Change is Good: Change Factor Survey results

Roger Kastner

Roger Kastner

On October 24, I had the privilege of speaking at the ACMP Pacific Northwest Regional Network’s Change Connect 2013 Symposium. My presentation highlighted the value of identifying the factors that increase the likelihood of successful outcomes and how to turn those factors into a Change Success Checklist.

In advance of this symposium, I conducted a survey where I asked change practitioners to identify what they thought were the top 5 factors that contribute the most to successful change. The survey was open from mid-September through October 18. I shared the results of the survey with the presentation attendees as a starter checklist to modify and create their own Change Success Checklist.

One of the key points of the Why Change Management Projects Succeed presentation is that no single list of success factors will guarantee repeatable success—instead, the inherent value in the Change Success Checklist is the ability to modify the list based on the objectives of the initiative, the expectations of the stakeholders, and the needs of the target audience.

Even though I’m about to share the results of this particular survey, there is no guarantee that this list of factors will produce successful change for your next change project.

Here are the results of the Change Factor Survey:

Question 1: Please select what you believe are the top 5 factors that contribute to successful change initiatives.

Success Factor

Responses

%

Active & Engaged Sponsorship: committed, consistent, and positively supporting and impacting progress

145

71.8%

Change Leadership: the ability of the sponsor and leaders to effectively lead the target audience through and reinforce the change

95

47.0%

Employee Engagement: engaging a representative group of the target audience to help develop and implement the solution

90

44.6%

Clear Business Objectives: vision for the change tied to ROI and tangible, measureable goals

90

44.6%

Change Communications: frequent and open communications about the change

80

39.6%

Stakeholder Engagement: engaging and leveraging the leaders who lead people through the change

76

37.6%

Clearly Identified “What’s in it for me” (WIIFM): articulating the reasons why the change is beneficial to the individual

52

25.7%

Change Dialogue with Manager: open dialogue between manager and employee about the change, the impacts the employee can expect, the support the employee will receive, and any potential areas of resistance the employee might experience

50

24.8%

Dedicated and Skilled Change Managers: experienced and talented change managers who can coach and support the sponsor and leaders, and know how to adjust plans when necessary

47

23.3%

Influencer Engagement: identification and deployment of key well-networked individuals to positively influence others to embrace and adopt the change

40

19.8%

Reinforcement: the activities that support and measure active engagement with the change after the moment of impact

38

18.8%

Project Management: utilizing PM best practices and approaches to set, manage, and deliver on expectations of the change effort’s scope, schedule, and budget

37

18.3%

Resistance Management: identifying and creating activities to address the areas of resistance to the change

31

15.4%

Positive Environment: able to take on challenges with positive outlook and planning for success rather than looking for failure

29

14.4%

Active Governance Structure: design a model for how teams will operate to ensure effective teamwork and problem resolution among leaders

28

13.9%

Project to Organization Vision Alignment: project vision aligns well with mission and purpose of the organization

25

12.4%

Stakeholder Expectations: identified expectations of all stakeholders for project interactions and outcomes

17

8.4%

Minimize Scope & Requirements: minimizing the amount of change and/or the amount of change transition to only require the minimum amount of change necessary to achieve outcomes

17

8.4%

Formal Change Methodology: adhering to a formal process such as ADKAR, LaMarsh, Kotter, etc.

16

7.9%

Organizational Change Track Record: proven successful organizational change has occurred previously and has been sustainable

7

3.5%

Question 2: Which of the following best describes your role?

Role

Responses

%

Change Management Professional—Consultant

134

66.7%

Change Management Professional—Internal/Employee

44

21.9%

Manager/Director of CM Function

15

7.5%

Stakeholder of CM Function (no change management responsibilities)

8

4.0%

Question 3: How many change initiatives have you lead or had some degree of responsibility for the successful implementation of change?

Number of Initiatives

Responses

%

0

2

1.0%

1-4

45

22.3%

5-9

66

32.7%

10+

89

44.1%

Definitely some unexpected responses in the ranking of the Change Success Factors. In fact, two of the bottom three are on my Change Success Checklist. Yet with over 70% of respondents having significant experience with change, definitely some experience amongst the crowd.

In a future post, I’ll share my Change Success Checklist that I presented at the symposium. Many thanks to the 202 survey participants; it was great to be able to use the results for the presentation.

Change is good, and using a Change Success Checklist can make change even better—it’s that simple.

About Roger Kastner
As a member of the Organizational Effectiveness practice at Slalom Consulting, I'm excited to share my perspectives and experiences with Change and Project Management to help clients and practitioners achieve their goals and objectives.

3 Responses to Change is Good: Change Factor Survey results

  1. Bruno Chevolet says:

    Thanks for sharing this Roger!
    Interesting to note the modesty of the CM consultants who provided the majority of answers, as dedicated & skilled change managers are merely ranked 9th with 23,3%!
    Kind regards, Bruno

    • Roger Kastner says:

      Hi Bruno,

      Yeah, good observation, that is interesting. I wonder if it’s modesty or a reflection that there are more important contributing factors for success than a skilled Change Manager (i.e., only 1 in 4 respondents said a skilled Change Manager is a top 5 contributing factor for success).

      What do you think? Can you have a successful change without a skilled Change Manager, or are there more than 5 critical success factors for Change?

      And those two might not be mutually exclusive.

      Thanks for your comment, would love to hear your thoughts.

      Roger

  2. Pingback: Change is good: L is for leadership courage | The Slalom Blog

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