Change Management + Data Analytics = Change Analytics. So where can we begin learning about this heady fusion?
Organisational change management is a heady fusion of three talents. These talents: business analytics, emotional intelligence and creativity. Leading change results in complicated human challenges and data-heavy conundrums.
Yet project scope, stakeholder dynamics and change readiness evolve. How do we stay on top of everything?
Measuring your change’s influence is a powerful skill. It is as important as other skills in your change toolkit. Measurement brings clarity to leaders. The old adage, “You can manage what you measure” rings true in this case. You win leaders’ minds, as data often conveys credibility.
Analytical horsepower is one talent separating new from experienced change professionals. You don’t have to rely on change frameworks and cookie-cutter templates. Why outsource your thinking anyway? By all means, adapt frameworks to your project circumstances. Yet isn’t it exhilarating to apply independent thinking to complex problems?
Data-driven clarity helps decision-makers, acting as an uncertainty buster. So where can you apply your change analytics throughout a project’s lifecycle? The image below suggests potential opportunities.
What you choose to measure depends on how much time you have available to capture each metric. Your organisation’s landscape also determines what you can measure — can you get your hands on various data? Decision-makers can also sway what they would like you to measure too.
Getting your hands on vital data sources is one thing — what do you do when you have the data? Your next step is to transform raw data into valuable insights. This step is broadly defined as data wrangling. Data wrangling needs a range of competencies.
Data competencies for change professionals
While having greater analytical and data-centric skills sounds worthwhile, where do you begin? The below data competencies help you see the broader, high-level skills needed:
Data wrangling is an often-overlooked yet serious advantage for change leaders. How committed are you to learning data concepts and principles for your work today?
Your system can be in a series of linked spreadsheets, carefully maintained! Or in a bespoke database. The design needs a thoughtful approach for sound data hygiene. Is new data entered a consistent way? Does each table have a unique identifier? Can others use your system throughout a project? Can you extract meaningful information from your system? Like fire, systems can be your servant or master. Be thoughtful about your systems. Clean, routinely-updated data serves you throughout your project.
Why link these three? This idea is similar to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems used by salespeople. Sales people use CRMs to help move prospects to “closed sales”. Change Managers can take a similar approach in their stakeholder management. Instead of “closed sales”, we transform a stakeholder’s take on change impacts to become aspects of a co-designed change.
If you are working on a complex change as part of a large team how do you keep track of so many variables? Keeping track of everyone’s conversations needs systemisation.
Growing and applying your data capabilities and analytical skills takes focus and chutzpah. Done well, you calmly update your change plan to reflect new circumstances. Your deliverables stay on track. Linking your projects change analytics to an enterprise-wide view of change becomes possible.
With clarity comes calm. Your sense of calm is valuable in stressful project environments. Project leaders see your capacity to remain calm and simplify chaos. So how would you rate your change analytics capabilities?
Would you like to learn more about change analytics?