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ADKAR Change Management Model


ADKAR Change Management Model

The Prosci ADKAR model was developed by Jeff Hiatt in 1996 and published in a White Paper entitled “The Perfect Change” in 1999.

The model has inspired many people in hundreds of organizations around the world to become successful change leaders.

The ADKAR model is based on the fact that change happens when individuals accept, adopt and use new processes, tools or techniques competently. It is the accumulation of changes at the individual level that leads an entire organization to change.

When a tool like ADKAR can be used to support individual change, we are in effect sustaining organizational change and achieving results; because they are the individuals that collectively make up the organization.

Complex plans and methodologies are not required to guide individuals through change. The most successful way to facilitate change with individuals is through the use of holistic and easy-to-use tools that show how experiences, tools and models that summarize the specific steps of change really change, allowing us to identify obstacles and offer effective solutions to overcome them.

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Lagom has been involved in managing complex change projects and our consultants have successfully delivered these projects. These projects revolve around organisation transformations and upgrades. The ADKAR model has helped us in managing various projects and smoothly transforming organisations.

ADKAR’s letters represent the five essential elements that must be present for an individual to make a successful change.

Awareness: awareness of the need to change.

The change begins with the understanding of why, including the answers to basic questions such as: What is the nature of the change? Why is it happening? What are the risks of changing for me and for the organization?

If we do not understand why a change is necessary, then we do not have the consciousness and our natural reaction is to resist the change.

Action: For a change in either your personal life or at work, describe your personal awareness of the need for change. What do you think are the reasons why the change is happening? What are the risks to yourself or to the organization if you do not participate in the change?

Example: a large organization is implementing a new document management system. People will need to learn new processes to retrieve, edit and share documents within the organization. Change is necessary to make the organization more efficient in tracking and maintaining documents. The reason behind the change comes from a failure in the current system resulting in costly errors and loss of documents. At the individual level, the risks of not changing include the inability to access necessary documents and decrease delivery times for completed tasks.

Desire: desire to participate and support change

Finally, the change requires the individual to make a personal decision to participate and support the change. Because of this, Desire is the most difficult element in organizational change. However, leaders can influence this decision through organizational motivators for change. What is for me? And what’s for us? Regarding the change.

Action: List the motivating factors or consequences related to the change that would influence your desire to change. These factors can be positive or negative.

Example: From the perspective of an individual, the consequences of not changing pose a risk to their performance at work, which could have other repercussions on their personal success at work. However, if an individual is not having skills with computers like others, he may be less motivated to learn a new system. The new system may work better than the old document management methods, so for many, this change can be seen as a welcome relief.

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Knowledge: knowledge on how to change

The knowledge element is often represented with training. Successful change requires knowing how to use new tools or make use of new skills after implementation, and know how to change. In many cases, attending a training does not result in sufficient knowledge. Practice, coaching at work, and additional aids can ensure that individuals have the knowledge they need to successfully change the change. Training without the preceding Consciousness and Desire is not effective and can really be more frustrating than beneficial for employees.

Action: List the skills and knowledge necessary to support this change, during and after the transition. Do you need more training? One-to-one coaching or just time to study the new system or processes? What would help you better understand how to change?

Example: People are required to know how to navigate the new document management system and understand how to access the files. The training was done to all the people impacted. In addition, managers were trained and equipped to offer individual coaching and support to their team to ensure they understand and know how to use the new tools and processes. Additionally, a practice station was established so that people become familiar with the new document management system.


Ability: ability to implement the required skills and behaviors

People must have the ability to demonstrate new skills and behaviors. It is possible that an individual can understand the change in a theoretical way and even have the knowledge to make the change, but finally, he cannot demonstrate the skills and behaviors required. It is in Capacity – when the change comes to life and the results are made.

Action: Consider the skills and knowledge from the knowledge element and assess your ability to implement this change. What challenges do you anticipate? Are there obstacles inhibiting your ability?

Example: For most, the adoption of the new system should be smooth, especially when they allow a few weeks to practice. Some people will not be able to learn the new technology, either due to personal limitations or requiring extended learning time.


Reinforcement: Reinforcement to sustain change

The final element in the model is Reinforcement, a critical step to ensure that change is sustainable. The reinforcement includes actions, recognition, mechanisms and rewards that increase the probability that the change will be continuous. While reinforcement mechanisms may be ready before the change has been made, reinforcement at the individual level occurs once the change has been adopted – the capacity has been acquired. This does not mean that the individual must be outstanding to receive Reinforcement, but must first demonstrate some ability for behavior to be positively reinforced.

Action: List the reinforcement that will help keep the change. What incentives will help make the change remain? Are there opposite incentives for change?

Example: The organization has tied the successful implementation of this change to employee bonuses. The project sponsor is very active and visible in giving positive feedback to impacted groups who are showing the change. Managers are working closely with employees in trouble to ensure they can succeed in the change. In addition, managers continuously remove obstacles and manage resistance to change.

These elements are in intentional sequence. The initial elements must be achieved before those that follow can be done.

For example, building Knowledge about how to change is ineffective if an individual does not have the Awareness of the need for change or the Desire to participate and support the change.

ADKAR presents the structure and sequence required for individuals to make a change.

The ADKAR model is the individual change management model that facilitates the successful adoption of the change by presenting simple, logical and structured elements of an individual change.

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In conclusion, change management is the application of a series of tools and processes to bring the human side of change. Lagom experts have been transforming organisations using these processes and tools focusing on the organisation’s requirements. Our change experts understand the organisation’s need to change and devise strategic plan accordingly.