IT Governance

Measuring Change Performance: Easy or Not?

Are things changing for the better or for the worse? And can you prove it? In a post at his blog, Joe the IT Guy discusses how to measure the success of change management. As usual, it seems straightforward, but it comes with some caveats.

Define Success First

Before anything else occurs, Joe actually takes a timeout to discuss how important it is to define what the words “change” and “success” mean. ITIL calls change “the addition, modification or removal of anything that could have an effect on IT services,” which is vague enough to encompass all sorts of trivial things. If you want to measure the success of change management, you should limit “change” to only include things that go through the actual change process.

By comparison, success is even more difficult to define. Business context will have to dictate the answer, even if it is a crude answer. For instance, change success may or may not consist of a thing being implemented on time, performing all of what was asked, and not causing much collateral damage in the process. In any case, Joe’s big takeaway here is this: “Don’t get sidetracked too soon into actually measuring what you are doing. Instead, remember why you are doing it.”

In general, when it comes to change and success, there are certain expectations that customers must have met before they actually feel comfortable paying for service rendered. Joe says it should boil down to this when talking with customers:

At which point would [the customer] be happy to pay? This should apply even if – with an internal supplier – there isn’t any real money changing hands. Still the concept of “when would I feel it right to pay” is a powerful indicator of having delivered success.

As a supplier, there are a range of factors… that might give you a starting point when talking through with your customers what any given change should do to make it successful. But they have to decide. And then you have to deliver to that in order to be seen as “successful.”

When everyone agrees on the criteria for success, deciding whether or not changes are going well will become easier. You can view the original post here:

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