ADKAR in action - a story of a versatile tool

As a Change Practitioner working with the Prosci® Change Management Methodology, I continue to be impressed by the many ways in which we can put the ADKAR® model to use when supporting organisations in their change journeys. 

Let me share a real life example from one of the commercial organisations that I’m working with.

The organisation

The organisation is implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, replacing a legacy system that has supported their operational activities faithfully and reliably over the last 30 years but has reached its limits and is in need of replacing by a future-proof version. The new ERP system will go live in 3 different locations, impacting 400+ employees who look after the core business activities. It will then be rolled-out world-wide.

The people

For those working at the heart of operations to the support teams at the office, the new ERP system represents a significant change. Even though processes and flows remain largely the same, the look and feel as well as the responsiveness of the new solution is quite different from what the staff are familiar with. And that is no less the case for the supervisors and managers.

As we know from the Prosci® research, Best Practices in Change Management, the middle managers play an essential role in successful change. They are their team’s “go to” for all questions and information about the implications of the change on their individual role or function. 

Managers and supervisors need to be ready, available and equipped to have relevant “what’s in it for me” discussions with their teams. But in order be able to do that, they need to go through their own ADKAR® journey first.

ADKAR® survey

I supported the supervisors and managers in fulfilling their change key role. The groups completed the ADKAR worksheets to help analyse where they stand in relation to the planned changes.

In one of the departments, the participants felt uncomfortable putting up their individual ADKAR scores with their names next to them. So I used a slightly different approach to make it more comfortable for them, allowing us to still have that very important discussion about where they were in their change journey. 

The participants put coloured stickers on the bar graph showing the ADKAR® change profile. Without singling anyone out, managers and supervisors in this part of the organisation discovered where they stood in terms of their own ADKAR journey. We discussed each of the different barrier points and the impact of those. By that time, some of the participants were ready to talk about their personal stories in this business change. They shared how they were making sense of the change and progressing through the ADKAR stages.

The exercise also allowed me to follow up with the Sponsor Coalition for that division. As the graph clearly indicated that some of the middle managers’ barrier point was at ‘Awareness’, this indicated that more effort needed to go into clearly communicating the “why” of the change.

Conclusion 

The ADKAR Model is not just a guide for the communications plan. It is a versatile diagnostic tool to adjust and improve the Change Management plans and implement corrective actions where necessary. It provides insights on where individuals and impacted groups stand in the change process and allows them to reflect about the steps they can take to thrive in the changing environment.

In what ways and contexts have you used the ADKAR assessment? How has it helped you to thrive in change? Please drop me a line I’d love to hear about your ADKAR stories and experiences. 

Find out more about CMC's Karla Van Loock

If you like this why not...

Learn how to apply the ADKAR model to faciliate individual and organisational change on one of our Prosci Change Management Practitioner Certification Courses.  Public courses take place at selected locations across the UK, Ireland, Italy and Singapore or Private courses can be facilitated on client site or at a venue of your choice, anywhere in the world. Give CMC a call if you'd like to discuss: +44 (0)1600 740 023.

Download the ADKAR eBook series.

Find out how the Prosci ADKAR model was a light bulb moment for CMC's Mick Brian in his blog - If I knew then what I know now, change management with military precision