Change Management WalkMe TeamNovember 5, 2018

Prosci Change Management 101: A Bird’s-Eye View

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Prosci Change Management 101: A Bird’s-Eye View

The Prosci change management model is focused on “the people side of change,” as they put it on their website.

More commonly known as the ADKAR model, Prosci promotes a change management process that begins from the bottom up — that is, starting with the individual.

Why Prosci Change Management Starts at the Bottom

As many change leaders know, employee motivation is crucial to the completion of any change initiative.

Sucess or failure change often hinges on whether employees adapt or not.

Since people represent the driving force of change in an organization, they can also present the biggest obstacles. For instance:

  • Fear of change can spur resistance
  • Lack of motivation can slow down an initiative, increase costs, and decrease productivity
  • Poor communication can cause employees to feel surprised and trapped, decreasing chances of success

For these reasons — among others — Prosci change management chose to focus on company-wide change that “happens one person at a time.”

ADKAR Under a Microscope

As mentioned, the acronym Prosci has created for their change management system is ADKAR, which stands for:

  • Awareness of the need for change
  • Desire to support the change
  • Knowledge of how to change
  • Ability to demonstrate skills and behavior
  • Reinforcement to make the change stick

Prosci has a well-established track record and is one of the world’s most dominant companies when it comes to organizational change.

The ADKAR framework has been under development since 1998 and is used by some of the world’s largest companies. Prosci training sessions are focused on the inculcation and application of the ADKAR model.

Applying the Prosci Model

Let’s take a closer look at how to actually use the ADKAR model to get results.

In short, ADKAR is applied in 3 phases:

  • Current – Before moving from the current state of affairs, employees need to be aware of the necessity for change. They also need the desire to change. Without these two elements, resistance will be high and motivation will be low.
  • Transition – Moving from one state to the next requires knowledge and ability. Otherwise, employees may be motivated, but not have the technical capacity to effect change.
  • Future – Finally, reinforcement is required after the change is complete. This prevents relapses into the old way of doing things. It also cements the change and makes it clear that this is the “new way.”

Following an approach such as this is ideal for effecting emplpoyee-centric change.

But Prosci has more to offer when it comes to organizational development.

Beyond ADKAR – Other Prosci Resources

Prosci change management — like many other change management tools and frameworks — is centered around the ADKAR model.

However, the company also brings other tools to the change management table, such as:

An approach for top-down change, called the 5 B’s of Executive Buy-In.

This set of principles is useful for obtaining buy-in and consensus from company leaders.

As you may notice, Prosci is a fan of catchy acronyms — in this case, the rules all start with the letter B:

  • Best Practices
  • Business Case
  • Be Specific
  • Be Assertive
  • Bring in an Expert

Though ADKAR itself is bottom-up, this rule set provides a tool that change leaders can use for gaining support at the top levels as well.

Defining criteria for effective change managers, which it calls the 4 C’s of a World Class Change Manager.

Change managers and change leaders — especially those who are passionate about their work — can improve their skills with these 4 C’s:

  • Commitment
  • Connection
  • Communication
  • Creativity

This list is one of many acronyms on the site that can become a useful addition to the change leader’s toolbox.

The Prosci PCT™ (Project Change Triangle) Model

This model outlines the three elements that every project needs to be successful: leadership/sponsorship, project management, and change management.

A large repository of change management resources

Prosci offers a large selection of resources ranging from blog articles to downloadable content, infographics, checklists, and more.

All of their content is focused on change management, making it an invaluable resource to anyone in this profession.

Training courses and consulting services

Certification is available for change managers that wish to take their skills to the next level. Such courses can, of course, be invaluable for anyone who plans on actively applying Prosci solutions in their organization.


Image source: prosci blog

Organizations can also hire Prosci-certified consultants and change managers through the site, for building change capability, adopting new technology, or adapting to new processes.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, Prosci change management is a leading force in the world of change management and leadership.

However, it is not the only change management framework. There are many other change management tools, exercises, techniques, and frameworks out there, some of which have decades-long histories.

We discuss many of these in-depth on the WalkMe Change Blog.

Due to the authority and positioning of Prosci’s change models, it is definitely worth further investigation … especially for anyone who wants to create, manage, and lead change in their organization.

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