Change Management

5 Ways Data-Driven Change Management Can Help You Succeed With Change

Beyond the Hype: Making Change Management Measurable & Manageable

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Table of contents

Blog summary

  • Business is undergoing a data-driven transformation. However, Change Management has taken a while to respond
  • Access to real-time people data is key to change management
  • Five ways data can influence the way you think about change
    • Gives a "real-time" update on the status of the change
    • Analysis of change legacy aids in performance advancement over time
    • Utilize change data to enhance assessment and selection
    • Dashboard information to involve major stakeholders
    • Facilitation of leader participation in transformation initiatives

A data-driven revolution is currently in progress.

There doesn't seem to be much room for skepticism regarding the data-driven revolution that is currently sweeping across industry in general. More and more businesses are turning to it to provide them a competitive edge in everything from product development to operations to how they develop and improve consumer experiences. Everything from bettering airline ETAs to enhancing and personalizing point-of-sale incentives.

Big data is thus altering not only the corporate landscape but also how we interact with businesses on a daily basis. However, businesses have taken a while to implement a data-driven change management approach based on change management analytics. And the upside is enormous.

Data is key

Data abounds in organizations, which from the perspective of change management likely implies that assessment, risk, and other change data are dispersed across teams, systems, shared drives, and individual PCs in a number of silos.

All of this information is extremely valuable on its own, but it is essentially useless without the systems and procedures in place to gather, analyze, and democratize the use of data within the organization in order to make operational, tactical, and strategic (yet democratized) decisions based on the data.

In reality, implementing big data in your organization—of which your change management function is a part—is a change project in and of itself. Additionally, if done appropriately and using data-driven methods, change management can aid in predicting the success or failure of the effort.

Understanding the science behind change management

Change management data is increasingly crucial to the planning, execution, and evaluation of change. Using the data is about applying more hard research to supplement and better inform the "smarts" and gut feelings you've developed over the course of your career as a highly effective change practitioner.

When it comes to facilitating the successful implementation of projects and programmes, change practitioners are frequently very involved and successful. However, there is a bit of a validity gap in organization because there isn't much information on "why" things worked well and how the model can be applied to new projects and initiatives.

This gap is filled by good, highly structured data on change management, which also firmly establishes, and cements change management's position as the highly valued service it merits. It is challenging enough to lead an organization through transformation. Making decisions based on data can greatly reduce suffering and simplify your day-to-day activities.

Change management data can transform your approach to change in five key ways

Before we get into the five key areas where we see data having a significant and measurable impact on how you get change "done," one quick caveat. We are not saying that you will never achieve 100% commitment to your projects and initiatives. However, by taking the time to establish the analytical tools and tracking processes, you can baseline your change and establish your capacity for change. And from there, you can monitor and assess known and emerging risks to ensure you have a broad picture that allows you to assess and pivot as needed to unlock business value across projects.

Furthermore, the dashboard-driven approach allows you to communicate progress, obstacles, wins, and challenges. All while ensuring that key stakeholders ranging from top management to front-line managers are on board.

Here are the top five advantages we see from using change management data in our client work:

1. Monitor your change initiatives in real time

When you start using digital assessment and diagnostic tools, you get a real-time barometer on how change is received across your organization's teams, functions, and geographies.

Because you are working digitally, you have the ability to instantly share the data and insights with your wider team in a few quick mouse clicks. The speed at which you can do this using a digital change platform not only gives you a quick and accurate "temperature check" on how managers are faring at delivering key messages about change to employees.

2. Using legacy data enables you to gradually enhance change performance

Understanding heritage and the history of your change management successes is really important, much like statistics. Any organization that neglects to evaluate its progress in implementing change is destined to fail from the start and has little chance of reaching its goals. Additionally, failure has a heavy price:

  • Costly for people: as poorly planned change is disruptive and over time can wear down their resilience
  • Costly for leaders: poorly planned and executed change ultimately costs leaders their credibility
  • Costly for organizations: poorly planned change can significantly affect organizational performance and competitiveness

However, organizations that capture and leverage legacy data about change can use it to better inform and improve change performance now and in the future. By learning from both good and bad experiences, there are clear insights for change leaders about: 

  • The likely results from new change projects if old practices are repeated
  • Strengths to be leveraged
  • Focus areas for greater success

3. Structured data use can aid in team assessment and selection

You increase your chances of success by using change data in an organized and proactive manner when choosing and evaluating candidates for change jobs.

4. You can approach change using a dashboard-driven strategy

It is similar to the strategy used by other organizations in terms of how they gather, examine, and share information. When you approach change using a dashboard-driven strategy, you give sponsors and executives the organized, consolidated information they require to make decisions about: 

  • How much change the organization can handle
  • Go/No-Go decisions
  • Prioritizing changes and projects

5. All of this facilitates simpler leader engagement

It makes sense that leaders would expect the same level of change management from their counterparts in sales, finance, marketing, and operations who are reporting to them via more complex dashboards. Change management is a discipline that necessitates plenty of available data on desktop computers, shared discs, hard drives, and spreadsheets. Centralizing it on a single platform and distributing it in a way that involves leaders and people in the project at hand are the keys to making it valuable. 

The key is engagement. Additionally, you can make sure that everyone is aware of what's working and what isn't and how to fix it by utilizing the power of big data.

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