Framework 53 PROSCI (ADKAR/Change Management Activity)


ADKAR framework was initially developed to handle the people side of project management. Since then its usage has been expanded to the organisational level.

Rather than focusing on the tactics and strategies of business management, this framework deals with the understanding of human nature, philosophy and psychology, ie the people side of change.

The ADKAR framework and relationship triangle are the basis elements of PROSCI


The relationship triangle shows the links between leadership/sponsorship, project management and change management, ie

organisational development change management

ADKAR Framework

ADKAR stands for

- A = awareness of the need for change (I understand why.......sharing why the change is necessary, what created the need for change, what is the risk of not changing, what might happen if the change is not made, etc)

- D = desire to participate in, or support, the change (I have decided......some other factors that may influence staff include hope in the future state, trust and respect for leadership, incentive or compensation, acquisition of power or position, career advancement, affiliation and sense of belonging, enhanced job security, imminent negative consequences, loss of status or social standing, discontent with current state, risk of job loss, etc. Some signs that demonstrate a dislike for change include strong staff resistance, delayed or failed changes, drop in productivity, turnover of staff, negative impact on customers, loss of respect and trust in leadership)

- K = knowledge about how to change (I know how to......this involves the sharing of knowledge around "when, what, where and how", on-going communications and training so that staff understand what is changing, what the future will look like, and the change's impact on the individual)

- A = ability to implement the change (I am able to.....ability is the extension of knowledge into an action or behaviour that supports the change. It involves the ability to act on new information and to contribute effectively to the changing environment, ie willing to change old habits and develop new skills.)

- R = reinforcement to sustain the change (I will continue to....this provides the recognition and appreciation to reward successes in implementing the change. As change is difficult and takes time, efforts to change effectively need to be rewarded)

Diagrammatically, the ADKAR model

The basis is the 5 building blocks (awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement)



(source: Karen Ball, 2020)


Change management tools to effectively achieve ADKAR are communications, sponsor roadmap, training, resistance management and coaching. Their linkages are

organisational development change management

Change Management Activity Framework


Project team




Select & prepare team

Create sponsorship model

Create awareness



Execute work plans

Involve sponsors

Engage employees



Transfer ownership

Coach sponsors

Train employees

Expanding the above table in more detail

Rank staff
It can be used to rank people or groups of people:

Ranking*i 3          
Components*ii   A D K A R

i) 1 is limited while 5 indicates very strong
ii) A = awareness of the need to change
    D = desire to support the change
    K = knowledge of how to change
    A = ability to demonstrate skills and behaviours
    R = reinforcement to make the change stick
The ranking can indicate areas/staff that are doing well or need improvement

The team start-up activities

With the project team (select and prepare the team)

- identify the right change management team members; consider representation by location or function; use outside expertise when necessary

- establish team structure

- train the team on change management methods

- understand the nature of the change and future state (assists the timing of the change*i)

- define the impact of the change on specific groups; conduct a group analysis

- assess and analyse the current organisation*ii

- create a sponsorship model (see below)

- complete change management readiness assessment (assists culture, barriers and risks)

- create change strategies and plans *iii; develop a schedule and budget; review these plans and get approval from the steering committee

- develop change management training for managers and supervisors

- integrate change management plans into project management plans

With managers (create sponsorship models)

- identify the required primary sponsor; directly engage his or her support

- identify key senior managers and stakeholders throughout the organisation who need to sponsor the change; assess their current level of support for the change and their competency to manage change

- with the direct involvement of primary sponsor, begin building support among all key managers; engage them as active and visible sponsors of the change and ensure alignment with project objectives

- form a steering committee for the project (dependent on overall project size)

- show managers the current state vs. the future state; create a common view of the nature of the change, the way the change is being made and the organisation's readiness for change

- train senior and mid-level managers on change management and their role as sponsors of change

- help create the messages for managers to communicate to the organisation (presentations and elevator conversations)

- create identifiable actions that senior managers can do to begin supporting the change (see sponsor role section)

With employees (create awareness)

- begin initial communications with employees to create awareness of the need for change and to share the nature of change*iv


With the project team (execute work plans)

- implement change management strategies (from start-up phase), including specific plans for communications, sponsorship, coaching and training

- conduct regular workshops with change agents

- identify pockets of resistance and develop special tactics for different groups to encounter this resistance

- identify job roles impacted; begin to define the future skills and competencies for employees; use as input for training requirements and curriculum design

- develop coaching and mentoring strategies for frontline supervisors, including development of change management common competencies

- train the trainers; begin the process of developing internal competency around managing change throughout the organisation

- hire external resources if necessary to support the change

- collect input from customers on how this change will impact them

- define measurable objectives (key performance indicators - KPIs)

With managers (involve sponsors)

- interview all critical senior managers to determine their expectations and desired outcomes; gather input on change strategy and understand their concerns

- maintain regular contact with all senior managers; schedule and conduct frequent and regular meetings; seek their input on crucial decisions

- create steering committee meetings on a regular basis (depends on project size)

- develop sponsor capabilities: what do they need to be doing to support the change? How can they best accomplish those goals?

