How to measure and maximise return on Transformation & Change efforts

Building on agile ways of working to define change projects’ KPIs and embed transformation

The earlier post on 10 principles of agile project management spoke at length about bringing the spirit of the original Agile Manifesto into organising and running a Transformation & Change project and/or Target Operating Model design process. One of the most pertinent questions resulting from that post is “What KPIs can be put in place to track transformation progress and how can they be used to embed change further inside the organisation?”

From a pure project management perspective, the tree main KPIs are a timely, as agreed, and as budgeted (i.e. time, spec and cost) delivery of implementation. Most of the time, these KPIs work perfectly – as in a product setting, for example. However, Transformation & Change projects are different insofar as they deal with people, whose support or luck thereof can profoundly affect all three generic KPIs.  Change Management projects, therefore, must measure their success with softer ‘human’ metrics, in addition to traditional project management KPIs above. Such softer KPIs could include internal rates of change adoption, compliance with new processes/procedures,  and employee/client retention, to mention but a few. As ever in a real life project, ‘less is more’ as far as KPIs are concerned, and two or even one carefully selected top level KPI could be sufficient to monitor the temperature of change implementation process.

That said, moving the dial on any selected change KPIs requires dedicated attention. The key is to instil confidence in the organisation that the change is sensible, that it is on the right track, and that it produces visible positive results.

When working on this post, I was inspired by an article on agile ways of working by Rob Moore, a former Board Member of the Business Architecture Society. In it, he identified six objectives behind increasing business agility. In fact, I found them perfect guidelines for structuring project actions aimed at maximising return on Transformation & Change efforts (I have rephrased some of them and added one extra but you can find Rob’s full article at the link above).

  1. Plan to deliver the largest chunks of value sooner rather than later in the implementation journey
  2. Reduce the time that it takes to start getting a return on investment and prioritise quick wins
  3. Increase the predictability around costs and delivery of part or all of a change
  4. Increase ability to listen to the organisation and respond to changing circumstances and priorities
  5. Manage the risks associated with change effort and deliverables
  6. Increase the quality (fitness for purpose) of our deliverables
  7. Communicate often and well!

Struggling with measuring success of transformation initiatives is not unusual for many companies, and unfortunately numerous change efforts run out of steam because their impact is not made visible enough. Yet by following the ideas above it is possible to build up a robust system of transparent and motivating KPIs for every organisation undergoing change, and finally to guide that transformation initiative to its successful implementation.


Does this article resonate with you? I would like to hear what you think – you are welcome to leave a comment or send me a message from my Contact page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s