Reflective monitoring: improving transition processes

Transition processes are unpredictable and therefore difficult to plan. Organisations can increase their understanding of these processes by applying reflective monitoring. TNO Vector uses this method for new policy measures, (societal) transitions, and other innovation processes.

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Phased approach

When TNO Vector helps organisations with reflective monitoring we combine the knowledge we have in-house with measurable data. Here we adopt a phased approach:

Phase 1: mapping out the ecosystem

The first step in monitoring transition and innovation processes is to map out the ecosystem. During this phase we identify which stakeholders and cooperation partners have a role to play.

Phase 2: setting KPIs

Once we have an overview of the ecosystem, we then determine what we will monitor. In other words, which indicators or measurable values (KPIs) it is important to keep an eye on. For this we make use of available data from existing internal and external sources, but also qualitative data from interviews about the transition process.

Phase 3: seeking collaboration

In the final and most important phase we seek collaboration with interested parties, stakeholders, and relative outsiders. Together with them, we reflect on the transition or innovation process, the set KPIs, and the progress made.

Optimising or accelerating transition processes

With the results obtained from reflective monitoring we can take a number of different follow-up steps. The monitoring process identifies opportunities, threats, and obstacles. We address the obstacles in the transition or innovation process and figure out how to exploit opportunities to speed up the process.

Prerequisites for transition processes

Hard KPIs are essential for reflective monitoring. It is also important to examine innovation functions and improve them if necessary. Examples include:

  • Knowledge development
  • Directing of the search process
  • Mobilisation of (financial) resources
  • etc.

By focusing on the innovation functions, we can see from a broader perspective whether the transition is likely to succeed.

Monitoring during transition process

The idea behind reflective monitoring is that the insights are not only reported afterwards, but also, in particular, during the transition process. Together with stakeholders, we give meaning to the results and work with them to find ways to accelerate and optimise the process.

The insights we gain are put to use in other transitions with which we are supporting our clients. This helps us to continuously improve our knowledge of the system. That means we can help our clients respond even more quickly and effectively in the future.