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Understanding Change

Change Management, why it works and what model is the best fit for organizations in
a Project Management structure.

A Research paper Prepared for the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and
Treasurers of Ontario (AMTCO) Municipal Management Diploma Program by Student
# 209917.


Understanding Change Management

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 3
Scope and Methodology. 4
Section One Change Management & Project Management
What is Change Management? 6
What is Project Management? . 6
Synergies between Project Management and Change Management. 6
The Change Curve 7
Why is Change Management necessary? 7
Benefits of Change Management 8
Section 2 - Change Management Models
Kurt Lewin- Three Stages of Change Freeze Transition Refreeze 10
John Kotter Managing Change in Eight Steps 11
Prosci-ADKAR Change Management Model. 13
Section 3 Change Management Success
Change Management Best Practices 16
Recommendation: Change Management Model for Project Management 17
Conclusion 18
Bibliography 19
Appendix a 20


Understanding Change Management

Executive Summary
In todays global economy organizations recognize that one thing is constant and that is
change. Private sector organizations seek aggressive ways to remain competitive in a global
economy - from reductions in workforce to radical restructuring. Public sector organizations
strive to be effective while meeting the growth demands in communities that are more
complex, while remaining cost effective and accountable as they deliver high quality services
to their communities and stakeholders.
As a result the industry of Change Management has seen significant growth since the early
1990s as organizations seek methodologies to help them adapt to or implement new
processes or changes. The focus of this paper will be on understanding Change Management
as it integrates with Project Management and what model may be the best for an organization
that is operating in a Project Management structure.
The first section of this paper will explore what change management is and if it is a necessary
discipline? How do organizations really know if they will get their return on their investment
in a change management program? It will also explore the synergies between change
management and project management two disciplines which are often required to drive
dramatic results in organizations.
The second section explores three popular Change Management Models that have evolved
within the industry; Lewins 3 steps to change, John Kotters 8 steps to change and the
Prosci-ADKAR model developed by John Hiatt. Each model has its strengths and
weaknesses however; I will explore further how one model is best applied to organizations
that are operating in a project management structure.
The third section looks at the factors that are required for successful Change Management.
What has been successful in organizations and what would they do differently on future
implementations. Organizations are diverse and not all aspect of any one change
management model may work for any singular organization. When implementing a change
management program whether it is based on one model or favourite elements from many
there are a number of best practices that organizations should consider.


Understanding Change Management

Scope and Methodology

The primary purpose of this paper is to explore the discipline of Change Management, and
what Change Management model may work best in a Project Management organizational
This paper will define Change Management, why it is necessary and what the benefits of a
structured program are. It will also explore the similarities between Change Management and
Project Management.
The scope of this paper was limited to exploring three Change Management Models due to the
volume and complexity of models that are in practice in the industry.
It is my hope that as the Change Management discipline continues to grow and become
recognized as a critical requirement for project and organizational success that we will see
change management imbedded in project delivery programs, integrated within organizations
at all levels.


Understanding Change Management

Section 1- Change Management & Project Management

What is Change Management?
Change Management is a comprehensive term used to describe change at both the individual
and organizational level. The term Change Management is used to describe:
1. The task of managing change;
2. An area of professional practice;
3. A body of knowledge (consisting of models, methods, techniques, and other tools);and
4. A control mechanism







For the purposes of this paper the following definition is used; Change Management: is an
approach to transitioning organizations, teams and individuals from their current state to a
new desired state for the future.2
Change management is both an art and a science that uses theories and methodologies, tools
and well-practiced structured approaches to manage organizational change efforts so that the
desired results of the change (and expected return on investment) are achieved.
Change Management plays an important role in any organization as managing change is not
Change in an organization or a project can be initiated both from within the
organization and from external forces. Externally, competition may drive an organization to
change a product or service to try and capture more of the market share.
Internally a
problem may be identified and change management is seen as the process by which a
solution can be implemented with the organization.
Most Change Management Models have three main characteristics:

Preparing for change. This is the time to get ready the organization has looked at
their current state and determined that change efforts are required to get to a
future state.
Managing Change. This is where detailed planning takes place determining what is
required, what tools and tactics the organization will use to implement the change.
Once a roadmap is defined, action is taken and implementation begins.
Reinforcing change successful change has occurred, either in whole or part and data
is gathered about the change on what has been successful and what areas can
improve. Celebrations of success as well as positive recognition of contributors to the
change efforts take place.3

Mark Connelly, Change Management (http// retrieved 13/10/20.

