Change Management, Ideal States, KPIs and Strategy

The most usable model is Kotter’s 2012 change management construction called ‘Accelerate’.  His earlier 1996 attempt to provide a checklist of best of breed change management practice was linear; did not have empirical evidence to support it; was not detailed enough to use in practice; and was not predictive (Burnes, 1996; Appelbaum et al, 2012).  The 2012 update, and the model’s simplicity, ease of understanding, the fact that it covers ADKAR and is concerned about buy-in and cultural change; makes the checklist useful (Lauchlan, 2007).  There is also no single way to manage change, you will add, amend and combine ideas and models (Burnes, 1996), a fact that Kotter highlights (2012).  Accelerate is thus a good starting point to understand change management in practice.

Aguinis (2011) presented a really good overview of detailing change management and making it relevant.  I restate it here for any who might be interested. Aguinis (2011) identified high rates of failure in performance management projects; and researched the ideal project / performant management structure. In my view this ‘ideal state’ should be followed as closely as possible and amended for the reality of the business in question. This would mean taking the PM project, and the ideal ‘state’ of a PM system, mapping it to your company, doing a gap analysis (Juan & Yang, 2004); and then building and implementing the system.  Importantly, as with any project you must have:

  • A scope document
  • A budget
  • An agreed upon plan
  • Stakeholder buy in
  • A project manager
  • A deadline


An ideal state includes:
  • Define the criteria around the system being changed or implemented
  • Identify and understand your strategy – what are you doing, why, what is your unique selling proposition, what pain do you solve, who are your ideal clients?
  • Set up a budget
  • Make it support the strategy
  • Make the links between the individual, the process and the strategy clear
  • Make the system practical, reality-based not philosophical
  • Refine the budget
  • Indices need to be very specific and clear
  • Identify what good vs bad performance looks like
  • Have employees involved and committed to the project
  • Refine the budget
  • Make sure the data is reliable and clean
  • The system must be fair and inclusive
  • The systems are open and correctable
  • The system has to be used and to be seen being used
  • The systems support ethical standards
  • The system rewards good personnel and culture
  • Neutralize idiosyncratic rater effects (where people rate other people) through proper questioning
  • The system feeds into HR and the hiring of new staff.
  • Make the project iterative and do it right (above is heavily amended from; Aguinis 2001: 1/19)

This ideal state for a project, and to ensure a proper management of performance, is a valuable checklist in my opinion and could be used within a business, customized of course for context and circumstance.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) merged with Balanced Score Card (BSC)

To measure change you need to use metrics.  These should cover the main processes being changed and the areas of the business affected.  There are four areas measured by a KPI balanced scorecard which supports the BSC strategy initiative:

  1. Financial performance.
  2. Customer perspective: tracking customer satisfaction, attitudes, and market share goals.
  3. Internal processes: internal operational goals needed to meet customer objectives.
  4. Learning, innovation perspective: intangible drivers for future success such as human capital, organizational capital, training, informational systems

These four perspectives are interdependent.  Improvements in internal processes through the usage of these 4 KPI’s can help a business increase operating efficiency, which results in higher customer satisfaction and increased financial performance (Kaplan & Norton, 1992).  KPIs should therefore support strategy as measured by BSC.

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