Myth vs. Reality: Misconceptions of Transformation ROI

Organizational Change Management (OCM) is important to any company that is implementing new systems and strategies to ensure there is a smooth transition for everyone involved. With a successful transformation you will see positive outcomes such as an increase in employee engagement, improved performance and lower costs. But how will you know if your transformation has been successful?

One of the biggest questions about OCM we’re asked is how to accurately measure Return On Investment (ROI). We often find that our clients can’t effectively measure the success of their transformation initiatives because they’re focused on the wrong priorities.

Through our experience, we’ve discovered the most common misconceptions for measuring the success of an OCM project and have outlined the key priorities to consider.

Myth: You’ll immediately see results after your OCM project is complete

Reality: It could take months or even a year to begin to realize the value of your investment in OCM

Any business transformation typically requires a period of adaptation and adjustment. For example, your customers may take a while to adopt a new E-Commerce platform, while customer service may need more sessions to completely learn how to use it to help customers with orders. That’s why a successful transformation will always include reinforcement.

Myth: The transformation is a failure if all of the new tools and technology are not adopted when you go-live

Reality: There’s a 99% chance that your teams will have no idea how to use all the new tools after the go-live date

You may have provided teams who have been impacted by the change with a series of training sessions during implementation. However, a significant amount of what they learn may be forgotten by the time your go-live date rolls around. This can be avoided by taking the time to understand who the individuals are on your team and then create a learning environment that is appealing to them. It’s also important to consider cultural and generational characteristics. Think about how to make training interactive through video, gaming and even quizzes. And remember, learning takes time. A few sessions will likely not be enough for employees to truly embrace the change. Just before go-live, it’s crucial to do “day-in-the-life” scenarios in the employee’s work environment to validate their understanding and adoption of the change.

In addition, training should continue well after the go-live date to reinforce the changes and put them into real-life scenarios that may not be covered during more structured training sessions.


Myth: You are measuring increases to productivity, reduction in headcount and improvements to security

Reality: There is no one in the organization responsible for measuring the success of the transformation

Identifying a team or individual who is accountable for measuring the long-term impact of transformation is one of the most overlooked aspects of an OCM initiative. During planning, it’s important to determine who will be responsible for change sustainment and what those requirements or guidelines would be.

Another important aspect of this is to do some benchmarking prior to the start of implementation. Carefully consider what you should measure and determine when timing is right to conduct the analysis. For example, a significant change – no matter how much training takes place prior to go-live – will initially cause some decreases in productivity. This will resolve over time if a change sustainment program is implemented. In addition, it’s important for the OCM sustainment team to frequently discuss and address potential learning gaps with impacted team members, super user groups and front-line managers. This can be done a number of ways, including surveys, town hall meetings and focus groups.

Looking for ideas on transformation surveys? Check out our OCM sustainment survey ideas included below.


Myth: IT will measure impact of the change initiative

Reality: Their primary focus is on the technology functioning properly and not desired business outcomes

The core responsibility of IT is to ensure the technological aspects of the transformation project are as smooth as possible in order to reduce potential downtime. Business units should really be the drivers of measuring the impact of any type of change. They’re the ones who are working closely with internal and external stakeholders to help meet the business goals you want to achieve. By having members of the business responsible for measurement, you can more easily identify the right types of metrics and ensure their fulfillment. For example, your measurement will be more focused on measuring employee or customer satisfaction and retention versus the number of SLAs that were filed.


Myth: Our business technology consultant told us that we are guaranteed ROI

Reality: Unless you have a sustainment program in place, there are no guarantees

It’s essential for you to ask your business technology consultant how they measure ROI. While there’s no magic formula, they should be willing to work with you at the beginning to establish some benchmarks. At AXIA, we conduct a robust OCM assessment that takes into account your goals, organizational culture, demographics of the team, technology, systems and processes. Another important question to ask your prospective technology partner is if they have a sustainment program as part of their OCM offerings. A solid OCM program will help you reinforce change over the long term, helping you to maximize your investment.


OCM Sustainment Survey Ideas

It’s important to obtain feedback from internal and external stakeholders before, during and after any OCM initiative. Here are a few example surveys to consider:

Engagement survey – Conduct this survey after the transformation has been announced. It should include questions to find out if stakeholders understand the reason for the transformation, the impact it will have and to give them some influence on what they want to see change.

Readiness survey – Distribute this survey prior to the go-live date. Questions should not only cover perceptions on how they think new tools and changes will help them do their jobs, but also help pinpoint any potential issues or knowledge gaps that should be addressed before the go-live date.

Post-transformation survey – Execute this survey three or six months after implementation. Find out how those impacted feel about the change? What areas do they feel are still gaps? Ask what other types of training they would like.

Remember, while qualitative feedback is helpful throughout the OCM initiative, it’s also important not to survey too much. It’s also important to communicate results about potential issues uncovered and how you are addressing them. This will go a long way with retention and satisfaction.


AXIA – Your Transformation Partner

Our experienced and expert team can help you achieve long-term success from your OCM initiative. Our OCM capabilities encompass the complete lifecycle of business transformation – from planning to sustainment. Whether you’re looking to implement a new Oracle solution, multinational BI integration project, merger or acquisition, or another enterprise transformation, our team is prepared to help. Contact us at 877-292-5503 or