Founded in 1994, Prosci Inc. is the world leader in research and content creation in the field of Change Management. Change Management is a structured approach for helping organizations and individuals change to achieve specific organizational outcomes and the associated business results. It represents the processes, tools, and techniques for proactively managing the people side of change. Prosci’s core research competency has facilitated the development of the industry’s most comprehensive set of common language, customized tools and training programs to meet the global needs of Change Management planning and execution for individuals and organizations at every level.

Prosci’s most recent Best Practices in Change Management report, 2012 Edition, represents one of the largest bodies of knowledge on Change Management in the world. Prosci has conducted seven longitudinal studies over the past 14 years. Prosci’s globally recognized ADKAR® Model has become one of the most used change management models, distinguishing Prosci as an industry leader and trusted source for Change Management methodologies and best practices. Prosci’s mission is to help organizations build internal competency to lead change, from top-level executives to front-line employees.

The Prosci ADKAR Model

(ADKAR and "Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement" are registered trademarks of Prosci Inc.)

ADKAR represents five building blocks of change that must be achieved for a change to be a success. By using the model you can:
  • Determine where you are in the change process
  • Identify any barriers to change
  • Create a successful action plan for personal and professional advancement through the change process

The ADKAR model has five stages:
  1. Awareness of the need for change
  2. Desire to make the change happen
  3. Knowledge about how to change
  4. Ability to implement new skills and behaviours
  5. Reinforcement to retain the change once it has been made

When faced with change, your task is to determine where you fall in the model and then ask yourself "What does this change mean to me?". This type of critical thinking directs energy at the most important component of change. If you can do this successfully, you will have a much clearer view of your options for dealing with change and be better prepared to interact with your work colleagues and management.

ADKAR Stages
Awareness of the need for change
1. What is the nature of the change?
2. Why is the change needed?
3. What us the risk of not changing?
Desire to make the change happen
1. What is in it for me (WIIFM)?
2. A personal choice
3. A decision to engage and participate
Knowledge about how to change
1. Understanding how to change
2. Training on new processes and tools
3. Learning new skills
Ability to implement new skills and behaviours
1. The demonstrated capacity to implement the change
2. Achievement of the desired change in performance or behaviour
Reinforcement to retain the change once it is made
1. Actions that increase the likelihood that a change will be continued
2. Recognition and rewards that sustain the change

Barriers to Change

The individual fills in a Personal Change Assessment based on the ADKAR stages highlighted above and rates each stage between 1 and 5. The results are placed on a table which helps to produce a ADKAR profile, any areas with a score of 3 or less are highlighted as the barriers to change.
If Awareness is identified
  • Working on desire, knowledge or skill development will not make the change happen.
  • Awareness needs to improved in the individual by asking questions relating to the change e.g. what are the benefits and business reasons for the change? What is happening inside and external to the business that is creating the need to change?
If Desire is identified
  • Then repeating your reasons for change is not adequate to move forward.
  • Once you know these reasons for change the individual must address their inherent desire to change. Desire stems from negative and positive consequences.
If Knowledge is identified
  • Then the individual must not dwell on the reasons for change and the motivating factors. This could be discouraging is the individual is already at the Knowledge phase.
  • What is needed is learning and development for the skills and behaviours that are needed for change.
If Ability was the first area with a score of 3 or below
  • The individual will need time to develop new skills and behaviours. Any new skill takes time to develop new abilities.
  • The individual will need on-going support and coaching. On-going coaching and mentoring will be needed along side special interventions to remove physical or psychological barriers.
If Reinforcement is identified
  • Then the individual will need to investigate if the necessary elements are present to keep reverting to old behaviours and change these.
Based on which stages are the barriers to change the individual and change management team will need to create an action plan to support the person through the change. Each stage creates different challenges which can stop or slow down change and will require a different approach for getting the individual to work through the change successfully.

The ADKAR® Model, developed by Jeff Hiatt and validated and enriched by research at Prosci for more than a decade, is fully presented in the ADKAR Book.


Prosci Inc. (2013) PROSCI ADKAR MODEL [Online] Prosci Inc. Retrieved from: [Accessed on 23/11/13]