In a previous post, we discussed change management and it’s importance for continuous improvement initiatives. The following is one change management model that can help leaders manage their teams.

Let us take a look at one of the most commonly applied change models in the industry


The ADKAR® change management framework is based on the basic premise that change management needs to happen at an individual level. This was created by Jeffrey Hiatt of Prosci Research. ADKAR® is an acronym for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement

• Awareness – Awareness is the first step towards enabling successful change. This awareness helps address questions around why the change is being made now and what will happen if the change is not made. This creates a strong reason behind why the change is needed and gives an individual who is required to change a process or direction, the answer to “what is in it for me.” The awareness of need for change is easier to create in the presence of external drivers.

• Desire – Desire represents the motivation and commitment to accepting and participating in a change and depends on the individual’s choices. There are several factors that influence this decision and motivation, like the nature of the change, how the individual perceives the organization and surrounding situation, and the individual’s current personal situation and motivating factors

• Knowledge – Knowledge represents how the change will be implemented and includes training and education on skill set required for training, knowledge of how to use any new process or tools, and understanding of the changed roles and responsibilities.

• Ability – Ability represents the capability of an individual to implement the change. Psychological blocks, physical abilities, intellectual capability, time available to develop the needed skills, and the availability of resources to support the individual during a change are the different elements that can impact the ability of an individual to respond to and accept a change.

• Reinforcement – Reinforcement is the final step in a change process that ensures the change is sustained, builds the momentum during the change, and also helps in ensuring a successful change initiative that becomes a part of an organization’s past history once completed.

The advantage with ADKAR® is that it includes assessment tools as well as templates for developing various change plans. Ultimately the business leader will have to decide which model to apply for the success of the improvement initiative.