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Change Management Learning Center - managing change library


Using ADKAR to manage change - Part 1 of 7

For more detailed information about the ADKAR Model, the first complete text on ADKAR, titled ADKAR: a model for change in business, government and our community, is now available.

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 ADKAR Background

The ADKAR model is a results-oriented change management tool that is simple and easy to understand, yet very effective for managers and change management teams. We receive more calls for information about this model than any other. It is used as a resistance management tool, an assessment device and to help change management teams organize their work. 

This model helps answer questions like:

  • Why is communication so important during change? 

  • Why do employees resist change? 

  • Why do executive business leaders need to be active and visible sponsors of change?

  • Why do employees become stressed and distracted from day to day work? 

  • How can I find the barrier point to change, and manage employee or management resistance? 

  • Why should front-line supervisors be active in coaching employees during change? 

This series is designed to show how ADKAR can be used to diagnose the root cause for resistance, focus communications and identify the barrier points to change. We will also provide case studies to show how ADKAR can help transform a resistant employee or manager into an advocate for change and build change competency.

Getting started

Figure 1 shows the ADKAR elements as they align with management activities or other catalysts that enable employees to move from one ADKAR element to another. In this figure, the elements of ADKAR are shown on the left hand side, and the enablers or catalysts for change are shown on the right hand side. There is a close relationship between each goal of the ADKAR model. The model is goal-oriented and cumulative in that you must obtain each element in order.

In each module of this series we will address each step in the ADKAR model and discuss the choices you have as a manager or project team member. Specifically we will tie the phases of change for employees to the actions that you and other managers can take to more effectively manage change.

ADKAR-map-mod1.jpg (61307 bytes)

Figure 1 - ADKAR Model mapped to enablers and management activities

An organization's culture, history, values and capacity for change are potential obstacles for change management teams. Consultants and change management teams often address these potential barriers with assessments. Assessments as a measurement instrument are interesting, but how can they really be used to affect change? Understanding the ADKAR model and the associated enablers for change will help answer this question and provide a useful foundation for how assessments can help manage change.

While research showed that only one third of change management teams used a formal change management model (from the 2003 Change Management Best Practices study), those study participants that did apply a model showed an increased ROI for their project.


Building awareness for change - Part 2

Building desire for change - Part 3

The power of knowledge - Part 4

Developing ability to change - Part 5

Reinforcement for change - Part 6


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Resource guide

The resources in the table below will be the source of the upcoming tutorial series. For leaders and team members involved in managing a change project, these resources will provide an immediate understanding and tools.

Change Management Toolkit: a comprehensive change management process, includes specific sections on sizing your change management effort, communication planning, training development, sponsor roadmaps, and reinforcing change. Includes resistance management planning and ADKAR application. Change leaders, consultants and change management team members - get templates, assessments, guidelines, examples and worksheets that help you implement organizational change management
Best Practices in Change Management: 426 companies share experiences in managing change and lessons on how to build great executive sponsorship. The report makes it easy to learn change management best practices and discover the mistakes to avoid leading change. Change leaders, consultants and change management team members - learn what is working for others, what is not, and what mistakes to avoid - includes team and sponsor activity lists. Includes success factors, methodology, role of top management, communications, team structure and more.
Change Management: the People Side of Change: introductory guide to change management -  an excellent primer and catalyst for change leadership with best practices from Prosci's latest research and case studies. Change leaders, executives and managers - learn the 'why,' 'how,' and 'what' of change management. "Change Management is like a driving school for change agents."  This 'quick read' includes the ADKAR model and the Prosci change management process.
Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors: complete with team and individual coaching activities, best practices findings and frequently asked questions. Managers and supervisors - a guide specifically designed for managers and supervisors dealing with change. This tool is ideal for managers who are directly dealing with employees facing change. Use with the Employee's Survival Guide to Change and the Change Management Toolkit.
Employee's Survival Guide to Change: a handbook to help employees survive and thrive during change. Employees facing change - answers frequently asked questions and empowers employees to be effective change agents with the ADKAR model.


How-to-guide.jpg (4140 bytes) How to deploy change management - a new resource map
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