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Connecting change management to business results:
The Project-Purpose-Particulars-People exercise

The following tutorial presents Prosci's new Project-Purpose-Particulars-People exercise for helping an audience see the connection between change management and achieving business and project results. The intended audiences for this type of exercise include project leaders, project teams, senior managers and change sponsors. Prosci is interested in how this approach works for you - please provide your feedback especially if you use or plan to use the approach with a group.

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In making the case for change management, there are numerous approaches. Many of these approaches have been detailed in previous tutorials from the Change Management Learning Center, including:

  1. The qualitative impacts of effectively and ineffectively managing change in the Why change management tutorial (read here)
  2. Prosci's ROI of change management model describing the three human factors that define or constrain the value a project returns (read here)
  3. Showing the correlation between change management and project objective data, including new correlation analysis from the 2007 benchmarking report (read here)
  4. New resource list of industry literature showing the impact of change management on project results - view the Useful references for making the case for change management tutorial


Connecting change management to business results exercise:

A simple exercise to help your audience make the connection between change management and business results by identifying:

  • Project name
  • Purpose
  • Particulars
  • People

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While these previous approaches can be effective by themselves, the most important thing you can do is help your audience make the connection themselves. The simple Project-Purpose-Particulars-People exercise outlined below may seem like common sense, but the impact for the audience can be significant. Walking an individual or group through the process helps create the "ah ha" moment that cannot be achieved by simply telling someone about the importance of change management.


Step 1 - Create four columns

The exercise is a simple build. Start by creating four columns. If you are facilitating this as group discussion, you may use a white board or flip chart. You can also have each person create their own columns on a sheet of paper in front of them.








Step 2 - Identify the Project

Begin by having your audience label the first column Project Name. Have your audience pick a project they are familiar with and that is important to them and write the name in the first column. What is the project we are thinking about? Examples include: Global ERP, Supply Chain Optimization, ACME 2015, eBenefits 2.5, Create PMO, etc.

Project Name







Step 3 - Identify the Purpose

Next, label column two Purpose. Here, have your audience write down the specific goals or outcomes the project is trying to achieve. Why are we doing this project in the first place? What is the benefit to the organization? Examples include: Reduce cost, increase revenue, improve margin, introduce new product, reallocate inventory, streamline business processes, merge parts of the organization, implement unified data source for entire organization, implement common business practices.

Project Name







Step 4 - Identify the Particulars

The third column is labeled Particulars. In this column, write down exactly what will be changing in the organization - the nuts and bolts of the change. Document the specific impacts to business processes, systems, tools, job roles or organizational structures. Really work to describe what will be different in the future than it is today.

Project Name




Purpose Particulars  



Step 5 - Identify the People

Have your audience label the final column People. Here, identify who in the organization will have to change how they work. Whose day-to-day activities will be impacted by this project? Who will be doing things differently after the project is implemented? And, the answer "everyone" is not good enough - you need to be specific!

Project Name




Purpose Particulars People



Step 6 - Creating the context

The four columns in the Project-Purpose-Particulars-People exercise, and more importantly the process of labeling and filling in each column, helps create a context for the project. It ties the project to why it is happening, to what specifically will be changing, and most importantly to who will be impacted by the change.


Step 7 - Making the connection

The connection between the columns is the key. If we do not manage the people side of change on the far right, it really doesn't matter what specific changes are architected (in the Particulars column) because they won't be realized. And if people don't change how they do their jobs, we ultimately won't achieve the benefits we were looking for from the project (in the Purpose column). Return on investment will not be realized. The project will not deliver results.


So what can we do about the far right column - the people who have to do their jobs differently? The answer is change management. Effectively managing change requires an understanding of how individuals go through change - described by the ADKAR model - and an understanding of the tools that project teams have to support these individual transitions. Prosci's organizational change management methodology has three phases - preparing for, managing and reinforcing change - and utilizes five levers to achieve ADKAR with impacted employees - communication, sponsorship, coaching, training and resistance management.

Effective change management requires:

Individual change management

Organizational change management

Understanding how one person makes
a change successfully

Understanding what tools we have to help
individuals make changes successfully

  • Awareness
  • Desire
  • Knowledge
  • Ability
  • Reinforcement

ADKAR describes the "what are we trying to achieve" when we undertake any change management activities - from newsletters to kick-off meetings to training sessions. Each organizational change management intervention is tied to one of the building blocks of successful change described in the ADKAR model.

3-phase process:
  • Preparing for change
  • Managing change
  • Reinforcing change

5 levers:

  • Communication plan
  • Sponsor roadmap
  • Coaching plan
  • Training plan
  • Resistance management plan
Prosci's change management certification program teaches you how to apply both individual change management and organizational change management to your projects. In the 3-day certification program, you apply the tools, templates and process to a project that you are currently working on. You leave with a 15 minute executive presentation and the beginnings of your change management plans. You can also earn 2.4 CEUs, 24 PDUs from the Project Management Institute (PMI) and 24 recertification hours from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). Download the training brochure to find out more about this exciting program.



The goal of Prosci's Project-Purpose-Particulars-People exercise is not to teach the audience anything, but to get them nodding their heads. The exercise creates the "ah ha" moment about change management because the audience makes the connection themselves - between the project, its purpose and the people who must change how they do their jobs. We can stand on our desk and shout about the importance of change management, but this simple exercise can have far more impact since the audience makes the connection themselves.


  • The build seems common sense, but will open some eyes. As you read the tutorial and think about the exercise, you may reflect that it is overly simple and common sense. However, forcing a group to think hard about what goes in to each column will create some important "ah ha" moments when the connections appear on a single piece of paper.

  • How easy was it to complete each column? Entering the Project was simple, even if it was a long and complex acronym. Adding the Purpose was probably simple too, as these goals and objectives are part of the conversations that often take part on a daily basis with senior leaders and project teams. Documenting the Particulars becomes a little more difficult. Finally, completing the People column is very difficult - some in the group may not even be able to identify who is going to be impacted. This is the nature of the build, but also an important learning point and commentary on what we think about and spend our time on when we work on a major project in the organization. The fact that the particulars don't matter and the purpose won't be achieved if people don't change how they do their jobs is the key.


Once you have your audience saying, "yes, we must do something about the people impacted by this change," you are ready to move forward. The next step is to apply a structured approach to managing that change - with both an individual change management approach (ADKAR) and an organizational change management approach (Preparing for Change, Managing Change and Reinforcing Change). Prosci's 3-day certification program is the best way to learn and build your change management strategies. Find out more at the training page or by downloading the training brochure (PDF).




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Tools for applying change management:

  • Change management certification ($2800)- 3-day program where you bring a project you are working on and apply all of the assessments and tools as you learn them - taught by former Fortune 500 executives at locations across the U.S.
  • Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report ($289) - 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 Toolkit ($389) - hardcopy 3-ring binder presenting Prosci's change management methodology; includes templates, checklists and assessments for managing the people side of change (includes USB drive)
  • Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors ($189) - tools to help supervisors engage and coach their direct reports through change (includes 4 copies of the Employee's Survival Guide)
  • Change Management Pilot ($449) - online tool including Prosci's change management methodology, eLearning modules and downloadable templates, assessments, presentations and checklists
  • Change Management Pilot Professional ($559) - the content of the Change Management Pilot plus additional benchmarking data and an online version of the Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors
  • Change Management: the people side of change ($18.95) - a primer for anyone involved in organizational change that addresses why manage change, individual change management and organizational change management
  • Employee's Survival Guide to Change ($14.95) - 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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