Prosci has been publishing content on the countless aspects of change management since the 1990s, and based on research and feedback provided by our clients, we've put together a list of the six focus areas that change practitioners have identified as where they need more resources and support. The below list includes "five tips" for each of these topics with links to more in-depth content.

Five tips for: Succeeding in change management

These five tips are aimed at applying an intentional, structured and customized approach to managing the people side of an organizational change. In Prosci's 2009 benchmarking study, the use of a structured approach was the #3 contributor to success - and use of a methodology correlated with meeting project objectives. The other tip highlighted engaging those in the organization who are the face and voice of change - your senior leaders and front-line managers. full tutorial

  1. Start early - be more proactive and avoid "fire fighting" and damage control
  2. Apply structure - be more effective and efficient; increase the credibility of the work you are doing
  3. Customize your approach - understand your unique situation and adapt accordingly
  4. Engage employee-facing players - enable the face and voice of change to be successful
  5. Focus on the individual - remember that organizations don't change, people do

Five tips for: Managing resistance

Resistance to change is one of the major issues change management addresses. In Prosci's 2009 benchmarking study, resistance to change was the #2 obstacle to success identified by study participants. However, change management extends beyond the systematic elimination of resistance; it includes engaging employees and creating a compelling case for the need to manage change proactively. Participants in the 2009 study stated that when change management is applied effectively, much resistance can be avoided. A formal and forward-looking approach to mitigating resistance and addressing the root causes of resistance results in better performance. full tutorial

  1. Do change management right the first time - effective change management can eliminate many of causes of resistance before it occurs
  2. Expect it - do not be surprised by resistance, expect it and plan for it
  3. Address it formally - incorporate resistance management planning in all phases of your change management strategy and plan development
  4. Identify the root causes - make sure that you aren't simply responding to the symptom, but really addressing what is causing the resistance
  5. Engage the "right" resistance managers - senior leaders, managers and supervisors are the "right" people in the organization to manage resistance

Five tips for: Better communications

Communication was the #2 overall contributor to success in the 2009 benchmarking study. The communication plan is one of the five levers used in Prosci's methodology. A structured communication effort that begins early in the project lifecycle and answers the key questions employees have - like why is the change happening, what are the risks of not changing and what is the benefit to me - creates momentum for change. full tutorial

  1. Structure your efforts - including the sequencing of messages and the creation of a formal deliverable
  2. Start earlier - even if you do not have all the answers, share what you can and share when more answers are expected
  3. Communicate more often - frequent communications are critical to successful change management
  4. Answer the questions people have - avoid focusing on the details and instead focus on the reasons for the change and the personal impacts of the change
  5. User preferred senders - senior leaders for business messages; immediate supervisors for personal messages

Five tips for: Developing managers and supervisors as change coaches

Managers and supervisors are some of the most important allies in times of change. They have the proximity to and relationships with employees that are critical for building support and navigating resistance in times of change. Unfortunately, many managers and supervisors are not being provided the skills and tools they need to become great leaders of change. Remember, being a great manager and being a great change leader are two different things. Managers and supervisors must first be on board with a change before they can lead their direct reports through the change. full tutorial

  1. Get them on board - managers and supervisors have to go through their own change process before supporting their direct reports
  2. Share the role you expect - at both a high-level and a detailed set of actions
  3. Build competencies - appreciate that "leading change" is a competency that can and must be developed
  4. Provide tools - including individual change models, tip sheets and information for fulfilling roles
  5. Provide support - help managers and supervisors succeed at leading change with peer and expert support

Five tips for: Building organizational change management competency

As organizations face more and more change, effectively managing change is becoming an increasingly important strategic capability. However, building an organizational change management competency is a significant undertaking - you are fundamentally changing how the organization reacts to change. When organizations decide to build this competency, they must treat the effort as both a project and a change to be managed. Research shows that there are five areas that must be leveraged to deploy change management across an organization - what Prosci calls Enterprise Change Management. full tutorial

  1. Treat it as a project - building the competency requires a set of planned actions and someone to manage them
  2. Treat it as a change - you are asking people to do their job differently; it requires change management to deploy change management
  3. Utilize a holistic strategy - actions are needed in the leadership, project, skill, structure and process areas
  4. Dedicate a team - a representative team needs to lead the effort to deploy change management
  5. Secure sponsorship - like any organization-wide change, deploying change management needs effective and well-placed sponsorship

Five tips for: Addressing change saturation

Change saturation occurs when there is so much change occurring that it has negative consequences. Given the competitive, customer and economic demands, many organizations are facing a point of change saturation. The result is negative impacts on individuals, projects and organizations. Once an organization begins to consider its change load and the cumulative and collective impact on employees, it can begin to manage the portfolio of change more effectively. full tutorial

  1. Clearly define saturation and its elements - recognize that change saturation occurs when the amount of change (change disruption) is greater than the amount of change an organization can handle (change capacity)
  2. Understand why saturation occurs - no one is focusing on the collective impact of the changes taking place
  3. Share the consequences of being saturated - individuals, projects and the organization as a whole suffer when there is too much change
  4. Manage the portfolio of change - a structured process can help to understand, evaluate and manage the portfolio of change
  5. Manage each change more effectively - when a change is managed well, it takes up less change capacity than when it is managed poorly


Best Practices in Change Management - 2018 Edition Executive Summary

Written by
Tim Creasey
Tim Creasey

Tim Creasey is Prosci’s Chief Innovation Officer and a globally recognized leader in change management. His work forms the foundation of the largest body of knowledge in the world on managing the people side of change to deliver organizational results.