Change Management

Measuring Return On Investment in Change Management and Training

In our previous blog, we discussed the return on investment from the people aspect – efficiency, motivation, satisfaction, productivity, income generation, behavioural and cultural change, shared experiences and performance.  Regardless of your position in your organisation, everyone wants to feel valued; everyone wants to feel that they contribute; everyone wants to feel secure and part of a family and a future; everyone wants to know that they are performing well and efficiently, and although this feels like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is somewhat surprising and concerning how many organisations run the risk of not adopting a Change Management and Training approach in which employees are considered and valued, rather than change being simply imposed on them.

I could now move on to discuss the cost calculations of such investment as we have done in previous blogs:

  • Reduction in help desk support
  • Improvement in peer support through super user networks
  • Savings in duplication
  • Savings through process efficiencies
  • Reduction in user errors and the related cost in rectifying these errors
  • Less down-time – ‘I don’t know what to do, I’ll wait until someone tells me any different’

However, what I would like to focus on is an audit report from a previous client with emphasis on where improvements should be made for IT project success and where this organisation’s projects failed.  Conclusions are scary and may give organisations reason to focus on the cost of not implementing change management approaches rather than the expense of change management and training.  For the purpose of anonymity I have deleted any context to the client and retained statements of why and where projects fail.

Can these failures really be ignored if we truly value and consider our employees?



ADKAR – Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement, and ADDIE – Analysis, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate are Change Management and Training methodologies used to guide you through a project from start to finish.  There are many different approaches that can be used.  However, we at Evolution Culture use these for their simplicity and success rate in projects.  For the purpose of this blog, I have used ADKAR as a way to describe what should have been done to promote project success from a change management perspective and therefore from an employee perspective.

Based on the audit report, I have listed issues which the business would have experienced and all of which could have been avoided by a Change and Training Manager.



Insufficient awareness and documentation of expected changes and required commitment from business.

Organisational change management was performed by the project, but there was little written documentation of performed change management activities.

Some key business stakeholders were not fully aware of the degree of change and the degree of commitment required during the project.

During interviews, some key business stakeholders stated they were not fully aware of the degree of change and the degree of commitment required during the project.

The business was more complex and required more flexible processes than first anticipated by key IT stakeholders.

The business organisation was not properly prepared for the changes in SAP solution resulting in inadequate involvement and preparation.

The project scope included both a transition from the legacy system to SAP and the implementation of production support systems.

Several other business improvement projects were executed in parallel, and another project experienced limitations in both key business and IT resources. These limitations had major consequences for managing the project and delivering quality on time.


The issues that the Change and Training Manager is responsible for and prevents are the following:

  • Lack of preparations by management for the planned changes
  • Impacted users confused
  • Impacted users unaware of new and changed business processes
  • Impacted users not identified as stakeholders
  • Impacted users not identified for training
  • Risks not analysed and either mitigated or planned for
  • Inadequate discussions with the business



Roles and responsibilities were not clearly defined in the beginning of the project.

Business resource allocation levels and insufficient knowledge within the business reduced the ability to mitigate the project’s short time frame.

The flexibility of business personnel to contribute and challenge the project on deliveries was insufficient. This was due to a high workload in their day-to-day business and due to no ad hoc increase of business personnel capacity defined by the project.

Some business resources initially with reduced commitment to project


The issues that the Change and Training Manager is responsible for and prevents are the following:

  • Change impact assessment not carried out
  • No business resource planning
  • Reduced potential of business involvement and commitment
  • Reduced quality of change management deliverables
  • Reduced efficiency, project delays
  • Reduced ability for client to drive and control the project
  • Additional business costs in transition period – eg potential of parallel systems, manual operations or clean-up activities
  • Business not adequately engaged or communicated with regarding the project


Reduced potential of business involvement and commitment both from management and employees

Super user training session was not performed with adequate quality

Insufficient training and readiness for change

Business personnel not fully aware of degree of change, reducing understanding of required involvement and commitment

Super users not being project and solution ambassadors

Reduced quality of training, with consequences for SAP understanding, ability to test and ability to use the system

Project delays and increased project cost


The issues that the Change and Training Manager is responsible for and prevents are the following:

  • Lack of business engagement and commitment planning
  • Insufficient communication plans regarding potential of parallel systems usage, manual operations or clean-up activities
  • No super user programme implemented
  • Insufficient training needs analysis undertaken
  • No business readiness assessment
  • Training inadequately planned for
  • Stakeholder assessment incomplete


Training was performed by incompetent instructors, and a comprehensive package of functional documentation was not established by the project.

Sign-off on training material and on performed training was not done.


The issues that the Change and Training Manager is responsible for and prevents are the following:

  • Reduced business learning, not being alert to system / process changes
  • No formal documentation of training conducted successfully
  • Confusion and business issues after go-live
  • Training documentation incomplete and not fit for purpose
  • Assessment of knowledge retention not carried out during training
  • Ineffective Train the Trainer programme


Post Go live support was erratic and reactive.

Post go live problems were numerous and affected business as usual activities


The issues that the Change and Training Manager is responsible for and prevents are the following:

  • No continuity planning for super users
  • No post go-live support model implemented
  • Loss of continuity, scope understanding and control due to handover in an ongoing project
  • Impact of missing reports or functionality
  • Reduced efficiency

Cost of Issues

An effective Change and Training Manager would have addressed these issues. Sadly, most issues affect the business and their users and therefore business should be demanding adequate change management budgets and activities.  Though IT may be able to implement technology, it is up to the business to implement change management.  Given the issues listed above, can organisations really run the risk and the possible costs resulting from these issues?

Our Change Management courses cover ADKAR and ADDIE and the activities required to address these issues.  It’s not difficult, it just needs focus.  We can teach your employees how to manage change and training effectively so that they can protect your business and value your users.

Related blogs are as follows:

Assessing the ROI in Training Part I

Calculating the ROI in Training – Part II

The ROI in Change Management

Return On Investment in Change Management and Training

We offer a number of courses on Change Management and Training incorporating the methodologies of ADKAR and ADDIE.  If you need any help in your IT Projects, please contact us.

3 June 2019

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