John Kotter, Change Management vs. Change Leadership Whats the Difference? (, 2011) retrieved
online from Wikipedia 13/10/23.
Jeffrey M, Haitt, Prosci Change Management Toolkit Using the ProsciADKAR Model (Colorodo: Prosci Change
Management Learning Centre, 2012),1-5


Understanding Change Management

What is Project Management?

Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project
activities in order to meet or exceed stakeholder needs and expectations from a project. A
project is defined as a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or
Organizations performing projects will usually divide each project into several project phases
to provide better management control and as required to make appropriate links to
operational groups. Collectively the project phases are known as the project life cycle. Within
the life cycle of a project each phase is marked by the completion of a deliverable- a tangible
verifiable work product.5 These benchmarks are similar to the steps or phases of a change
management model.

Synergies between Change Management and Project Management

There are similarities between the discipline of Project Management and Change
Management; both are moving people and organizations from a current state to a future

In Project Management the focus is on the technical side; this is where the solution is
designed, developed and delivered effectively. In Change Management the solution is on the
people side; the solution is embraced, adopted and utilized effectively. Project Management
and Change Management have a joint value proposition oriented toward driving business
results. 7

Why is Change Management Necessary?

Change is certain, and it is not likely that the degree and speed at which our lives are
changing will slow down. Change management provides structure, intent and tools for
encouraging individuals through their own personal change.

William R .Duncan, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (Newtown Square, PA: Project
Management Institute Publishing Division, 1996),11
Duncan, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge; 12
Haitt, Prosci Change Management Toolkit, 52
Haitt, ProsciChange Management Toolkit, 51


Understanding Change Management

When a business needs to implement a change, a formal change management plan is

necessary because:

We change for a reason: There are many reasons for change, revenue growth,
improved customer satisfaction, reduced costs, better product or service quality,
reduced risk exposure, improved quality of life and so on. Projects and initiatives are
undertaken not because they are fun and exciting, but because there is an opportunity
to capture or solve a problem.

Organizational change requires individual change: Change can only occur when
individuals in the organization begin working in new ways; displaying new behaviours,
using new tools, adhering to new processes and adopting new values. Individual shifts
in behaviour are the cornerstone of change. When numerous individual shifts are taken
together as a whole, the desired future state of the organization is achieved.

Organizational outcomes are the collective result of individual change: The closer you
are to achieving 100% engagement with employees, the closer you are to achieving
100% of the desired outcomes.

Change Management is an enabling framework for managing the people side of


Organizations are made up of people, and people are dynamic and harder to change because
each person has their own system of beliefs and values. The Change Curve created by
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (see illustration below) and her work on personal transition and grief
and bereavement, is a tool that helps us understand how individuals experience change. The
Change Curve identifies 4 stages in the grief cycle Denial, Anger, Exploring and Acceptance,
which assist Project Managers and Change Leaders to anticipate how people may react to
change and develop strategies to help them with their own personal transition.

When Managers and Change Leaders can anticipate individuals emotional reactions to change
they can target strategies to support the individual change experience.

Candy Lee, The Change Curve How do we react to Change? Available from Educational Business (accessed October 24, 2013)


Understanding Change Management

Suggestions include:

In the denial phase the natural reaction is for the individual to deny that there is a
need for change, typical sentiments might be that wont work here or we have tried
that before. Leaders can support employees by having face to face communication
with them which can help them understand why the changes are necessary and further
explain what it will mean for them.
In the anger phase some employees realize the change is not going away and display
anger and bitterness towards the new plans. Continual communication using a variety
of channels can help to give the individuals time to understand the changes and can
help to reduce the anxiety
In stage three exploring people will often try to compromise a favourable outcome to
the change i.e.: if we do this, then this will happen. Communicate the project
timeline, encourage participation and make clear that people know what needs to be
In the final stage acceptance, the change has occurred and individuals are learning to
live with the change and even get involved.9

Benefits of Change Management

The greatest benefit of Change Management is that it provides conceptual scaffolding for the
people, process and the organization implementing the change. It is a framework used to
support and understand the change and its effectiveness on the organization and its people.
There are both organizational and individual benefits to a formal change management plan;
Organizational benefits include:

Faster response time to customer and market demands and increased competitiveness
in the market place. The time needed to implement change is reduced

Helps align existing resources within the organization. Change management allows the
organization to assess the overall impact of a change

Change can be implemented without negatively affecting the day to day running of
business and employee performance increases when staff feels supported.

