PROSCI® change management methodology

Improves business outcomes by guiding and supporting individuals through change

What is ADKAR?

ADKAR® Model, created by Prosci®‘s founder Jeff Hiatt, is a goal-oriented change management model used in the process of individual and organizational change. It is based on a simple idea that organizational change can be achieved through personal change. Organizational change happens when people do their job differently. To do that, they themselves need to change.

ADKAR letters represent 5 stages of the change process on individual basis. Those are the milestones that people need to achieve to change and to make the change last. It starts with the awareness of why the change is needed, the desire to be a part of a change, the knowledge to know what to do, and the ability to actually do that. At this stage the change happens, and the last step is the reinforcement to make the change last.

Change management model based on best practices

ADKAR® Model is based on 20 years of research with over 4500 participants. Both model and methodology are unique and come from collective worldwide “lessons learned” by those who are implementing change. According to research, 97% of participants said that ADKAR® was either somewhat or extremely effective as a structured approach to change management.

  • ADKAR® Model is focusing on driving individual change to achieve organizational results.
  • As a goal-orientated model it sets clear goals for change management activities and measurable outcomes.
  • The simple framework makes it user-friendly for everyone involved in managing change. It provides understandable language for everyone within an organization to describe and discuss the changes.
  • It comes hand-in-hand with project management. A project brings a solution, while the Model focuses on its adoption and usage.

People side of change

According to Prosci’s research, the people side of change is cited as the most common reason for project failure. We are all familiar with the project output being realized, but the outcomes are not as close as expected. Organizations often invest solely in the technical side of the solution that brings change, but few pay attention to the people who will need to bring that change to life by changing the way they work.

Managing organizational changes is far more successful when leaders are aware of the people side of change and understand how it affects individuals. There are tools, models and methodology that can help them board individuals on a journey to change and cope with resistance. It is individuals who collectively make up an organization, and organizational change is therefore made of accumulated individual changes.

Change is a process

ADKAR® Model is a process-oriented approach. The Model presents five milestones of an individual’s path through the change process and those correspond to three states of change.

In the CURRENT state of change, it is important to recognize the need for change, to understand what change will bring or what will happen if the change does not happen. It is important to onboard individuals to actively support and engage in the change process.

In the TRANSITION state, the focus is on empowering people to handle the change. It is important they know what to do and are able to develop needed skills and behaviors to successfully move through this state.

In the FUTURE state, it is all about sustaining the change. It is human nature to return to a more familiar environment and it is highly important to reinforce change to achieve desired outcomes.

Driving change

Successful change requires integrating individual change management with organizational change management. Prosci offers another component of methodology known as the Prosci 3-Phase Process.

It provides strategic and step-by-step approach to organizational change management. The link between individual and organizational change management is what differentiates Prosci Methodology from others and makes it the world leading methodology.

The 3-phase process

A 3-Phase Process is a structure for organizational change. It includes research-based assessments and models that project or change managers can use to implement change initiatives.

3 phases are:

  1. Prepare Approach
  2. Manage Change
  3. Sustain Outcomes

Each phase is divided into three stages and each stage includes important activities that support the success of the implementation of change. Although the 3-Phase Process is structured, it is flexible to suit the needs of any organization.

Phase 1 – prepare approach

In the first phase, members of the change implementation team and the project team prepare to formulate change management plans and it is crucial that they understand the situation they are facing. They can use three different levels to help assess the current situation:

  • Define Success – defining exactly what you want to achieve
  • Define Impact – who should do their job differently and how
  • Define Approach – what steps are needed for the project to succeed

The result of this phases is a Change Management Strategy. This sets out the approach needed to achieve the desired project results.

Phase 2 – manage change

With the information gathered in the first phase, the change management team and the project team focus on creating plans and integrating them into the project plan. The plans are aimed at individuals affected by the project. These plans help them get through the ADKAR® model.

The three stages in the second phase are:

  • Plan and Act – at this stage, using the ADKAR Blueprint model and making change management plans, such as a sponsorship and communication plan, we identify how best to prepare – equip and support the people who will be affected by the change
  • Track Performance – this stage focuses on how to track and maintain progress in change management efforts
  • Adapt Actions – based on what the change team has learned so far (especially in the previous phase), it takes time to adapt the change management strategy to activities such as preparing adaptation actions and further monitoring performance

The document for this phase is the Master Change Management Plan, which strengthens individual plans and serves as a guide for the change management team.

Phase 3 – sustain outcomes

Often overlooked, a key phase of the process is consolidating change. The third phase helps change and projects teams develop mechanisms to measure how well change has taken effect. This requires new behaviors and new skills. It is important to identify and bridge gaps if these occur.

Three stages in the third phase – lasting results include:

  • Review Performance – to confirm the desired results after the project, the change team checks the results of the AKDAR model and records the lessons learned
  • Activate Sustainment – here the change team focuses on implementing measures to preserve the results of change by engaging in activities such as identifying gaps and activating appropriate roles in maintaining
  • Transfer Ownership – In the last stage of the 3-Phase Process, the change manager establishes a sustainable way of maintaining change, with important activities that include the transfer of knowledge and resources (for future projects) and the celebration of success in implementing change

The document for this phase is the Change Management Closeout, which documents the state of change performance and prepares the organization to own and maintain the results of change.

Using the ADKAR model

The ADKAR model is used with the programme Proxima, an innovative online tool accessed through the Prosci Hub Solution on the Prosci portal.

In Proxima, we find the ADKAR Blueprint tool, which is most important in managing change to identify milestones, target dates and expected gaps.

ADKAR Blueprint is also used to help develop change management plans such as the Sponsor Plan and People Manager Plan.

ADKAR Assessment, however, helps identify any barriers that need to be overcome in order to support individuals in progressing through change. Verification of the ADKAR model is crucial to the success of the project. Practitioners use the Prosci ADKAR model and the Prosci 3-Phase Process to achieve sustainable change.