Last week I spoke at PMI Melbourne on the topic of how to measure change project success. It’s a talk where we start with addressing the 70% of Change Fails myth, briefly covering why we might not want to be so quick to bust myths and then pivots to how do you measure change success in the real world.

And it struck me there’s one simple tip that might make a big difference to many of you in your change efforts.

Measure As You Go

Yep, measure as you go. If you are waiting until the end of your change project to measure success, the horse has bolted. This is the pitfall of most of the surveys that supposedly measure change success that are used to justify the 70% failure rate. A binary metric (yes or no) after the project has completed.

In previous posts I establish that there are four categories of change project metrics. The last one is “how successful were we at the process of change”.  Measuring as you go means looking at the How of Change. And what I suggest in the talk is the easiest way to do this is to establish success metrics at each stage of your change project.

The easiest way I know to do this is use Daryl Conner’s Commitment Curve. So you know how the original commitment curve had 8 phases, but this was quickly shortened to four stages?  Consultants get lazy with whiteboards right 😉

Well this is perfectly suited to setting up a framework for measuring how successful you are with the change process. Take each stage (eg Awareness, Understanding etc) and work out what would success look like at that stage. Then think about how you might measure that quantitatively (existing data and baselining) or survey / polls, or qualitative (analysis of tone, sentiment, words, speech, observation methods).

It might look something like this:

How does that sound? Achievable? if you want to hear more about it, head over to the Conversations of Change Facebook page. Got another way you measure change success? Let us know in the comments !

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