Organizational effectiveness and efficiency is maintained or even improved by

acknowledging the concerns of staff.

The possibility of unsuccessful change is reduced.

Managed cost of change: change management helps contain cost associated with the
change. Increased return on investment (ROI).

Candy Lee, The Change Curve How do we react to Change? Available from Educational Business (accessed October 24, 2013)


Understanding Change Management

Benefits for individuals / staff:

Effective change management supports a smooth transition from the old to the new
while maintaining morale, productivity, and even company image

Provides management and staff support for concerns regarding changes and correct
perception of the change for staff and public

Helps to plan efficient communication strategies

Minimizes resistance to change

Improves morale, productivity and quality of work

Improves cooperation, collaboration and communication

A carefully planned approach to change reduces stress and anxiety and encourages
people to stay loyal to the organization

Increased employee acceptance of the change

It is clear that both organizations and the people with in them have a higher likelihood of
success and job satisfaction with effective change management. Participants in the 2011
Prosci -ADKAR benchmarking study support the positive benefits and the 2011 research
showed that there is a greater awareness of the need for and value of change management,
greater value is being placed on change management and its contributions to the success of
projects and initiatives.
There is an increased use of established methodologies and
participants cited an increased use in the tools and language of change management including
an increase in the development of in-house competencies and programs. Finally change
management activities are being introduced earlier and more often into project management


Jeffrey M, Hiatt, Best Practices in Change Management. (Colorado: Prosci Learning Centre Publications, 2012),19

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Understanding Change Management

Section 2 - Change Management Models

Change Management is not a new phenomenon or a buzz word. Documented theory and
models for change have been in existence since as early as 1945 and frameworks consisting
of 3-step, 5-step, 10- step and 12-step models have been developed along with Management
Consulting firms proprietary models and other industry or company based Change
Management processes.
For the purposes of this research paper I will look at three models of change management;

Kurt Lewin 3 stage change model

John Kotter, 8 Guiding Principles for Change
ProsciADKARModel developed by Jeff Hiatt

Unfreeze, Transition, Refreeze Kurt Levin

One of the original models for understanding organizational change was developed by Kurt
Levin in the 1950s. His model is based on three primary stages identified as Unfreeze
Transition - Refreeze. Kurt Lewin, was a physicist as well as social scientist, and he
explained organizational change using the analogy changing the shape of a block of ice. He
said if you have a large cube of ice, but realize that what you want is a cone of ice, what do
you do? First you must melt the ice to make it amenable to change (unfreeze). Then you
must mold the iced water into the shape you want (change). Finally, you must solidify the
new shape (refreeze).11
Stage one - Unfreeze in this stage, which Lewin saw as the most important stage, the
focus is on preparing for changes and ideally creating a situation in which we want to change.
Unfreezing is about recognizing that there is an issue or a need to change and then weighing
the pros and cons of a situation to see if you are ready and willing to change. Lewin referred
to this process as force field analysis which essentially means; there are lots of different
factors (forces) for and against making a change that we need to be aware of (analysis). If
the factors for change outweigh the factors against change and individual will make the
change. If not, then there's low motivation to change - and if individuals feel pushed to
change we're likely to get grumpy and dig in their heels 12
In stage two the Transition begins. Individuals are unfrozen and moving toward a new
state. This is the most difficult stage as people are learning about the change and what it
means to them. In this stage individuals may require a lot of time and support to adjust to
the new state. They will need to learn new processes or skills. Organizations can assist with
the change by making sure each individual is supported with tools and skills they need to
make the transition.
In the final phase Refreeze the change has been established and accepted. A sense of
stability is created with outputs such as new organization charts, job descriptions, process
maps etc. This phase gives employees the chance to stop living in transition and to
celebrate the successes achieved.


