People Change Scan: framework and tool for change management

25 April 2019 Consultancy.eu

People Change has developed a framework and tool that helps prepare and monitor change processes and to coach employees in their development. The People Change Scan supports companies in better understanding the organisationteams and employees, gaining insight in mindsets and change skills of employees and in preparing further change plans. 

It is a known dilemma and given within the world of management. Between 50% and 70% of change projects are estimated to fail because they are unable to meet or can’t sufficiently achieve the predetermined objectives. Why? A possible reason is that the blueprint turns out ineffective, or that the transition lacks the support of all stakeholders, resulting in much internal resistance. 

One of the most frequently heard reasons for change letdowns however relates to the human capital aspect – after all, change is implemented and carried by people. In that context, change processes often fail, among other reasons, due to too little commitment and leadership from management, insufficient involvement from employees, or too much resistance to change – mostly because the ‘why’ is insufficiently understood.

People Change Scan

A new tool, called the People Change Scan, is designed to better understand change processes and to prepare people and processes for the change(s) to be implemented. The scan functions as an extensive thermometer that is put into the organisation, asking everyone involved in the change process more than 40 questions. These questions look at all aspects that are important for successful change; culture, strategy, structure cooperation, commitment, willingness to change and more. By carrying out the scan in the most important layers of the organisation – leadership, teams, and even customers – an integral picture of the desired development and the steps to be taken is created. 

“The People Change Scan score shows how well people are ready for change and how you can improve it,” explains Rogier Offerhaus, who developed the scan and is managing partner of People Change. For example, if a score of 6.0 emerges from the scan, then employees feel somewhat uncomfortable, dissatisfied or tense, and so there is work to be done. However, if a 9.0 is scored, it will primarily be a matter of maintaining existing effective interventions. Yet: “That doesn't mean that nothing has to happen,” Offerhaus explains, “since change is a liquid development.” 

The key lies in navigating with the change, ensuring readiness for change, and supporting people in their development. “The scan indicates which preconditions employees need for the change and which mindsets and skills they should possess to be able to change. The scans also indicates what behaviour employees display when the pressure on them is increased,” explains Offerhaus.

People Change Scan: framework and tool for change management

Asked about what makes the People Change Scan so effective for companies that are in a change process or want to initiate one, Offerhaus points out various aspects:

Detailed approach

First of all, the tool is able to delve into the various changes that an organisation is facing in great detail, allowing managers to pinpoint the pain points. Offerhaus: “The People Change Scan is so sensitive that small changes can already be detected. That can be changes throughout the organisation, but also in smaller relationships and even with individuals. That makes this scan unique.” It is that detail that according to the managing partner surpasses other scans in the market: “Existing scans did not meet our requirements. They were not change scans. That is why we decided to make one ourselves.”

Cost efficient

Offerhaus also points to the fact that the People Change Scan excels due to its rapid deployability and practical applicability: “Organisations, teams and professionals can immediately formulate a change plan with the insights of the People Change Scan. This allows them to implement and realise measurable changes, for example in the culture and employees’ capacity for change. The benefits of the change are immediately noticeable, measurable, visible and cost-efficient.” 

Insight in progress

Unlike other tools and interventions, the People Change Scan can be repeated periodically, to gain clear insight into advancements. During the change process, the scan indicates which changes have been realised. Here, Offerhaus emphasises that changing an organisation is a gradual process: “Progress is sometimes not immediately visible and can only be determined by measuring. The People Change Scan can be an important tool for this.”

Focus on human capital

Whereas various tools focus (too) greatly on the ‘hard’ factors of change, such as processes, governance and business operations, the People Change Scan according to Offerhaus is mainly centered around the ‘soft’ factors of change, or the human capital side. It are the people in the workplace who will have to support and embrace the change, and an important aspect of the scan is that it focuses in particular on the development of employees. “The People Change Scan is a pragmatic tool that provides insight into change and the required development of skills for all stakeholders, both teams and individuals, through clear reporting.” Offerhaus explains.

Both external and in-house

According to Offerhaus, a final advantage of the People Change Scan is that it can be used by external advisors at a client’s organisation but also by the clients themselves, who can be trained in its use and in interpreting the results. “The People Change scan has proven itself for years in various leadership, culture and organisational change processes,” Offerhaus says. Organisations which have to date used the People Change Scan to help facilitate their change process include KPMG, Transavia, Heijmans, KPN and NOC *NSF.

“The People Change Scan gives a very clear picture of how people experience the current leadership, structure and culture of the organisation and what culture they want in that organisation. The scan is also used by customers for an organisation to understand their mindset and with that to be able to make an even better connection with the customer and serve it with higher customer satisfaction,” concludes Offerhaus.