Once people understand the Prosci ADKAR Model, they tend to fall in love. They shamelessly wear ADKAR glasses at conferences, start using ‘ADKAR’ as a verb (e.g., “I just ‘ADKAR-ed’ that senior leader big time!”) - and I’ve had more than one person threaten to get an ADKAR tattoo. Why are people so fanatical about the ADKAR Model? We set out to answer this question, and understand how change professionals are using it in new and unique ways, in the Applications of ADKAR research study.
In the past fifteen years, the ADKAR Model has become one of the most prevalent change models in the world, with private- and public-sector organizations finding value in its simplicity and effectiveness. While the model’s original intention was to articulate individual change milestones, over the years change practitioners have found new, creative ways to leverage it to drive change in their organizations. Prosci endeavored to understand these new uses, their effectiveness and best practices through the Applications of ADKAR research study. Over 400 change professionals responded, giving new insight into how to effectively expand the use of the ADKAR Model. Below is an infographic outlining all seven uses we identified, with prevalence among participants and reported overall effectiveness:
Why most people use the ADKAR Model
The first thing we did was ask research participants why they used the ADKAR Model at all. It’s a basic question that resulted in two compelling themes:
First, people said that they used the ADKAR Model because it provides a structured approach to change. Rather than a list of concepts or a broad theory about change, the ADKAR Model is a practical structure for how to talk about change and how to move someone through change, and it provides a framework for change management. The other most common response was that the ADKAR Model is easy to use. Because the ADKAR Model distills change into the most basic, yet critical, elements, it is simple enough for anyone to understand and apply without forsaking efficacy. You do not have to be a change professional to understand and be able to apply the ADKAR Model (though many change professionals rely on it heavily for their more sophisticated work).
Emerging uses of the ADKAR Model
We also asked participants how they use the ADKAR Model, ultimately identifying seven possible uses. The most prevalent use of the model was to “leverage a structured approach and methodology,” and the least common use was to “equip senior leaders.” The overall effectiveness of each use, however, was extremely high regardless of the prevalence of that use.
For each use, we asked participants to describe why they used the ADKAR Model in that specific way, how they went about applying it in that way, best practices for that specific application, and what results they experienced. The result of these questions is a robust account for why and how to apply the ADKAR Model in seven unique ways, and an articulation of the results and benefits you might see if you do as well.
Expand your use of the ADKAR Model
Whether you’re already a die-hard fan of the ADKAR Model, or you’re just learning about it, this new research will help you improve your current use of the model and identify new uses for your organization. We’ll be releasing a deep dive on each use of the ADKAR Model over the next several months. Stay tuned here at the Prosci blog (better yet, subscribe here!) to see when each new deep dive is released. Want to learn more about the ADKAR Model in a live setting? Register for our upcoming two-part webinar series here.