Change Management- What to keep track of?


What should go into this empty space?

Lot’s of time gets wasted in organizations keeping track of things that do not need to be kept track of.

Measurement can be a good or horrible thing.

Records the same.

When it comes to change management what is helpful to put in all those little (but expandable) cells?

If you want to remain pure to this software the answer would be numbers that you will crunch and/or things that need to be quickly sorted.

For the first it might be:

  • percentages from surveys
  • size of groups (number of people in groups can be a helpful figure for change)
  • possibly a budget (but that should really be the project managers spreadsheet)

For the second (sorting):

  • Maybe a stakeholder list
  • A list of communications
  • Important dates
  • Regularly scheduled events
  • Events specific to this change
  • Media used in the organization


Are you keeping track of things for yourself and team or recording for later use?

I find this question not asked. Which means the secondary question, why? is definitely not asked. There are so many times with junior practitioners that I want to scream out, “do you realize you are only using half of that stuff you are recording?”. To be fair it is probably someone else I need to be screaming at- the practitioner is the symptom filler not the root cause problem.

The things that are regularly kept track of are big time wasters (read expensive):

A stakeholder list: I have only had two engagements where I had access to a good list. Every other request has been nixed by HR so we literally guess from existing records and spreadsheets. Guessing means most of the important information is missing. That means the change management itself is subjective (read guesswork).

Red, green, yellow columns: is that for yourself or recording? You do realize that people will see the yourself version (and be able to read into your subjectivity things that do not exist in your mind). Is it for recording? Same thing only in this case they will be able to look back on your subjectivity. One can only hope that they see how little objectively was used so there is improvement from your recording effort.

All the contact information: This is the stakeholder list on steroids. Is there an organization that doesn’t have a directory. Why are people duplicating that?

Everything that leaves blank columns. The only thing worse than blank columns that never get filled is a spreadsheet with hundreds of repeating duplicate fill ins. Without the duplication you can’t sort, but it makes the spreadsheet an ugly monstrosity. (When I know my spreadsheet is for my or my teams use with little sorting we assume a blank space is the cell above repeating the same information).

What I have never seen kept track of

(except on my own tools by me)


Huge initiatives will have titles and specialties, but they often have little to do with the change. They represent the present for that organization. What about the end state? What about the journey? There have to be things, people, specialties that need to be filled in or built. Do practitioners and organizations needing to change just not think that way? If so then things like competencies DO need to be recorded, if only to be thinking in the right direction.

Notes on stakeholder comments

Valuable information surfaces early on if you do a real assessment connected to the change. Stakeholders give feedback that can save time, help craft end states and make a connection between their talent and the end state or journey. That should be recorded. And rewarded later.

Notes that show communication loops

I keep track of specific things that I have relayed in both directions, to leaders and stakeholders, in order to see patterns in the way things are interpreted. I said things, sometimes it is people. Does an effective loop exist? Is it getting strengthened through my mediation? Is either side learning from the other? Most of the communication loops in organizations are controlled by a vetting process where leaders look at some presentation and give a thumbs up or down. Not the best way to understand each other or work together toward change. (It definitely does not change the LEADERS behavior).

A list of things to tie back success

No not “best practices”, but specific things that pulled the change forward. Maybe a leader made a bold decision. Maybe a stakeholders comment or tip was integrated into something. Maybe someone was willing to call out the difficulty of their own behavior change to speed that of someone else. These events, things, need to be called out, rewarded and recorded to show examples of specifics that pull change.

If you have done any change and have any leftover filled in tools look back at them. Ask yourself how the information in the cells is REALLY connected to the change your were seeking. Or is it just stuff that needed to be put down to show you were doing something?

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