Mind Tools, Lewins Change Management Model; //

(accessed September 24 2013)
Change, Kurt Lewin Change Management Model; (accessed September 24, 2013)

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Understanding Change Management

Lewin is most often criticized or seen as an outdated model for this final phase refreeze. In
this globalized economy it is argued that change is constant and happens so quickly that there
isnt time for people or organizations to Refreeze after a change management program has
been implemented. Critics of Lewin argue that to be competitive organizations need to
maintain a state of change, preparing, managing change and reinforcing the change cycle. 13
Lewins' model when applied to a project management setting lacks the structure, processes
and tools to effectively support an organization in project delivery.
Although simple in it
structure, it leaves an organization left to define what is required in each phase to keep in
cycle with the project delivery.

John Kotter Leading Change 8 Guiding Principles for Change

John Kotter introduced 8 steps for change in his first book Leading Change in 1995. Since
then he continued to be one of the more popular authors on the subject. His model identified
8 key steps, centered on key principles of how people approach change, respond to and
embrace change.
Step One: Create a Sense of Urgency. For change to happen people have to be aware of
the issue or need for change. In this stage an organization should be mobilizing for change,
examining the marketplace and competitive realities or the challenges apart within the
organization. Senior leaders should be having frank and open discussions within their teams
examining threats and developing scenarios of what the realities could be in the future if
they do not adopt proposed changes. He notes that for change to be successful, It is
important to convince at least 75% of your managers that the status quo is more dangerous
than the unknown.14, and that organizations need to spend enough time in step one to
ensure this before moving onto the other steps.
Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition. Building momentum for change takes leadership
and it cannot be done alone.
Kotter recommends assembling a group with shared
commitment and enough power to lead the change effort. Change leaders can come from all
levels and area of the organization. In this step once your change coalition is formed
leaders need to work as a team, continuing to build urgency and momentum around the need
for change. Kotter suggests that some things leaders can do to strengthen themselves as a
team are; identify other leaders in the organization, ask for their commitment, work on team
building within the change coalition team and check for any weaknesses in the team and
ensure you have a good mix from the organization and from various levels. 15
Step Three: Create a Vision for Change. A clear vision can help everyone in your
organization understand what you are asking them to do. A vision does not need to be grand
or complex. Ideally it is in the form of a short vision speech that conveys the heart of the
change in less than 5 minutes. If within 5 minutes you cannot get a reaction that signifies
understanding and interest then your vision speech is not clear or completed yet. These key
messages should be provided to all members of the change coalition. The team needs to be
fluent in the same language and use every opportunity to reinforce the vision statements. 16


Mind Tools, Lewins Change Management Model; // (accessed

September 24 2013)
John, P Kotter, Leading Change Why Transformation Efforts Fail (USA: Harvard Business Review Press, 2011) 4
Kotter, Leading Change,- Why Transformation Efforts Fail 7,8
Kotter, Leading Change Why Transformation Efforts Fail, 4,9

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Understanding Change Management

Characteristics of an effective vision:

Imaginable conveys a picture of what the world will look like

Desirable appeals to the long term interest of employees, customers,
stockholders and others who have a stake in the enterprise
Feasible comprises realistic attainable goals
Focused is clear enough to provide guidance in decision making
Flexible is general enough to allow individual initiative and alternative
responses in light of changing conditions
Communicable is easy to communicate and can be easily explained within 5

