ADKAR: A proven model to lead successful Change Management

ADKAR: A proven model to lead successful Change Management


The world is changing at an ever increasing pace. Business environment is becoming more and more complex due to the presence of multiple transformation triggers including technology, globalization and regulatory related changes. Organizations are undertaking transformation programs to survive and/or thrive in this rapidly changing business landscape. Transformation program success depends significantly on how well the impacted individuals have embraced the resulting changes. A perfectly designed technology that no one uses or a perfectly laid out process that no one follows, will not result in any improvement in business performance. A well planned and executed Change Management strategy ensures that the transformation program delivers the envisioned business value.


ADKAR, a methodology created by Prosci Research, is a proven model to successfully lead people side of Change. It provides a framework for understanding change at an individual level. The framework can be extended to project, program or organization level to ensure that changes are implemented successfully.



Each individual impacted by the change needs to understand why the change is necessary, the external and internal drivers for the change, the risks of not changing. They also need to understand what type of change is expected of them and how it will benefit them – ‘what’s in it for me’. Factors that determine whether people will recognize the need to change include:

  • A person’s view of the current state
  • How a person perceives problems
  • The credibility of the sender
  • Contest-ability of the reasons for change


Once an individual becomes aware of the change that is needed, he/she can choose to support and participate in the change. Individual’s desire to support the change is influenced by many factors including:

  • What the change is and how it will impact them
  • The organization context for the change
  • An individual’s personal situation
  • Intrinsic motivators that are unique to an individual


Once an individual chooses to support the change, he/she needs to be provided with information, training and tools necessary to implement the change. Factors that determine successful knowledge acquisition include:

  • Current knowledge base of an individual
  • Capability of person to gain new knowledge
  • Resources available for education and training


Once an individual acquires knowledge, he/she needs to demonstrate capability to implement the change and achieve the desired performance level. Factors that influence a person’s ability to implement change include:

  • Psychological blocks and physical abilities
  • Intellectual capabilities
  • Time available to develop the needed skills


Individuals will need internal and external reinforcements to sustain change. Reinforcements can include public and private recognition, celebrations or an individuals internal satisfaction. Factors that determine reinforcement effectiveness include:

  • Degree to which the reinforcement is meaningful to the person impacted by change
  • Absence of negative consequences
  • Accountability system to reinforce change


Prosci’s Change Management Best Practices study found that the following were the greatest contributors to a successful change management program:

  • Active and visible executive sponsorship
  • Structured change management approach
  • Dedicated change management resources and funding
  • Frequent and open communication about the change
  • Employee engagement and participation

The study also found that the following were greatest obstacles to a successful change management program:

  • Ineffective change management sponsorship
  • Resistance to change from employees
  • Insufficient change management resourcing
  • Division between project management and change management
  • Middle management resistance

Is your organization undertaking a transformation program?

What is the approach to manage people side of Change?

What are the lessons learned?

[Images: Prosci, Character Based Leader]

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this blog are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved by my current or past employer(s) and does not reflect their views or opinions.

About JP

Have more than 19 years of experience in IT including business transformation, Digital IT strategy, strategic planning, enterprise architecture, planning and delivering highly complex, integrated, large transformational IT solutions.

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