Outlined using Prosci’s two decades of research in change management, the following capability areas segment an organization’s change management maturity so that you can more easily assess the competency level of your organization. Find out where your organization stands.

Capability Area 1: Leadership

The Leadership capability area focuses on specific leadership activities that center around building organizational change management competencies. How committed is leadership to organizational change management? What activities or messages is the leadership undertaking to communicate the value of change management and the effort to build an internal competency? Who is sponsoring change management deployment? If your organization scores low in the Leadership capability area, then this is the first area you should focus on when building an organizational competency.


Key elements of Leadership:

  • Communications from key leaders about the importance of managing the people side of change
  • Strength of sponsor coalition for change management deployment
  • Vision for the change management deployment effort
  • Funding and resources for the change management capability project
  • Leadership accessibility, decision making and engagement with the project team working to institutionalize change management
  • Creation of business rules, policies and procedures that establish change management

Capability Area 2: Application

In the Application capability area, you look at the use of change management processes and tools on projects and initiatives within your organization. What percentage of projects are applying change management? Are there people and funding available for applying change management on projects and initiatives across the organization?

Remember to consider:

  • Percentage of projects applying a structured change management approach
  • Consistent change management methodology and tools
  • Functions, divisions, or units applying change management
  • Types of projects applying change management
  • Availability of tools for managing the people side of change
  • Change management practitioner availability for applying processes and tools on projects
  • Budget and funding availability for change management on projects and initiatives

Capability Area 3: Competencies

Change management is ultimately done by employees, supervisors, managers, leaders, project teams and practitioners throughout the organization. The third capability area, Competencies, looks at the training and development of key groups that must apply change management tools and principles. Ask these questions: Who have you trained? Have they demonstrated change management capability?

See if your organization has:

  • Trained change management practitioners and demonstrated change management practitioner competencies
  • Delivered executive and senior leader training on change management and sponsorship
  • Demonstrated executive and senior leader sponsorship competencies
  • Delivered manager and supervisor training and demonstrated manager and supervisor change coaching competencies
  • Trained employees on guiding themselves through change and demonstrated employee competencies in change management 
  • Delivered project team training on change management and demonstrated project team competencies
  • Demonstrated effectiveness of training programs for change management
  • Offered continuing education opportunities in change management

Capability Area 4: Standardization

The Standardization capability area looks at the mechanisms and systems that can be used to institutionalize change management. Is every part of your organization using the same change management approach? Have you integrated change management with project management? Have you included change management in other improvement approaches? Standardization is the capability area that enables effective change management to become a fixed component of how the organization introduces change.

Crucial elements of Standardization:

  • Adoption and provision of standard methodology and tools for change management
  • Continuous improvement process in place for change management approach
  • Creation of change management office, positions, job roles, and networks
  • Establishment of a complete change management training curriculum
  • Integration of change management into standard project delivery process
  • Integration of change management with ongoing improvement systems and “change-initiating” processes and systems 

Capability Area 5: Socialization

The fifth and final capability area, Socialization, focuses on building commitment and buy-in for change management. Effectively building capabilities and competencies requires buy-in and commitment from every level of an organization. Does the organization view change management as a competitive differentiator and core competency? Is there reinforcement in place to sustain change management application at every level of the organization? 

Look for the following components of Socialization:

  • Executive charter for building change management capabilities and competencies
  • Understanding of the value of change management and buy-in for applying change management within the organization
  • Shared definition of change management across the organization
  • Capturing, publicizing and sharing change management successes
  • Evaluation of change management effectiveness and success during change
  • Reinforcement for sustained change management application

By using these five capability areas, you can begin to understand where your organization stands in terms of organizational change management competency. But this is just the beginning. Ready to complete an exhaustive audit of your organization’s change management maturity? Get a free two-week trial of the Prosci Portal’s cloud-based Change Management Maturity Model™ Audit.

Five Levels of Change Management Maturity article

Written by
Scott McAllister
Scott McAllister

Scott McAllister is a results-oriented leader with a passion for individual and organizational transformation. With experience living on three continents, Scott leads Prosci’s growth efforts by partnering with clients to architect results-driven change management solutions. Scott has spent the last 15 years helping clients initiate transformational change with a combination of strategy, operational excellence and innovation platforms across a broad range of industries, from healthcare and biotech to financial services and telecom.