Explore the Levels of Change Management

The ADKAR Model: Don't Have A Rickety Knowledge Bridge

Susie Taylor

2 Mins


I don’t know about you, but when I’m crossing a bridge, I want it to be solid. I am not one of those adrenaline-loving, thrill seekers who enjoys tempting fate by crossing a rickety, ancient bridge. I prefer a modern, well-designed and well-constructed bridge that will get me successfully to the other side, thank you very much. Why does this matter? A rickety-bridge analogy is a helpful way to think about change management.

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Build Knowledge With
the Prosci ADKAR Model

Change is like a ravine with two banks. On one side is the current state or how things are done today. On the other side is the future state where people are able to act in new ways and have Reinforcement in place to keep them from going back to old habits.



Let’s think about the Prosci ADKAR Model in this context. As people stand in the current state, we need to build Awareness of the need for the change, and help them develop the Desire to to participate and support the change. We then bridge from the current state of Desire to the future state of Ability by providing Knowledge.

It's important to remember that we don’t want to jump straight to Knowledge. You want people to walk onto the bridge willingly rather than being  shoved onto the bridge. Regardless, the Knowledge bridge is critical. You do not want a rickety, poorly planned Knowledge-building strategy to get people to the other side. You need something solid.

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Critical Success Factors
of Project-Specific Training

In our Best Practices in Change Management research, participants share the critical success factors of project-specific training, including how they construct solid Knowledge-building bridges.

1. Planning/design

This factor is noted more than twice as often as the other five. Participants find preparation and design to be primary contributor to successful training, including incorporation of training needs assessments, audience customization, and proactive resistance management. Participants also identify involvement of the impacted audience during training development as an important success factor.

2. Timing

The second most frequent success factor is timing. Timeliness, or delivering just-in-time training, is a key contributor to the success of a training session. Additionally, the availability of training resources and flexibility within the training schedule had a direct impact on the effectiveness of project-specific training.

3. Ability and measurement

Participants determine success by measuring the demonstration of adoption and usage. They cite using management observation, post-training surveys, exams, monitoring support sites, and team usage as key means of measurement.

4. Awareness and Desire

Participants also identify the importance of pre-training approaches. Participants note higher audience engagement when information is provided ahead of time regarding training requirements, how it relates to a change, and what is expected of them during training. They include additional information about training schedules, locations and durations.happy-change-practitioners

5. Trainee support

Participants report higher training success when they include support at leadership, management, peer and project-team levels. They provide this support through various modes, such as intranet, peer-to-peer coaching, consistent leadership messaging, one-on-one discussions, and Q&As.

6. Training approach

Having an engaging or hands-on approach to training is an additional success factor. Providing trainees an immediate opportunity to practice and apply what they learned aids in the success of training. Although some participants  include a blended approach to training, many emphasize incorporating hands-on activities for the immediate Reinforcement of training.

Elevate Training With the ADKAR Model

As you approach managing a change, you do need think about more than just training, but that doesn’t mean that training is not critical. Incorporate these best practices into your training strategy and build a solid bridge to the future state.

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Susie Taylor

Susie Taylor

Susie Taylor is a passionate advocate of personal and organizational change. As a former Change Advisor for Prosci, she partnered with organizations to implement change management strategies that drive adoption and results while fostering a positive employee experience. Today, Susie serves Prosci as the U.S. Chief of Staff. She has a master's degree in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she has also served as an instructor.

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