If your organization is using organizational change management to help your workforce prepare for an ERP project, you might have found that many stakeholders are skeptical, or at the very least, curious about the importance of change management. In other words, they’re looking for change management metrics. What is change management? This refers to the actions required to manage the “people side” of change and is a critical part of any enterprise software implementation.
But, how do you know exactly what data points to track? Today, we’re sharing six core metrics that matter.
Why are Change Management Metrics Important?
Increasingly, organizations are measuring the people side of change because they need to demonstrate the value-add of applying change management to their ERP projects or business transformations.
When defining change management metrics for your own project, it’s important to understand that measuring user adoption is not enough. You also must show the measurable impact of change management in driving business outcomes.
We recommend the project sponsor, project team and change management team collaborate to define what measures are most meaningful. From there, you can establish a cadence of collecting and reviewing data.
The 2021 ERP Report
This report summarizes our independent research into organizations' selection and implementation decisions and their project results.
6 Change Management Metrics You Can Use to Measure OCM Success
1. Employee Engagement
An active and engaged workforce is one of the chief indicators that your change management efforts are working. It shows your strategic communication has created the awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement (ADKAR) necessary to sustain long-term organizational change.
Employee engagement means employees have been involved in project activities from start to finish. For instance, did they play a role in ERP requirements gathering? Following implementation, were they engaged in the continuous improvement process?
There are a few different ways to measure employee engagement. You can conduct surveys and interviews, or you can simply track how many employees are participating in project activities and how much input they are providing. You can also gather data on turnover rates to measure how many employees are sticking with your company through the changes.
2. Employee Feedback
It’s possible for employees to put in a full day’s work but not understand or embrace new processes or technology. This is why it’s important to regularly gather employee feedback regarding organizational changes.
If you’re early in the project, ask employees how they feel about the coming shift. If you’re further in the project, ask them how they feel about the changes that have already been implemented.
While gathering this input helps you gauge change management success, you can also use the feedback to design a change management communication plan aimed at increasing system usability and adoption.
3. Help Desk Calls and Requests for Support
It’s unrealistic to expect even well-equipped employees to effortlessly use a new ERP system from day one. Your IT support team will naturally be fielding support questions from time to time.
However, if your IT team is flooded with an abundance of support questions, this could be a sign that the end-user training aspect of your change management plan was insufficient.
We recommend keeping tabs on the frequency of trouble tickets and noting recurring themes.
How many and what type of issues are employees experiencing with the new technology? What additional training might be necessary?
4. System and Process Adoption
Are your employees circumventing the new system and retracting back to their old, familiar ways? You don’t want to invest in ERP software only to realize that employees aren’t using it as expected.
That said, another key metric to track is system usage and adoption rates. In other words, what percentage of employees are using the new system? Are they doing so proficiently and without objection or workarounds?
If system adoption rates are low, it could signal that your change management efforts were insufficient for the degree of change and your organization’s level of business readiness.
5. Adherence to Project Plan and Timeline
If you experience project delays, it’s important to understand the causes. In our 2020 ERP Report, 29% of respondents attributed their timeline overruns to organizational issues, as one of many causes. In this study, we defined organizational issues as issues related to project governance, process design, and of course, change resistance.
If you experience project delays, you may want to ask yourself if employees have been adequately informed about project activities. With a lack of employee communication comes a lack of resource availability, and eventually, a lack of system usage because . . .
- When employees are not given a heads up about project activities, they do not have enough time to find resources to backfill their days jobs and/or the day jobs of those underneath them.
- When you don’t explain what’s in it for them, employees lack the desire to be involved in the project or to use the new system.
6. Benefits Realization and ROI
Typically, your project team will define and measure ERP benefits realization. However, the change management team should correlate change management activities with these metrics.
For example, communication drives employee buy-in, which drives system usage, which then drives benefits realization. Or, let’s say you’ve tracked attendance at end-user training sessions – if you had a high attendance rate, did this translate to increased employee competency and system usage?
Successful Change Management Starts Here
By tracking these change management metrics, you can ensure your efforts are resulting in real business value. The outcome-oriented metrics mentioned above will grab the attention of executives, especially the metrics related to benefits realization, to which all other metrics flow.
Tracking these metrics throughout your project can help prevent surprises and setbacks down the road. To learn how to develop a change management plan and measure its effectiveness, please request a free consultation below to speak with our organizational change management consultants.