Have you ever made a recipe without tasting it along the way? Most probably, just as I have, but don’t you think the chances that the seasoning is not right may be just a bit higher? When I was a teenager, I once made a strawberry soufflé. Instead of using icing sugar I used baking soda…the result was definitely not up to expectations! Since then I check and adjust my recipes as I go along, whether at home or at work!
This principle is even more important in transformation projects. For example, the technology component of the project traditionally has a testing phase. But what about the change management component of a project? Shouldn’t management be verifying that what is being done to prepare the people side of the business is working, and allow the possibility for tweaking the program along the way?
A change management dashboard is an essential management tool for any transformation project. I am currently using a dashboard as part of the change management program for a client who is in the process of implementing an ERP (enterprise resource planning).
The dashboard is built to track eight (8) change management areas that are deemed critical to ensure business buy-in and business readiness. The tool calculates a change management index for each area on a scale from -100 to100. Scores below 0 indicate that there are urgent change management issues to deal with, whereas scores over 0 show the building of momentum for the change. The higher the score, the better, as less change management issues or concerns are present.
In addition to the index, the dashboard also incorporates the use of Céline Bareil’s «concern assessment tool» as described by Claudie Vigneault in an earlier post. This means that employees’ and managers’ concerns, at the time of the assessment, can be plotted on the concerns model and upper management can see whether the change management interventions are having the desired result of moving people forward in their change process.
Given the number of people affected by the change in the ERP project, and in order to be efficient, the information is collected by means of an anonymous web questionnaire. Each question is linked to one of the eight (8) change management areas of the dashboard. The results are compiled and an index is calculated question by question allowing the result of an overall index for the area. Assessments take place approximately every six (6) months over a two (2) year period.
According to my client’s management team, the dashboard’s most valuable contribution has been its capacity to report what is going well (i.e. recipe doesn’t have to be changed) vs not so well (i.e. recipe needs tweaking) from the perspective of those living through the change. Following these assessments, specific elements of the solution or overall project plan were adjusted, as the dashboard brought forth the needed justification for some decisions.
Secondly, the results shed light on what information is not being cascaded properly and to the specific needs of employees and managers to move forward in their change process.
The proof is in the pudding, so to say…..a solid change management program which includes a change management dashboard has definitely contributed to our clients’ multiple successful change deployment!