What is ADKAR®?

Organizational change begins with managing individual change


Change is often a complex and difficult process—and it’s inevitable. The most commonly cited reason for project failure is problems with the people side of change. Yet organizations often invest more in the technical side of change than in leading impacted people through times of change.The first step in managing any type of organizational change is understanding how to manage the change that a single individual is experiencing. Driving successful change in individuals and organizations requires new thinking, new models for change, and new tools.

The Prosci ADKAR® Model is a goal-oriented change management model that guides individual and organizational change.


Created by Prosci® founder Jeff Hiatt, ADKAR® is an acronym that represents the five tangible and concrete outcomes that people need to achieve for lasting change: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement.The Prosci ADKAR® Model is proven to help organizations achieve the greatest benefits from their change initiatives.

Technical Side of Change VS People Side of Change


The movement from the current to the future state occurs on two dimensions.

Technical Side of ChangeA successful change is characterized by a solution that is effectively designed, developed and delivered (project management).e.g.・Define the project (Objectives, Scope, Schedule, Resources, Budget, etc)・Design the solutions (business processes, system, organization structures)・Deliver the new solutions

People Side of ChangeA successful change is characterized by a solution that is embraced, adopted and used by impacted employees (change management).e.g.・Understand the impact of the change on people, define future-state・Develop a change management strategy (current state, risks, communication plan, etc)・Execute the CM strategy and monitor organizational change readiness

Result Outcomes Succesイメージ

ADKAR® : Overview

Awareness of the need for changeDesire to participate and support the changeKnowledge on how to changeAbility to implement required skills and behaviorsReinforcement to sustain the change

ADKARイメージ

Awareness :

The awareness of the need for change. Change begins with understanding the "why", including answers to some basic questions, such as:

・What is the nature of the change?・Why is the change happening?・What are the risks of not changing, to me and to the organization? 

Example Employees are required to know how to navigate the new document management system and understand how to access files. Training was provided to all impacted employees. In addition, managers were trained and equipped to offer individual coaching and support to their employees to ensure the employees understand and know how to use the new tools and processes. In addition, a "practice" station was established so employees could become more familiar with the look and feel of the new document management system.

Desire : 

Ultimately, change requires a personal decision. Desire is often the most difficult ADKAR® element in an organizational change. However, leaders and managers can influence this decision by addressing the personal and organizational motivators for the change.

・What's in it for me? (WIIFM)・What's in it for us?

ExampleFrom an individual employee's perspective, the consequences of not changing pose a risk to their performance at work, which could have other repercussions on their personal success at work. However, if an employee is not as computer savvy as other employees, he or she may be less motivated to learn a new system. On a more positive note, the new system is promised to work better than the old methods of managing documents, so, for many employees, this change may come as welcome relief.

Knowledge :

It is about knowing how to use the new tools or perform the new skills after implementation, and knowing how to change. Training without the preceding awareness and desire is ineffective and can actually be more frustrating than beneficial for employees.

・Training and education on the skills and behaviors needed to change・Detailed information on how to use new processes, system and tools・Understanding of the new roles and responsibilities associated with the change

ExampleEmployees are required to know how to navigate the new document management system and understand how to access files. Training was provided to all impacted employees. In addition, managers were trained and equipped to offer individual coaching and support to their employees to ensure the employees understand and know how to use the new tools and processes. In addition, a "practice" station was established so employees could become more familiar with the look and feel of the new document management system.

Ability :

Represents the realization or execution of the change. Ability is turning knowledge into action.

ExampleFor the majority of employees, adoption of the new system should be smooth, especially when allowed a few weeks to practice. There will be a select few employees who will be unable to learn the new technology, either due to personal limitations or prolonged time required to learn.

Reinforcement :

A critical step to ensure the change is sustained. External and internal factors could sustain a change.

・External factors : recognition, rewards, celebration, etc.・Internal factors : a person’s internal satisfaction with his/her achievement , other benefit derived from the change on a personal level

ExampleThe organization has tied the successful implementation of this change to employee bonuses. The project sponsor is very active and visible in giving positive feedback to impacted groups who are demonstrating the change. Managers are closely working with struggling employees to ensure they can succeed at the change as well. In addition, managers are continuing to actively remove barriers and manage resistance to the change.