"Health". If a change initiative or project is to be successful it should deliver three things; firstly its needs finish on time and on budget, secondly it needs to do what it is supposed to do and deliver its objectives (technical or otherwise) and finally it needs to deliver its expected financial and non-financial Return on Investment (ROI).
Calculating the Health of Change Projects
According to Prosci the health of a change is function of 3 mutually-dependent components. Firstly we have the effectiveness of the Leadership or Sponsorship (L/S) to correctly direct and guide the change needs to be undertaken by the Senior most Leader(s) responsible for the delivery of the results of that change. Secondly we have the technical side or Project Management (PM) of that change, does it functionally do what we expect it to do? Is it well-designed, developed efficiently and delivered on time? Finally we have Change Management (CM), the "people-side" of change, how well do all of the people who are supposed to use this new capability actually use it. How well do they embrace, adopt and use it?
The strength of all three components can and should be quantified and measured at multiple times during the life-cycle of a change initiative, release or project and actions taken by relevant stakeholders to improve and maximise this strength continuously, so that all 3 dimensions are equally strong prior to the Go-Live release of this new capability.
Prosci has created a measurement framework - a concise, purposeful assessment - for a single change initiative called the Project Change Triangle (PCT). Questions in the PCT are simple, allowing multiple stakeholder opinions to be collected and results are data-driven and colour coded for ease of interpretation by stakeholders. Completing a PCT assessment takes 20 minutes or less. It is what actions you collectively agree to take as a consequence of the PCT results though that matters, if you are part of that change initiative's key stakeholder group.
The thing is though that the health of a change matters. The size of our PCT at a point in time is proportionate to the ROI we can expect to deliver from that change. The smaller our triangle, the lower our potential realisable ROI. The larger, the higher.
The health of our change is a proxy for ROI because our initiative, release or project is a vehicle of improving performance.
Extending the Measurement of Change Health
In many organisations changes are more complex and are often broken down into work-streams or releases. Also multiple changes are often happening simultaneously and many of these changes are frequently interlinked into programs or "transformation".
In these situations it is often helpful to have simple, clear visual representation of the health of a change transformation program and its component projects/release and to be able to systematically identify risk factors that are holding the transformation back from maximising its ROI.
Having a consistent framework to drive practical next steps that improve the health of a transformation and being able to track progress over time throughout its life-cycle is very helpful for leaders and key teams. This drives and encourages a shared, inclusive and data-driven vision for success of the transformation.
At the Board level with the consistent use of this PCT framework on all major projects, programs and transformations it becomes much easier to see and effectively prioritise and efficiently resource the portfolio of all changes occurring throughout an organisation for success.
So can this measurement of the health of change be extended into these more complex change programs and organisation-wide transformations? Yes it can through the use and adoption of the advanced Prosci cloud based tool called the PCT Analyzer.
Key stakeholders on a project or program receive individual PCT assessments at pre-determined intervals - usually prior to a scheduled steering committee review of that change for example - and through the automatic collation of their answers by the PCT Analyzer, are able to see very clearly the different individual and consensus overall view of the project and program health at that point in time. The tool also provides recipients with targeted guidance on where and how to focus improvement in the health on all 3 components.
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