Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Return on Investment for Change Management

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Our clients ask us all the time about the return on investment for time and money spent managing change. Studies conducted by McKinsey several years ago showed a correlation between successfully managing change and increased returns from the changes studied. But the study provided no clear formula or way of calculating the increased value of future changes. We know that the benefits of investing in change management come from increased speed of adoption, adoption rates, and the skills or abilities of people who will take on new ways of working. So we were wondering… how do you measure the return on the investment in change management?

We asked past Change Management Certification Participants the following questions about their return on change management investments.
How do you justify the use of change management on your projects?

Lots of respondents said that they basically don’t justify the use of change management on projects. For some, they don’t because they don’t need to. Their leadership teams just know intuitively that it helps. For others, their lack of justifying the use of change management is a problem that they are continuously battling when resistance to change management arises.

A few justify change management with surveys and sharing the successes of change management in previous projects.
Have you measured the return on investment for change management? If so, what did you measure in order to determine the ROI of change management?

Most of you haven’t measured the return on change management investments. For those that have, measuring productivity of the workforce before and after a change was suggested, along with measuring adoption rates and surveying people about their engagement in a new way of working.

Several folks commented on the “soft” or “intangible” benefits of change management and the difficulty in measuring it.

In which change management activities do you invest the most money?

The most common things noted were communications (planning, executing, and materials), bringing stakeholders together for communication and engagement, and training.
Thanks for those of you that shared your experiences with the ROI of change management. There is no formula that we can point to just yet. But if you are thinking about measuring the benefits of the change management work you are doing, look to the cost savings or benefits for the organization that result from: faster adoption of new ways, greater utilization of the change, and greater skill or ability to use the changes. Good luck and let us know how it goes!