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5 key roles and their contribution to project results


TUTORIAL WIIFM: Employee adoption and usage drive project results and outcomes. Each role in change management uniquely contributes to these factors. If you understand what each role needs to do to support adoption and usage, you can achieve greater benefit realization, value creation and ROI. 



This tutorial presents the five change management roles in Prosci's Roles in Change Management Model and connects each role to the benefit realization and value creation of the project. The tutorial draws on benchmarking research to concretely describe the responsibilities of each role. When each role is being fulfilled, adoption and usage are increased, directly contributing to the ROI and the value created by the project.


Change Management - Project Results Value Chain

To establish why each change management role is important, we will begin with an overview of the Change Management - Project Results Value Chain (the value chain draws on Prosci's Five Tenets of Change Management, released in the second edition of the book Change Management: The People Side of Change). Through the value chain we can connect the change management roles to project results and outcomes to demonstrate the importance of each role.

The Change Management-Project Results Value Chain can be summarized as:

  1.   Project value comes from reaching a desired future state.
  2.   Reaching a desired future state requires employee adoption and usage.
  3a. Employee adoption and usage are driven by effective change management.
  3b. Each change management role uniquely contributes to adoption and usage.

If we follow the chain from 1-2-3a, we get the connection between change management and project value. Employee adoption and usage is the bridge between identifying the future state and maximizing the project value by reaching that future state. By adding 3b, we can connect the five change management roles directly to project value through their impact on employee adoption and usage.

The Prosci Roles in Change Management Model is shown below.

The top two gears in the model - 1) Executives and senior managers and 2) Middle managers and supervisors - are the employee-facing roles. In times of change, employees look to these groups for communication messages, commitment and demonstrated support of the change. The three lower gears - 3) Change management resource/team, 4) Project team and 5) Project support functions - are critical enabling roles. Their work provides the employee-facing roles with the direction and answers they need to engage impacted employees.


How Each Role Contributes to Adoption and Usage

Below are descriptions of the responsibilities of each role along with how they directly contribute to employee adoption and usage, the key to building project value.

Change management resource/team
  • Apply a structured change management approach
  • Formulate a strategy - including risk identification and impact analysis
  • Develop plans - including communications plan, sponsor roadmap, coaching plan, training plan and resistance management plan
  • Support other "gears" - enable the employee-facing roles to be successful
Contribution to adoption and usage:
  • The change management approach, strategy and plans are all focused on increasing employee adoption and usage. It is the legwork of this role that creates the customized and scaled approach that aligns with the change management needs.
  • This group also has a role in helping prioritize and define "adoption and usage" for the project.

Resources: 3-day certification, Change Management Toolkit (hardcopy - $389), Change Management Pilot Pro (online - $489), Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report (journal-style - $289)


Executives and senior managers
  • Initiate and fund the change
  • Actively and visibly participate throughout the change
  • Build and maintain a coalition of support
  • Communicate directly with employees
Contribution to adoption and usage:
  • Employees look to and listen to senior leaders in times of change.
  • Demonstrated commitment by senior leaders (through actions and words) is essential in encouraging employees to make the move toward adopting and using a change.
  • Employees need to hear why a change is happening from senior leaders to begin their transitions.

Resources: 4 to 6 hour executive briefing by a Prosci Master Instructor (call +1-970-203-9332 or email


Middle managers and supervisors
  • Communicate - share key change messages
  • Advocate - show support for the change
  • Coach - support employees through their transitions
  • Manage Resistance - identify and address resistance
  • Act as a Liaison - engage with the project team
Contribution to adoption and usage:
  • Managers and supervisors are closest to the employees who must adopt and use the change. Their support of the change is contagious, as is their resistance to the change.
  • When an individual employee is struggling to adopt and use a change, managers and supervisors are the catalyst for understanding and supporting an employee's personal transition.

Resources: Change Management Guide for Managers (hardcopy - $209 with quantity discounts),
1-day coaching program taught by a Prosci Master Instructor (call +1-970-203-9332 or email


Project team
  • Design the actual change
  • Manage the "technical side" of change
  • Engage with the change management team/resource and integrate "people side" elements into project plans
Contribution to adoption and usage:
  • The project team actually defines the change that is needed - in essence, they establish what "to adopt" and "to use" means through their solution.
  • Focusing on and addressing adoption and usage early in the project lifecycle means adequate prioritization and planning for the "people side" of change.

