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Common denominator in change:
The people side of change


Each month, Prosci delivers around six open enrollment 3-day certification programs. In order to participate, attendees must bring a change they are currently working on in their organization. As they learn the process and tools in the Prosci Change Management Methodology, they apply them to that real change. The changes brought to a Prosci certification program come in all shapes and sizes: a technology deployment in an insurance company, a process optimization project in a manufacturing plant, a merger in the pharmaceutical industry, a new HR policy and system in a municipal government. Some of the changes impacts tens of employees while others impacts thousands of employees. Some have budgets in the thousands, while others have budgets in the millions.

The size, type and reasons for these projects are quite varied, but the unifier is that each of the projects has a significant people side element. First, each change impacts how employees do their jobs. Second, the success of the project ultimately depends on if employees adopt those required changes. This tutorial presents the people side of change - the common denominator in nearly any type of organizational change.

Changes happen for a number of reasons, each triggered by some sort of internal or external stimuli and each aimed at delivering some sort of marked improvement in performance. Changes can be incremental or radical; sometimes the gap between the current and future state is small and other times that gap is large. Changes can impact processes, technologies, systems, tools, structures, job roles or any combination of these factors. Some have little or no structure around them, but they still cause changes in the organization. Others take the form of policy declarations. Others are formal projects (with associated project managers, project codes, project charters and work breakdown structures), while still others are programs made up of numerous projects. Regardless of the reason, type or structure of the change, each ultimately impacts how individual employees do their jobs.

The common denominator of organizational change is the people side of change. Since the common denominator of organizational change is the people side of change and project success depends on impacted employees adopting the change, the tools for helping each impacted employee to adopt the change are critical to the success of the project. Said another way, change management is essential because the people side of change is universal.

The simple table below is a sort of menu. Think about a change you are working on right now - how would it look if you marked the appropriate element in each column?

Industry Change


Government - State or Local

Health Care



Government - Civilian

Oil and Gas





Information Systems



Development and Manufacturing

Government - Defense

Consumer Goods

Service Industry







Reduce costs

Increase revenues

Grow market share

Reduce errors

Increase efficiency

Improve customer satisfaction

Reduce risk exposure

Meet regulatory demands


Seize an opportunity

Address an issue

Respond to the market

Advance strategy

Process change

Technology change

System change

Tool change

Structure change

Job role change


Incremental change

Radical change







Policy declaration



Little or no structure

How individual employees do their jobs


Below are two simple examples.

Example #1: A planned program in an insurance company aimed at increasing efficiency and improving customer satisfaction though a radical installation of new technologies and systems.


Example #2: An incremental process change resulting from an established continuous improvement system aimed at reducing errors in a food/beverage organization.


While these two changes are unique in many ways, they share one important factor - that their success and ability to deliver intended outcomes depends on individual employees doing their jobs differently (e.g. exhibiting new behaviors, following new processes or using new tools). This is one of the reasons change management has really emerged as a discipline over the last decade, because it is universally applicable to any change that impacts how people work.


So what can you do about the people side of change?

  1. For any project you are involved with, work to define the individual changes that will be required. This is sometimes challenging, especially as the size and scope of change increases, but it is an important first step for understanding the reality of how changes occur in your organization.

  2. Use a model for individual change management. The Prosci® ADKAR® Model is one of the most widely used individual change management models. ADKAR describes the five building blocks required for an individual to make a successful change as: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement®. Whether at home, in the community or at work, an individual will make a change if they can say: "I have the awareness of why the change is happening; I have the desire to participate and support the change; I have the knowledge on how to change; I have the ability to implement the required skills and behaviors; and I have the reinforcement to sustain the change."

  3. Use a structured organizational change management approach. In each of Prosci's last four benchmarking studies (2011, 2009, 2007 and 2005), the use of a structured approach for change management was identified as one of the top three contributors to success. A structured organizational change management approach provides clarity on the roles, tools and activities required to enable and encourage individual transitions. An intentional approach to change management provides more consistent and repeatable outputs. The Prosci® 3-Phase Change Management Process provides step-by-step instructions and tools for Preparing for change, Managing change and Reinforcing change™. The process-driven approach enables scaling and customizing change management plans and activities to reflect the unique nature of the change and the groups being impacted.


Attend a Prosci® 3-day Certification Program to build change management strategies and plans for a project you are working on right now. During this 3-day experiential program, you will build a foundation in the principles of change management and how to share the value of change management. You will learn how to use the Prosci® ADKAR® Model to drive successful change. As you learn the Prosci® 3-Phase Change Management Process, you will apply the tools to your real project and leave the program with a change management strategy and a start to your change management plans. Download a brochure or register to begin the process.

