How To / Tools

We all know the saying that “Organisations don’t change, individuals do”. The success of any project ultimately lies on each employee doing their work in a different way, multiplied across all of the employees impacted by the change in the organisation. Effective change management requires an understanding of how one person makes a change successfully.

One of the best models for understanding personal change is the Prosci model of individual change called ADKAR – an acronym for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement.

In a nutshell, the model explains that for a successful change an individual needs:

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

Because it outlines the goals or outcomes of successful change, ADKAR is an effective tool for:

Planning change management activities
Diagnosing gaps
Developing corrective actions
Supporting managers and supervisors

When an organisation undertakes an initiative, that change only happens when the employees can say with confidence, “I have the Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement (Support) to make this change happen.”


Identifying, engaging and managing stakeholders is a key success factor for change projects. 

 Stakeholder management is the process by which you identify your project’s key stakeholders, develop your communication and engagement approach and determine your strategy for maintaining their support for your project. 

Stakeholder Analysis is the first stage of this, where you identify and start to understand your most important stakeholders. 

 The benefits of understanding your stakeholders include: 

  •  You can use the opinions of the most influential stakeholders to shape your projects at an early stage.
  • They will most likely support you and their input can also improve the quality of your project.
  • Gaining support from influential stakeholders can assist you to obtain more resources if required.
  • Communicating with stakeholders early and often ensures that they fully understand what you are doing and understand the benefits of your project.
  • You can anticipate reaction to your project and take action to engage people’s support.


  Stakeholder Analysis – a straightforward approach 

  An effective approach is to brainstorm the potential stakeholder and then rank then on an Influence/Interest grid.   Someone’s position on the grid indicates the actions you have to take with them: 

  • High influence, interested people: these are the people you must fully engage and make the greatest efforts to inform and maintain their support for the project. 
  • High influence, less interested people: ensure they are informed and aware of what you are doing.  
  • Low influence, interested people: keep these people adequately informed, and talk to them to ensure that no major issues are arising. These people often play a key role in the nuts and bolts of your project.  
  • Low influence, less interested people: again, monitor these people and keep them informed as required. 



    Some key questions to consider when ranking your stakeholders are:


  • What financial or emotional interest do they have in the outcome of the project?
  • Is it positive or negative?
  • What information do they want from you?
  • How do they want to receive information?
  • What is the best way of communicating your message to them?
  • What is their current opinion of the project?
  • Who influences their opinions?
  • Who else might be influenced by their opinions?
  • Do these people become stakeholders in their own right?