Resources: 3-day certification, Change Management Toolkit (hardcopy - $389), Change Management Pilot Pro (online - $489), Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report (journal-style - $289)


Project support functions
Who are they? Subject Matter Experts from areas such as HR, OD, Communications, Training, Solution Designers, etc.


  • Leverage experience and expertise
  • Share knowledge
  • Provide tools
Contribution to adoption and usage:
  • Project support functions bring specific background, knowledge and tools to the project space to support and enhance the efforts of other roles.
  • Their expertise can be aligned with "adoption and usage" so their contributions support project ROI and value creation.

Resources: 3-day certification, Change Management Toolkit (hardcopy - $389), Change Management Pilot Pro (online - $489), Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report (journal-style - $289)




Change management drives project results by increasing employee adoption and usage of change. Change management is not done by a single person or a team, instead it is a concerted effort that requires the involvement of leadership throughout the organization. Each change management role uniquely contributes to employee adoption and usage.

Change management

...directly supports project value creation through employee adoption and usage by...

Creating the overarching strategy and plans focused on the people side of change and supporting their implementation.
Executives and
senior managers
Demonstrating through words and actions their own commitment (as well as the organization's commitment) to the change.
Middle managers
and supervisors
Providing support and coaching to their direct reports who are making their own personal transitions.
Project team Developing the solution and defining what "to adopt" and "to use" means for employees impacted by the change.
Project support
Providing specific knowledge, tools, expertise and experience to support the change effort.









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Prosci Change Management Certification

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Offerings for applying Prosci's change management methodologies:


  • Prosci's site licenses are a great solution for building change management capabilities and competencies throughout your organization. With a site license, you can customize and integrate Prosci's world-leading research and methodologies to fit your organization and begin building the individual competencies necessary for true change capability. Contact a Prosci Account Manager at +1-970-203-9332 or to discuss your change management needs and how Prosci's research-based, holistic, easy-to-use solutions can work for you.


  • Change management certification ($2800) - attend Prosci's 3-day certification program where you bring your own current change project to the session and learn to use Prosci's tools through practical application - taught by former fortune 500 executives at locations across the US - includes over $1000 in products, including the Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report, the Change Management Toolkit and the Change Management Pilot Pro 2012
  • Train-the-trainer ($3500) - learn how to teach Prosci change management training programs in your organization
  • Onsite training - bring Prosci to your location for 3-day certification programs, 4-6 hour executive briefings, 1-day manager programs or 1-day employee programs - call +1-970-203-9332 for more information

Methodology tools:

  • Change Management Toolkit ($389) - hardcopy 3-ring binder presenting the Prosci Change Management Methodology, includes templates, checklists and assessments for managing the people side of change (includes USB)
  • Change Management Pilot Pro 2012 ($489) - online tool including the Prosci Change Management Methodology, eLearning modules and downloadable templates, assessments, presentations and checklists
  • Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors ($209) - tools to help supervisors engage and coach their direct reports through change
  • PCT Analyzer ($149/$349) - web-based tool for collecting PCT Assessment data, analyzing results, identifying risks and developing action steps

References and books:

  • Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report ($289 / quantity discounts available) - journal-style report with lessons learned and best practices from 650 participants, presented in an easy-to-use format - reads as a checklist of what to do and what not to do
  • Change Management: the people side of change ($18.95 / quantity discounts available) - a primer for anyone involved in organizational change that addresses why manage change, individual change management and organizational change management
  • ADKAR: a model for change ($18.95 / quantity discounts available) - the definitive work on the Prosci ADKAR® Model
  • Employee's Survival Guide to Change ($14.95 / quantity discounts available) - a handbook to help employees survive and thrive during change, answers frequently asked questions and empowers employees to take charge of change



*** Prosci also offers leadership packages - groupings of products at discounts that offer you some of the most helpful and common combinations of Prosci change management resources



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