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Going through organizational change? Here’s how to measure internalization


joshuabrusse.jpgBy Joshua Brusse, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software Professional Services


(Joshua Brusse has more than 20 years experience in all aspects of running IT as a business. He consults with HP enterprise customers regarding strategy, governance, service lifecycle management, and organizational design and transformation.)


I’ve written before about how management of organizational change (MOC) can bring tremendous benefits to organizations (see my post “3 elements for management of organizational change”). MOC can help organizations progress more quickly through the stages of change, arriving at internalization.


Only when employees have internalized the change is the change sustainable, and only then will the organization reap the benefits.


Internalization therefore is a key to achieving ROI on the change. But how do you know that your MOC program has been effective and that people have internalized the change you’ve wanted to make?


The importance of measures

Metrics and performance are an increasingly important part of HP Software solutions. While these tools are essential for giving leaders visibility into the health of their IT organizations, they can also reveal the extent to which change is internalized.


How? The reporting functions of tools can reveal how often processes are being followed correctly. The quality of records is another indicator of whether employees have embraced the new direction. Thus you can look at measures such as speed, fidelity and quality to see whether change has been internalized.


Problems with processes or records can indicate either that the new tools and processes implemented as part of the change are too difficult (and therefore more communication and education is needed) or they can indicate that employees have not fully shifted their mindset to the new way of doing business. Either way, you must make adjustments so that you can achieve the full benefits of the change.


3 ways to measure internalization

Depending on the particular change you’ve made, I recommend that leaders use a mix of objective measures (such as records and logs) and subjective measures (such as customer experience surveys) to determine internalization. 


For example, say that you want to improve the operation of your service desk. The success of the service desk depends on tools, processes and people. To improve operations, you have to change all three. You can implement new products and processes, but you also need a set of people who can use them and who are service-minded. Ultimately, you want your service desk people to adopt a particular culture.


To see if the change has been successfully internalized you can do a number of things:


  • Measure how your people are using the new tool. If people use the new tool but the record quality is not good, that is not helping the organization. If, for example, an engineer has recorded the word “solved” in the record but has not recorded how it was solved, then you are missing the information that is needed to build a knowledge database. Is it because the tool is too difficult, or is it because the people have not internalized the practices?
  • Measure how well processes are followed. How quickly are processes executed? If people are following processes correctly, then speed should increase. If speed is not increasing, you need to investigate further. For example, if you miss a document that needs to be produced by the problem manager you know something is wrong. Is it because there is no process step or procedure to trigger the action to make the document? Or has the problem manager just not done it even though the step is definitely designed?
  • Measure behavior and experience. Here you might examine recorded service desk calls as well as use customer survey data. Are people interacting well with their customers, demonstrating good listening skills, and being friendly and helpful?

In the end you’ve asked people to work in a different way. You have a set of characteristics you would like to see as a future state and you can use a mix of subjective and objective measures to analyze whether you’ve been successful or not.


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Johnny Itoh

Hi Joshua,


I agree to that it's important to correctly measure the internalisation for successfully proceeding the changes implementation and the right deployment.


In addition to that, as far as my own experience, there would also be the case that the internalisation is not well done in spite of the process and tools functionalities themselves are good enough designed/implemented, the new operation manual of each task are well prepared/deployed, and well trained about the use of new tools, etc, etc, "specifically at an each staff level".


For this, in my experienced typical case, although the management had correctly understood the changes enough, each staff and/or agent did not have enough level of understanding about the purpose of the change and especially how the change would work for the staffs' tasks at their level (i.e. They are not enough motivated to actively proceed the internalisation because they are not clear on the benefit of changes to be brought at the staff level and how their task level of improvements would make their total business/environment better).


So for effective internalisation, I would also like to emphasize the importance of making each staff understood effectively about the needs/benefits/returns of changes at their task level as well.

Alex Zammit

Joshua, great advice. Do you have the supporting collateral to be able to measure the processes and adoption. Assessments are fairly straightforward to achieve, but how do we go about measuring process adoption? Is this through a mix of benefits realisation and process consulting?



Thanks for your response. I agree…the benefits for change needs to be made clear to all stakeholders on all levels.








We have collateral indeed. What you can do to measure adoption is to look at the normal KPIs an organization has determined. If process KPIs are bad then one of the reasons (not the obvious one indeed) could be adoption. Circumvention of process can be measured too and that always is a result of low or no adoption. Furthermore the quality of records in the tools…low quality is also indicating that there is no or low adoption. Benefit realization can be one too; however for that you have to look beyond the measures (why did we not realize the benefits?) because it doesn’t always have something to do with adoption. It would not be the process consultant that does this as his / her job has finished…it is the process owner / manager of the company together with a business value consultant, I would say.



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