The Value of Codifying Change Data
By Talwyn Whetter, June 6 2022
Why does codifying change data add value?
Businesses need to change. Whether it is to address the needs of the workforce through hybrid working, responding to legislative changes, or responding to conflict or climate crises - things are becoming increasingly less stable in a business environment.
Yet change management as a discipline is woefully behind the curve in terms of using data well and this is strange because data is often pivotal to the success or the failure of initiatives within a business.
Of course, it is very possible to manage individual projects effectively within spreadsheets – just like you can effectively manage your home budget on one. But it’s been a long time since any large or medium sized business managed their finances in a spreadsheet, and businesses are telling us that the moment to start that journey with change data is now.
In order to really get to grips with the key challenges facing change functions (such as change saturation, effective centralisation and support) – and to address these issues effectively, businesses really need to get a good view of all aspects of change going on across their organisation.
The challenges and why codification is a great first step
So, why has codification been so hard for the sector to get to grips with and why might your business be struggling to get your hands on the data you need to really supercharge your change effort?
Challenge #1 - Every project is different
Well, to a degree, of course it is. The challenge of change management is people and people’s inherent ability to be unpredictable. But that doesn’t prevent you from putting some simple structures in place to capture data consistently. What everyone seems to be able to agree on is that change is about:
- People and how they respond to change (Stakeholders)
- What is changing (Impacts)
- What you are going to do about B to help A (Actions)
So let us start there.
Challenge #2 - Change Management has no consistent data sets
Again, a bit of a simplification, but what we see across countless organisations is little, absolute consistency but a variation on a theme. And throw in a myriad of different methodologies or consultancies and suddenly you have a lot of different ways to categorise broadly similar situations.
People, Impact and Action give us a great structure to baseline those datasets. And we can start to ask some benchmarking questions:
- People: Who are the people who are most important to an initiative? How are you going to find out what they think?
- Impacts: What happened before? What will happen in future? What is the difference? What are the benefits and drawback?
- Actions: What are the common levers we can use to help our people understand and embrace the change?
In conjunction with our clients and partners, Serendata Insight captures a baseline set of data that all change initiatives capture, so that anyone delivering or reporting on change can easily adopt a consistent model with low effort and training.
Challenge #3 - change information is hard to measure effectively and consistently
By codifying your organisational change data, you can really start to professionalise your change management function and engage your ExCo or C-Suite in the challenges you face but potentially struggled to convey. It brings order to what is generally an otherwise chaotic setting.
- A consistent, base set of data points captured across all change initiatives - this matters because there is less time spent on ‘coming up with’ an approach, deviating from a standard and initiatives can easily be overlaid with other initiatives to create rich maps of the full org change journey.
- Clear and consistent deliverables - this matters because you can democratise the outputs of change; people in the business understand what they are looking at, get a consistent view of their data, make decisions based on the information that they have been provided.
- Much easier to identify data gaps - a consistent model for data capture, means like for like gaps are much easier to surface. This matters because often in change management, the things you don’t know are the things that prevent project success – for example, if you have no clear view of who your key stakeholders are then you may not invest the effort in the right people, leading to poor adoption.
- Easy and consistent organisational reporting - this matters because many people in the C-suite are unaware of the challenges and impacts that their push to transform is having on the business. Decisions for radical overhauls of the business at the C-Suite may not take into account the businesses capacity for change and this leads to a potentially detrimental effect on the business (i.e. a perceived change in the culture of the company).
If any or all of these challenges resonate, get in touch with the Serendata team today to learn more about how our solution can help.