Step Four: Communicate the Vision. Use every vehicle possible to communicate the new
vision and strategies for achieving it. Teach new behaviours by example of the change
coalition. These leaders should be walking the talk. Talk about the vision at every
opportunity and look for ways to keep it fresh in everyones mind so they will remember and
respond to it.
Step Five: Empower others to act on the vision. This means removing or altering
systems or structures that undermine the vision. Encourage risk taking and non-traditional
ideas, activities and actions. 18 This includes providing the training that employees need this
can be technical or soft skills training. At this stage, Kotter also notes that it is important to
recognize individuals who are resisting the change effort and confront them. If others see
that they are not confronted then they become discouraged and will slow down the change
momentum. 19
Step Six:
Create Short Term Wins.
Define and engineer visible performance
improvements. What this means is that organizations need to plan for goals that are easily
achievable in the short term and then celebrate their success. Recognize and reward
employees contributing to those improvements. These quick wins help the transformation in
a number of ways; they provide evidence to employees that the sacrifice is worth it. They
also help fine tune the vision and strategies; as the organization looks at the quick wins
results they identify opportunities to correct what did not work and reinforce in the plan tools
or strategies that were the most effective. This helps reinforce for the change coalition that
they are moving in the right direction. And finally, celebrating wins also help silence the
critics. Following the positive momentum, employees that were neutral to the change efforts
are often swayed to being supporters. 20
Step Seven: Build on the Change. Use increased credibility from early wins to change
systems structures and policies undermining the vision.
Hire, promote and develop
employees who can implement the vision and reinvigorate the change process with new
projects and change events. 21 In this step Kotter argues that many change projects fail
because victory is declared too early. Real change runs deeper. Quick wins are only the
beginning of what needs to be done to achieve the long terms change. After every success
analyse what went right and what needs improving, continue to set goals to build on the
momentum and keep ideas fresh by bringing new change agents and leaders to the change

John Kotter, Leading Change. (Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press), 74
Kotter, Leading Change, why Transformation Efforts Fail,5,9
Kotter, Leading Change, why Transformation Efforts Fail, 5,13
Kotter, Leading Change, why Transformation Efforts Fail, 5, 13
Kotter, Leading Change, why Transformation Efforts Fail, 5

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Understanding Change Management

Step Eight: Anchor the Change in Corporate Culture. To make any change stick it needs
to become a part of the core organizational culture, the way things are done around here. A
corporations culture determines what gets done, so the values behind the vision must be
evident in the day to day operations.
Leaders need to continually communicate the
connection between new behaviours and corporate successes.
Kotters' method has many benefits; there are clear steps to guide you through the process,
he focuses on the importance of employee buy in and his model will fit well within a traditional
hierarchical organization. The disadvantages of Kotters model are that it is a very linear, top
down approach and once it is started it is difficult to change direction. The eight steps are
lengthy and may be frustrating from an employee perspective if there isnt enough time to
deal with individual needs and allow time for their stages of grief as identified earlier in the
cycle of change.

Prosci -ADKAR Model Jeff Hiatt

The ADKAR Model was developed by Jeff Hiatt, CEO of Prosci Change Management, which
has become a very popular and practical model for organizations to follow. The model was
first published 1998 after research with more than 300 companies undergoing major change
projects. In 2006, Prosci released the first complete text on the ADKAR model in Jeff Hiatt's
book ADKAR: a model for change in business, government and our community.
This model is intended to be a coaching tool to help employees through the change process
and focuses on the need for individual change, emphasizing that successful change is only
achieved when each person is ready and able to transition. In the earlier models examined,
Kotter and Lewin both identify the need for individuals to change for the change effort to be
successful however in the Prosci ADKAR Model the individual experience is linked with the
organizational experience of project management.
The Prosci ADKAR model suggests looking at change as if it were a three legged stool.
The first leg is leadership/sponsorship. This represents the formation of a strategy and
direction for an organization and the leadership required to set a change in motion. The
second leg is project management this represents the fundamentals of managing a project
including the design of work tasks and the management of resources to bring the project in
on time and on budget. The third leg is change management the people side of change.
This represents the actions taken by the organization to help employees transition from the
current state to the future state. 22
The Prosci ADKAR model is built on the three phases; which are the process and steps
that project team must take to manage change. Within these phases are 5 building blocks for
successful change Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement.


Haitt, Prosci Change Management Toolkit, I-7

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Understanding Change Management

Three phases of change

- Prosci ADKAR Model

The first phase in the Prosci ADKAR

methodology which is aimed at getting ready.
It answers the question: how much change
management is needed for this specific project? The
first phase provides the situational awareness that is
critical for effective change management. 23

The second phase of Prosci- ADKAR model is

focused on creating the plans that are integrated
into the project activities what people typically
think of when they talk about change management.
The model recommends five plans that should be
created to help individuals move through change:

Communications Plan
Training Program
Roadmap to Sponsorship
Coaching Plan
Resistance management Plan24

The third phase of the Prosci ADKAR Model

helps project teams create specific action plans for
ensuring that the change is sustained.
In this phase, project teams develop measures and
mechanisms to see if the change has taken hold, to
the see if employees are actually doing their jobs the
new way and to celebrate success.25