- coach sponsors; provide sponsors with a roadmap of sponsor activities and help them prepare key messages; provide coaching on how to share the business vision and the change with employees

- identify this to managers; engage the primary sponsor and other senior managers to address this resistance

- seek approval from senior managers at key milestones in the process

With employees (engage employees)

- build awareness around the overall change and why the change is being made *iv

- engage employees in the design process; gather input from employees on design and understand their concerns

- use pilots or models to test ideas with employees and to build the understanding of the future state

- use face-to-face meetings to share the vision and strategy

- gather employees' feedback on the vision and strategy by using focus groups and interviews

- use question-and-answer sessions, interviews and memos to address employee concerns and share information on a regular basis

- demonstrate successes and early wins to employees

- share on-going process, including updates to the schedule, so that employees know what is expected and when

- continue to answer questions about personal impact to employees: how will this impact me? How will this change my daily work? How will I benefit from this change?


With the project team (transfer ownership)

- review project progress; monitor activities and measure performance (KPIs); identify successes and demonstrate short-term wins

- adapt change management plans as necessary to address gaps in performance

- develop ways to celebrate successes with both managers and employees

- create feedback mechanisms

- create coaching dates for supervisors to enable them to help their employees through the transition*v

- begin to migrate change leadership to operational managers

- extend team structure to involve local groups in change activities

- support local trainers within the organisation to implement education and training about the new processes and systems

- identify lessons learned and update change management approach and tools

With managers (coach sponsors)

- engage sponsors in managing resistance (encourage one-on-one intervention)

- continue regular and frequent meetings to review progress and performance; update business leaders and senior managers on the solution and implementation progress

- increase the level of senior management communications with employees (e.g. leadership must stay active and visible throughout the implementation efforts)

- provide managers with concrete activities they can perform to support the implementation (provide upward coaching)

- report roadblocks to senior managers promptly; resolve critical issues quickly through effective use of a steering committee

- use senior managers effectively to manage resistance

With employees (train employees)

- implement training in the new processes, systems and job roles; align this training with gap analysis completed by frontline supervisors for their employees (include one-on-one training)

- listen to employees and value their feedback; move quickly to adjust the design or resolve issues that have surfaced during implementation

- provide one-on-one follow-up and coaching

- share the critical success factors with employees; audit compliance with the new processes and implement corrective action when needed

- assess employees (where are they in the change process?); measure effectiveness of the change management plans and adjust as necessary

- quickly identify and address pockets of resistance

- celebrate successes and achievements of significant milestones

- implement rewards and incentive systems for employees

- continue ongoing communications about project outcomes and processes, including specifics about what will happen, when and why

- when appropriate, tie compensation to performance


i) understanding the future state

- nature and scope of the change

- overall timeframe

- alignment with the business strategy

- goals of the change

- reasons for changing

- risk assessment (risk of not changing)

- the gap between the future state and today

- who is impacted and how; who is most adversely impacted

- future state desired (if available this phase) include sample models or scenarios

- what will change; what will stay the same

ii) organisational assessment

- change capacity (how much change has the organisation made recently and how much more change can the organisation absorb?)

- change history (what was the effectiveness of the past changes and what perceptions do employees have of past change projects?)

- change assessment (to what degree do the values and norms of the organisation support or oppose change?)

- strengths and weaknesses of the organisation related to this change (overall, what is working in favour of the change and what is working against the change?)

iii) strategies and plans

- change management plan (overall strategy)

- communications plan

- sponsor plan

- training plan (including change management training)

- coaching plan

iv) employees' messages

- the current situation and the rationale for change (why the change is needed)

- a vision of the organisation after the change takes place (alignment with the business strategy)

- the basis for what is changing, the nature of the change and when it will happen

- the goals or objectives for the change

- the expectations that change will happen and is not a choice (risk of not changing)

- the impact of the change on the day-to-day activities of the employee (WIIFM - what's in it for me?)

- indications of the change on job security (will I have a job?)

- specific behaviours and activities expected from the employee during the change

- status updates on the performance of the change, including success stories

- procedures for getting the desired end and assistance during the change

v) coaching aids

- concrete activities that frontline managers and supervisors can perform to support the change with their employees

- tools to communicate the new roles and responsibilities to their employees

- self-assessment guides for employees to assess skill and knowledge gaps

- resistance assessments and mechanisms to collect feedback from employees during early implementation phases

- tools to create individual development plans

Using the ADKAR framework to highlight how people can move at different paces during change


(source: Karen Ball, 2020)

Integration of project management and change management (PROSCI)


(source: Karen Ball, 2020)

SUMMARY - ECM Strategy Map

organisational development change management

Recently Prosci has updated its ADKAR framework, ie see below diagram


(sources: Jeff Hiatt, 2004; Prosci, 2009; Prosci, 2010a; Prosci, 2020)


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