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Using the ADKAR Model to Measure Change Success

Peter Drucker famously observed, “what gets measured gets managed.” In the change space, measurement has often been an elusive frontier. With its individual and results orientation, the Prosci ADKAR Model is uniquely valuable as a measurement mechanism. In Prosci’s Application of ADKAR research effort, change practitioners shared their experience, insights and advice on using the ADKAR Model as a measurement framework. And, as it turns out, it works –two thirds of participants using the model as a measurement framework said it was extremely effective. As one participant noted, “ADKAR allows you to measure where individuals are in the change process so change management activities can be tailored and timely.”

Using the ADKAR Model to Integrate Change Management and Project Management

Integrating change management and project management has been an area of study for over a decade at Prosci. While some people seem to think that project management and change management have a rivalry akin to the Capulets and Montagues, we do not believe that to be the case. Previous research tells us that integrating these disciplines leads to more effective change management. More effective change management, in turn, leads to a higher likelihood of project outcomes being achieved.

Using the ADKAR Model to Facilitate Individual Change

In our age of innovation and sophistication, I am always amazed by the power of the throw-back. We post old pictures on social media in honor of “throw-back Thursday.” We sing and dance along with throw-back songs (which, for me, is early nineties pop music). We look back at old year books or family photo albums. There’s a reason we love throw-backs: they feel comfortable and familiar, but they also take us back to our roots and our formative experiences. It’s a powerful thing to return to where we came from.

Change vs Change Management

Change and change management. On the surface, these terms may seem interchangeable. However, there is a significant and important difference between change and change management. When there is no clear delineation, the result is confusion and lack of clarity on what is needed to move an initiative forward. The better we can separately define and address change and change management, the better position we will be in as change management practitioners with a clearer scope and shared sense of direction and purpose.

Using the ADKAR Model as a Common Language for Change

When people do not share a common language, it can lead to confusing, even hilarious results. Consider the classic Abbott and Costello skit “Who’s On First,” where both comedians are saying the same words but meaning completely different things. While this conundrum makes  for great comedy, it can cause real problems in our organizations. And lack of a common language doesn’t just manifest in people assigning different meaning to the same word; it can also result in people using vastly different terms to describe the same thing. This can cause frustration, misunderstanding, and decreased efficiency as people decipher each other’s language.

Infographic: New Data on How the ADKAR Model Drives Change

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. 

Change Is a Process

Change occurs as a process, not as an event. Organizational change does not happen instantaneously because there was an announcement, a kick-off meeting or even a go-live date. Individuals do not change simply because they received an email or attended a training program.

It takes more than building a beautiful ship

Changes ultimately come to life through the individuals who have to do their jobs differently as a result of a project or initiative. Whether the project involves a process impacting 15 people, a new technology impacting 150 or a transformation impacting 15,000, the success of the project is inextricably linked to the success of each of those individuals. Did they get on board, or did they stay on the shore?

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