Haitt, Prosci Change Management Toolkit, 45-46

Haitt, Prosci Change Management Toolkit, 45-46
Haitt, Prosci Change Management Toolkit, 47

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Understanding Change Management

Prosci-ADKARModel 5 Critical Steps for Change

Research shows that most commonly cited reason for project failures is people. In a study
with 248 companies, effective change management with employees was listed as one of the
top-three overall success factors for the project. Helping managers be effective sponsors of
change was considered the most critical success factor overall. Effective management of the
people dimension of change requires managing the 5 key goals of the Prosci-ADKAR
Model which are explored below.26
The first step is Awareness of the need for change. Understanding why change is necessary
is the first key aspect of successful change. Through this step planned communication is
essential and when completed the individual (employee) will fully understand why change is
The second step is the Desire to participate in and support the change. In this step the
individual is able to reach a point where they make a personal decision to support the change
and participate in the change. Naturally a desire to support and be part of the change can
only happen after full awareness of the need for change is established. Building desire is
partly achieved by addressing incentives for the individual and creating a desire to be a part
of the change.
The third step is Knowledge on how to change. The third building block of the model is
providing knowledge about the change. In this step it is important that two types of
knowledge requirements are addressed: knowledge on how to change (what to do during the
transition) and knowledge on how to perform once the change is implemented. Organizations
should not limit themselves to traditional training methods and look at one on one
counselling, peer to peer mentoring and more formal training programs.
The fourth step is the Ability to implement required skills and behaviours. In the ADKAR
model ability is the difference between theory and practice. Once knowledge on how to
change is in place (theory) the practice, or actual performance of the individual, needs to be
supported. This step can take some time and can be achieved through practice, coaching and
The fifth step is Reinforcement to sustain the change. This final stage of the model is an
essential component in which efforts to sustain the change are emphasised. Ensuring that
changes stay in place and those individuals do not revert to old ways, this can be achieved
through positive feedback, ensuring that the organization has integrated rewards, recognition,
measuring performance and taking corrective actions. 27
As noted earlier, this step is the most challenging in any model it is the most difficult as
organizations are typically on to the next change, or they have seen the early wins from
change efforts and relax their efforts and reinforcement on the changes. 28
The Prosci-ADKARmodel is a goal oriented model that allows teams to focus their activities
on specific business results. It applies a practical integration of project management concepts
within the change model.


Jeff Hiatt, ADKAR a model for Change Management; http// (accessed October 2, 2013)
Jeffrey M. Hiatt, ADKAR A Model for Change in Business, Government and our communit,y,37
Mark Connelly, Change Management ADKAR: Simple, Powerful Action Oriented Model for
Change can be found at

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Understanding Change Management

Successful change is realized when two goals are met as shown in Figure 1. First the
business must realize the full implementation of the change so that the business objectives
are met (vertical axis) and the organization must integrate through each element of the
Prosci ADKAR model so that individuals are able to implement the change and
reinforcements are in place to sustain the change. In this way the failure to achieve either
goal can result in partially successful or failed changes. 29

Figure 1


Section 3 Change Management Best Practices

Prosci Learning Centre conducted a Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking
study. The study combines findings with previous six studies to form one of the largest
bodies of knowledge on change management and managing the people side of change.
Participation in the study has grown from 102 participants (1998) to 650 participants (2011)
and extends to 62 countries. 31
The objective of the study is to uncover lessons learned from practitioners and consultants so
current change management teams can benefit from these experiences. In 2011, the study
identified six factors as the greatest contributors to overall success of change management;

Active and visible executive sponsorship.

Frequent and open communications about change.
Structured change management approach employee engagement and participation
Dedicated change management resources and funding
Employee engagement and participation
Engagement with and support from middle management 32

Hiatt, A Model for Change in Business Government and our Community, 59

Hiatt, A Model for Change in Business Government and our Community, 59
31 Hiatt, Best Practices in Change Management, 7
32Hiatt, Best Practices in Change Management, 14

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Understanding Change Management

It is important to note that over the last 7 years of the benchmarking study Active and
visible sponsorship has ranked number one. Past studies have consistently highlighted the
importance of open communication and the importance of a structured change management
approach, see Figure 2.

