What Is Change Saturation?

Change saturation occurs when many change initiatives are being implemented within an organization and leadership fails to consider all of them. This is often due to leadership not keeping track, allowing all the changes to happen simultaneously. The result is often poor adoption of changes, change fatigue, or increased employee turnover.

According to research, 54% of employees who are feeling change fatigue look for a new role, 48% find themselves more tired and stressed at work, and 37% trust their employer less. The effects of change saturation can alter the fabric of workplace culture and cause negative consequences to performance and productivity.

Change saturation can also harm your organization by causing fatigue and unmotivated employees, which leads to missed targets, poor performance, and ultimately reduced profit.

How To Measure Change Saturation

Every organization experiences change saturation differently depending on how well it can handle new changes—a concept known as change capacity. It's influenced by your company's culture, history, and your employees’ ability to adapt to change.

The Prosci Change Saturation Model breaks down change capacity and change disruption, the two driving forces behind change saturation.

Change disruption refers to the collective impact of multiple simultaneous changes, from minor procedural updates to major strategic shifts, each demanding resources and attention from your project team. It maps out key elements affecting your team’s ability to adapt.

Prosci Change Saturation Model

Change capacity change disruption graph

By identifying potential overload points early, using the Prosci model, your organization can avoid the stress and negative effects of too many changes happening at once. Similarly, organizing the sequence of changes in your current projects using a risk matrix helps you identify which projects are launching simultaneously and then determine the impact of high-risk projects on specific groups of people.

This foresight allows you to introduce new initiatives at a manageable pace and ensure the well-being of your project team. 

Survey employees

At Prosci, we prioritize the human aspects of change management.

According to research, 73% of employees affected by change initiatives reported experiencing moderate to high stress levels. To understand the effects of stress on people, we recommend getting employee feedback through ADKAR surveys.

The Prosci ADKAR® Model is a framework for understanding change at an individual level. An ADKAR survey assesses where individuals stand with Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement—the five stages a person goes through during change.


The Prosci ADKAR Model

The Prosci ADKAR Model

The results of the ADKAR survey provide insight into how ready your employees are to implement and manage the change, and highlight areas where extra support or resources may be needed for successful implementation.

Measure performance

A key indicator of change saturation is how well employees perform. If you see more people leaving their jobs, taking more sick days, or not getting as much done—it might mean they're having difficulty with all the changes.

Aside from individual performance, analyzing financial metrics like revenue growth and profit margins enable you to assess the negative impact of change on your organization. Financial losses and missed targets indicate that an organization is struggling with change saturation.


To understand how well your organization handles change, compare key metrics like revenue growth, employee turnover, and customer retention to industry standards and past performance.

Use a clear, step-by-step method to ensure you get useful information.

For example, if your industry's average employee turnover rate is 10% but yours increases to 20% during a big change initiative, it suggests that your approach to managing change might need improvement. Look at similar situations from your past to see if high turnover is a common issue or related to this specific change.

Understanding these patterns helps you make necessary adjustments to handle change more effectively and strengthen your organization.


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How To Deal With Change Saturation

Once you understand the damaging effects of change saturation, you start to address it through focused portfolio management.

The Prosci Change Management Portfolio process is a structured approach and set of tools to understand and manage change saturation and collision holistically. The portfolio allows for the visualization, management and optimization of various change initiatives, allowing stakeholders to make informed decisions and mitigate the negative impact of change saturation and collision.

Define portfolio

Prosci defines the change portfolio as all change initiatives within an organization, from small team projects to extensive cross-functional changes. We help you understand these initiatives because they’re critical for identifying the extent and complexity of ongoing changes.

Evaluating a portfolio includes understanding the organization's control over the changes, as well as available resources, such as leadership support and project management capabilities. This helps Prosci pinpoint areas of change saturation, collision and potential conflicts.

Prosci uses the Change Triangle (PCT) Model to effectively evaluate and manage change portfolios. This model emphasizes success, leadership support, project management and change management, and how they work together. It also aligns change initiatives with organizational resources and strategic goals to ensure their successful implementation.

The Prosci Change Triangle (PCT) Model



Identifying needed resources—such as time, money and people—is key. This enables you to allocate to each project accordingly. The assessment involves understanding the extent of the change, analyzing the stakeholder roles, and evaluating the organization's capabilities.

This approach can be seen in the case of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), which faced the challenge of managing change in a rapidly growing state with limited resources. CDOT partnered with Prosci to address this challenge and adopted the Prosci Methodology and tools to create internal change management competencies.

Prosci training equipped stakeholders such as change managers, executives and employees to fulfill their roles in successful change. An Enterprise Change Management License empowered change leaders to build change capabilities in targeted groups within the organization.

The holistic approach led to the following successes for CDOT, including:

  • Improved customer service and operational efficiency
  • Reduced training costs
  • Promoted change success via an engaged network of Prosci Certified Change Practitioners
  • Optimized Lean practices

Working alongside Prosci to implement processes and tools, CDOT effectively managed the necessary changes to ensure a safe and efficient highway system.

Monitor change initiatives

Establishing clear KPIs for each change initiative, including progress against budget, milestones and stakeholder engagement, makes monitoring change implementation easier.

A change portfolio dashboard provides a holistic view of allocation, timelines, dependencies and potential conflict. The dashboard should be updated in real time to identify issues early on.

One way to monitor change initiatives, and manage saturation and collision, is through fostering cross-functional collaboration in your organization. This collaboration provides a better understanding of the various organizational dynamics and facilitates quicker resolution to change barriers.

Open lines of communication

According to research, 28% of employees surveyed feel like they haven’t received the necessary information to understand change. This is why successful change management includes transparent communication.

Oshkosh Corporation, a global manufacturing company, faced issues with end-user adoption and opted for Prosci expertise to develop a core change team. Equipped with Prosci Change Management Certification, Train-the-Trainer credentials, and a Prosci License, they delivered internal customized change management.

This led to:

  • Reduced delays, which enhanced ROI on projects
  • Integrating change management with project management and other key processes
  • Better communication among leadership, managers and employees—contributing to a change-ready culture

The Prosci Communications Checklist is a high-level resource for aligning your communications with best practices. Use it as a guide when you develop a communication plan or assess the effectiveness of your current plan.

Offer support

Provide employees with the support and resources they need to better manage changes to the way they work. Ensuring that employees feel comfortable asking questions helps them understand the change and improves outcomes from your change initiatives.

Implementing any organizational change can impact aspects of the way people do their jobs, from systems and tools to reporting structures and critical behaviors.

10 Aspects of Change Impact

Aspects of a job that can be impacted

Successfully Manage Change Saturation With Prosci

A bottom-up change management approach like the Prosci Methodology is key to bringing employees on board and collaborating with them. According to a 2022 survey, 75% of organizations adopt a top-down approach to change. However, the same research reveals that 55% of employees experienced negative impacts when trying to manage high performance through disruption. And half struggled to find the information needed to deal with their workload.

Managing organizational change as portfolio enables you to identify where collision exists across your changes, as well as which groups are saturated. Having this perspective helps you proactively plan for change management activities that will mitigate or eliminate saturation and collision, and avoid negative consequences.

Why Building Change Capability Is a Smart Investment

Leading organizations today build internal change management capabilities to mitigate change saturation and collision, and create a competitive advantage. Discover the high value of change management, common approaches, and more in our free eBook.