Yes, We Can Measure Change!

Is the success of a change-management approach somehow quantifiable and measurable? At first it seemed counterintuitive to me to measure the soft side. But we’ve tried something new…. At one of our projects we have incorporated ADKAR – a tool that helps us to measure change – into our transformation approach.

Have you already heard about MOUNTK? MOUNTK is our internal full-transformation methodology composed of the holy trinity: project management, change management and content expertise. MOUNTK serves successful project implementations, for which the three parts are important critical success factors.

“Are we on the right track?”

This is a key question in every project. To measure whether we will manage to deliver on time and in full is natural. We check our progress compared to the milestones that are set, we measure key performance indicators, and we work towards the key success factors. Usually two components of the holy three – content expertise and project management – are well covered and measured; but what about the change-management component? Is the success of our change-management approach also somehow quantifiable and measurable?

To enable us to also measure the so-called soft third component, we have tried something new! On one of our projects we used ADKAR in our transformation approach. ADKAR is a tool promoted by PROSCI in order to measure individual change. ADKAR stands for Awareness of the need to change, Desire to participate and support the change, Knowledge of how to change, Ability to implement the change on a day-to-day basis, and Reinforcement to keep the change in place.

“Why do we need to change anything if it is just working fine the way it is?”

This will definitely sound familiar to many of you. Awareness of the business need for change is a critical ingredient of the change cocktail. If people are not fully aware of the need for change, they will definitely not feel the desire to be a part of it. The difficult part – but also the key message here – is that everybody goes through a change journey at his or her own pace.

In my project we were about 6 months before the launch of the first trainings, and we wanted to get a clear view on how ready people actually were to start going through the transformation. We therefore launched a questionnaire to all the people involved to capture the individual ADKAR results.

I have to admit that seeing those results for the first time can be a bit confronting. We noticed that not everyone was really fond (yet) of the “baby” that we – the project team – were raising. The pace of the project team was not the same as the pace of the people.
So in order to get everyone on the same track we organized a big change event, gathering all the change agents and change sponsors in one location. By organizing this event we could work on the Awareness and Desire parts of ADKAR. During interactive sessions and workshops we repeated the message on the WHY of the change. In addition we gave details on the WHAT–HOW–WHEN and WHY it was important for us that THEY – as change sponsors and change agents – played an important role in the whole change story! At the end of the day, change needs to come from within in order to be sustainable.

After this event we launched the questionnaire for the second time, and saw huge differences in the results. Instead of mainly doubting responses before, we now received constructive feedback, and even some nice quotes such as “We will only stop when we are number one!” This project, which was at first only a “project of the project team” had now become a “project of the people involved”. They wanted to take on an active role in the future deployment of the project. A few weeks before the first go-live at the writing of this blog, we were confident that this project was carried on a lot more shoulders than just those of the project team.

We definitely noticed the power of using ADKAR to be able to correctly adjust and refine a transformation plan during the project. That is why individual change is now incorporated as a standard in our MOUNTK project-implementation methodology.
Are you eager to know more about our MOUNTK experiences? Just talk to one of our experts.