Figure 2


Recommendation: Change Management Model for Project Management

There are many models that have been developed to try and help people and organizations
manage change. Although the scope of research was limited in this paper due to the number
and complexity of models available it is clear that the Prosci ADKARModel provides the
best fit for an organization in a project management structure. The Prosci-ADKARmodel
utilizes the best practices of over seven hundred companies through their change
management benchmarking studies. The model provides a formal certification program with
support in person, online and through management and supervisor toolkits to help support all
levels through the change process. Through this knowledge transfer process organizations can
build their internal change management competencies which will enable the change
management cycle to continue.
The link between individual change management and organizational change management is
what is key to the success of the Prosci ADKAR model. There are many other models
available which address change management for individuals and other models that address
change within an organization, the Prosci-ADKAR model integrates these two elements
into one program that strategically targets organizations in project management delivery
aligning the change process with the achievement of business results.
An additional benefit of the Prosci-ADKAR Model is the Prosci Learning Institute which
provides Change Management certification, an enhanced library of tools and templates to
guide organizations through the 3 change management phases with customized templates
and activity guides to help you create your master change management plan as well as


Hiatt, Best Practices in Change Management, 15

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Understanding Change Management

communications plans, sponsorship roadmap, coaching plans, resistance management plans,

and training plans.
Organizations and people are unique in nature and as a result not one change management
model will be the solution for every organization. When implementing a change management
program in your organization whether it is based on a 3 step model5 step model or 10 step
model it is important for organizations to begin the process early and take time to consider
what their organization needs to successfully implement the change.
Regardless of the model selected keep in mind these key principles that will help make your
program successful; begin early and take time to consider your strategy. Start the dialogue
early at all levels of the organization to define what you are trying to achieve and map out
how you will get there.
Build a plan that meets the business (project) needs as well as the human (employee needs)
using a formal change management process. Research shows that organizations adopting a
formal process are more successful in the delivery of their change management plans. As
noted in my recommendations I would highly recommend the Prosci-ADKAR Model as it
incorporates these two elements and provides a well-structured and supported program.
Start at the top, and ensure you have strong sponsor support. Involve every layer in the
organization and create individual ownership in your change management program. Then
communicate, communicate, and communicate! Use a variety of mediums and methods.
Reinforce the change through data gathering and analysis, identifying gaps and opportunities
to implement in the next cycle of change.
Ultimately there is no magic formula or program that fits all organizations however it is
positive to see that as a discipline change management is becoming more recognized for its
value and benefits in the delivery of ongoing operations and project delivery.

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1. Ayee, George, Managing Change in the Workplace CPM Team Lunch and Learn
Presentation Husky Energy. Calgary, Alberta, 2013.
2. Blanchard, Ken. Who Killed Change? New York City: William Morrow Publishing, 2009.
3. Candy, Lee, The Change Curve How do we react to Change?: Available from
Educational Business
(accessed October 25, 2013)
4. Connelly, Mark, ADKAR: Simple, Powerful Action Oriented Model for Change.
Available from (accessed
September 20, 2013).
5. Connelly, Mark, Benefits of Change Management. Available from (accessed October 29,
6. Duncan, R William, The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.
Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute- Publishing Division, 1996.
7. Hiatt, Jeffrey M, ADKAR A Model for Change in Business, Government and our
Community, Colorado: Prosci Learning Centre Publications, 2006.
8. Hiatt, Jeffrey M, Best Practices in Change Management. Colorodo: Prosci Learning
Centre Publications, 2012.
9. Hiatt, Jeffrey M, Prosci Change Management Toolkit Using the ProsciADKARModel. Colorodo: Prosci Change Management Learning Centre, 2012.
10. Holman, Peggy, Devane, Tom, Cady, Steven. The Change Handbook. San Fransisco:
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2002.
11. Kotter, John. Leading Change. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review
Press, 2012.
12. Kotter, John, Leading Change - Why Transformations Fail. - Harvard Business Review
10 Best Reads on Change Management. Boston Massachusetts: Harvard Business
School Publishing, 2011.
13. Mankelow, James, Lewins Change Management Model: Available from Mind Tools September 20

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Understanding Change Management

Appendix A Sample Prosci-ADKAR Assessment Tool