The ADKAR Model: what is it?

The Prosci ADKAR® Model was created by Prosci founder Jeff Hiatt and it is a practical change management model that supports individual and organizational change.
The ADKAR model is a tool that can be used to:

  1. Provide a framework that has a definite structure, organized in a system that fulfils the requirements for individuals to make a change.
  2. Manage personal transitions. The tool determines where individuals are in the change process and identifies personal barriers that prevent people from coming along with the change.
  3. Focus conversations. The tool enables structured conversations between team members, or a manager and an employee. The conversations are centered on areas of interest or conflict thus clarifying and facilitating understanding.
  4. Diagnose gaps. The tool provides a diagnosis of why the change is not being adopted
  5. Identify corrective actions. Knowing the employee’s areas of concern enables leaders to identify corrective actions during the change process and support their teams.
  6. Planning. The tool allows leaders to develop accurate plans to facilitate adoption of the change

ADKAR is an acronym that represents five outcomes that people need to achieve for adopting change: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement.

Individual change is the core for organizational change

The letters of ADKAR represent the elements that enable individuals to change:
• Awareness of the need for change
• Desire to participate and support the change
• Knowledge on how to change
• Ability to implement required skills and behaviours
• Reinforcement to sustain the change

These steps are deliberately sequenced. Earlier elements must be achieved before proceeding to the following elements. This concept seems self-evident, after all you cannot build desire if you are not even aware of the change ahead. However, in practice this is not so. Every known organization, when implementing a new system or new processes, has sent employees to training before ensuring that everyone knew why the change was happening. The organization was building knowledge before awareness and altering the sequence, thus diminishing the effectiveness of the training and the adoption rate. Have you had a similar experience?
In the next few diaries we will discuss, in depth, all the elements of ADKAR