Not Capturing The Magic Of Your Change? Here’s How

Photo by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash

How many change professionals go out of their way — on every project — to capture benefits? One of the best things about leading change is to celebrate success. This idea sounds all well and good — yet most of us are exhausted or numb at the end of a project. We may be striving to focus on making changes “stick”. There is often the enduring task of finishing our change materials handover to operational teams. Then going on a short break before the next project!

Still, can we move from surviving to thriving at the end of our project? Shifting the dial and looking at the achievements and outcomes in the people side of change needs a small shift in our habits. How can change professionals quantify their value and illustrate benefits realisation?

Here’s one way — prepare a change benefits realisation infographic.

An infographic format is a powerful tool for promoting your team’s success. Well-designed infographics convey the benefits and successes your change has provided. Aim to tell the story of both the technical and people side of change. In spite of your infographic’s brevity, you can take your story a step further. Gain testimonials on the success and benefits of the change from influential stakeholders. This social proof elevates your infographic. Your work morphs from straightforward, de-identified data into a story with real-life people and credible commentary.

Credit: Sharon Connolly, Change Superhero for a useful ‘Delivery Pulse Check’ template. Infographics are a powerful way for Organisational Change Managers to promote their project team’s success.

How do we go about this?

1. At the start of a project, consider how you intend to capture data. Where can you source data covering the change journey? How can you capture the number of stakeholders and impacted employees? Ultimately, you may want to provide a few averages. These averages include the number of messages, training sessions and other support mechanisms.

2. If you feel overwhelmed, and don’t know where to begin then start small. Choose a representative person involved in your change. Your representative acts as a tiny sample of the population, and by walking in the shoes of a single person it is easier to measure the next step.

3. Do you ask what success looks like from the perspective of many stakeholders? What would your representative employee describe success? Is your change planning accommodating this idea of success (within reason)?

4. During your project, think of your representative person — on average, what have they received? For instance, the number of messages, training sessions and other change interventions.

5. Can you get your hands on readership statistics for your change communications? This includes disposable (such as emails), or durable (such as a single point of truth for your change).

6. Have you experienced mid-project scope changes? What story might you craft in how your team adapted to scope change? How did your team pivot to improve the employee experience? Did you need to adapt or tailor change messages and support to emerging or extra audiences?

7. What stakeholder relationships are you cultivating? Could influential stakeholders provide your project with “a good reference”?

8. Testimonials can also come from the heads of support teams. Can they speak to the quality and efficiency of key document handover and bespoke support team training and coaching?

9. Towards the end of a project, what story can you tell about your representative employee? What about the number of training sessions available to them? The number of questions available to them in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents?

10. Your helpdesk may provide the number of support tickets raised on average for your change. What does the helpdesk ticket data suggest? How did you mitigate the largest reason(s) for these tickets?

This linear, ten-step approach helps with “hands-on” capture and promotion of your change’s progress at the end of a project. Yet benefits realisation is larger than this linear concept. Consider your project amongst a constellation of others. What mutual benefits and inter-relations does your change have with concurrent projects in your organisation? How does the well-executed people side of change in your project tie into an enterprise-wide change roadmap?

Benefits realisation also usually has a financial flavour. This is quite important especially when efforts turn to making change stick.

I hope you enjoyed this brief walkthrough of how you can capture and promote the magic of your change. My book — The Change Manager’s Companion — covers benefits realisation in detail.

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Organisational change, behavioural design and coaching psychology insights — practical and research informed. Clever ways to put a dent in the world.

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Allan Owens

Allan Owens

Australian Change Lead: 8 years experience. Author of The Change Manager’s Companion. https://www.humanfactorsadvisory.com.au/the-change-managers-companion

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