, working across various industries and with Fortune and Global 500 companies to support large-scale IT and business process change implementations. She is an expert in stakeholder and change impact analysis, training and communication planning and delivery, and employee adoption strategies.

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