Call +1-970-203-9332 or email to learn more.




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Prosci Change Management Certification

"Amazing: these three days are going to save me
hundreds of hours and help me help my company
realize the benefits they seek."
- Mike C., April 2011 participant

"I'm truly inspired!" Joe F., May 2012

"The most applicable training I have been to - ever!
Great, applicable training & usable tools."
Chelle, November 2012


Program highlights:

  • Learn the methodology through practical application to your current project
  • Learn from experienced executive instructors
  • Become part of a change management community
  • Earn 2.4 CEUs, 24 PDUs and 23.5 HRCI recertification credits
  • Walk away with products and course materials worth over $1000

Download the certification program brochure

Upcoming sessions:

  • January 8 - 10, 2013: Denver, CO area
  • January 8 - 10, 2013: Washington DC area
  • January 15 - 17, 2013: San Francisco, CA area
  • January 15 - 17, 2013: San Diego, CA area
  • January 22 - 24, 2013: Houston, TX area
  • January 29 - 31, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • February 5 - 7, 2013: Washington DC area
  • February 12 - 14, 2013: San Francisco, CA area
  • February 19 - 21, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • February 19 - 21, 2013: Orlando, FL area
  • February 26 - 28, 2013: Portland, OR area
  • March 5 - 7, 2013: Denver, CO area
  • March 12 - 14, 2013: San Francisco, CA area
  • March 12 - 14, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • March 19 - 21, 2013: Orlando, FL area
  • March 26 - 28, 2013: Portland, OR area
  • March 26 - 28, 2013: Houston, TX area
  • March 26 - 28, 2013: Washington DC area
  • April 2 - 4, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • April 16 - 18, 2013: San Francisco, CA area
  • April 23 - 25, 2013: Washington DC area
  • May 7 - 9, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • May 14 - 16, 2013: San Francisco, CA area
  • May 14 - 16, 2013: Denver, CO area
  • May 21 - 23, 2013: Orlando, FL area
  • May 21 - 23, 2013: Washington DC area
  • June 11 - 13, 2013: San Francisco, CA area
  • June 18 - 20, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • June 25 - 27, 2013: Orlando, FL area
  • June 25 - 27, 2013: Washington DC area

Visit the certification training page

Email a certification inquiry or call
+1-970-203-9332 to register today.

"Awesome! Best training program I have attended in my career!"
Ryan L., May 2012

"Best course I've ever takenů Incredible instructors and excellent material. Can't wait to use it!"
Kim P., August 2012

"This is the best training that I have ever attended. Now I understand what I need to do when I go back to the office and start to immediately apply what I've learned. Very organized and easy to follow. Great online resource and USB and hard copies."
Tamaho Q., July 2012

"Absolutely Awesome!!! 5 stars!" Brenda M., December 2012
"Excellent course. Well worth the investment of time and money. Excellent job!"
Sue A., July 2012

"Excellent class - would recommend to anyone." Walt J., August 2012
"This is one of the best programs I have attended. Excellent faculty, outstanding material, and amazing use of experiential learning techniques. Attention to every little detail, comprehensive program, material, great planning, outstanding facilitation."
P. Ravi S., November 2012

"Excellent training, excellent content, extremely comprehensive addressing of CM concepts & practical approach. Best instructors ever!!!"
Panos P., December 2012

"The best training class I have had in years. Goes way beyond the strategy and framework and focuses on real world problems and the tools to solve them."
- Jennifer J., April 2009 participant

"I gained so many skills in such a short amount of time. This training will impact not only my own ability to manage change, but impact our larger organization."
- Kim W., January 2012

"This is the best training class I've ever attended."
- Abby D., April 2011

"This was the most effective and engaging course I've ever taken. I feel that I can truly use this knowledge in my personal and professional life immediately."
- Lisa S., February 2009 participant

"This is exactly what I was hoping for - a hands on program that would allow me to absorb the concepts by relating them to a current business project."
- Lisa C., November 2010 participant

"Awesome - truly one of the most beneficial programs I have ever attended - immediate application on the job!"
- Robin S., March 2009 participant

"This program absolutely over-delivered my expectations. I now feel more prepared and better equipped to do my job."
- Paul S., January 2009 participant



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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Email a Prosci analyst or call 970-203-9332 with questions about the methodology, its application, or finding the right resources to support your change management activities.




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