Understanding the ADKAR Change Management Model

  1. Change Management Best Practices
  2. Change Management Models and Theories
  3. ADKAR Change Management Model

The world is constantly changing and businesses are no exception. In order to thrive and stay competitive, organizations must be able to adapt to these changes. However, change can be difficult and often met with resistance from employees. This is where change management comes into play, providing a structured approach to managing the people side of change. One popular change management model that has been widely adopted by organizations is the ADKAR Change Management Model.

Developed by Prosci, a leading research and training organization in change management, ADKAR stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. This model provides a framework for understanding and managing individual change at the organizational level. In this article, we will delve deeper into the ADKAR Change Management Model, its key components, and how it can be applied in real-world scenarios. We will also explore how this model fits into the larger context of change management best practices and theories. The ADKAR Change Management Model is a goal-oriented approach that focuses on individual transitions during times of change. This model recognizes that organizational change ultimately comes down to individuals changing their behavior, and therefore, it is crucial to address the individual level when implementing any changes within an organization. The acronym ADKAR stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement – the five key elements that must be present for successful change to occur.

Let's break down each element to better understand how they contribute to the overall model.


The first step in the ADKAR model is creating awareness among employees about the need for change. This involves communicating the reasons behind the change and its potential impact on the organization. When employees are aware of why change is necessary, they are more likely to understand and accept it.


The desire element focuses on creating a positive attitude towards change among employees. This requires addressing any concerns or resistance they may have and highlighting the benefits of the change.

When employees have a desire to embrace the change, they are more likely to be motivated to make it happen.


In order for employees to successfully implement a change, they must have the necessary knowledge and skills. This element involves providing training and resources to equip employees with the tools they need to adapt to the change. Without sufficient knowledge, employees may struggle to adopt new processes or systems effectively.


The ability element refers to an employee's capability to implement the change. This includes both technical skills and emotional intelligence.

Employees must have the ability to effectively perform their new roles and responsibilities and manage any emotions that may arise during the change process.


The final element of the ADKAR model is reinforcement. This involves creating a supportive environment to sustain the change and ensure it becomes a permanent part of the organization's culture. This can include recognizing and celebrating successes, addressing any challenges that arise, and continuously communicating the importance of the change. The ADKAR model is not a linear process; rather, it is a continuous cycle that requires constant attention and adjustment. It is essential to regularly assess where employees are in the change process and address any gaps or resistance that may arise. In conclusion, the ADKAR Change Management Model is a valuable tool for any business leader looking to effectively implement change within their organization.

By addressing the individual level and focusing on key elements such as awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement, this model can help facilitate successful and sustainable changes. Remember to continuously communicate and support your employees throughout the change process, and you will see positive results in your organization.


Before any change can occur, individuals must first become aware of the need for change. This includes understanding why the change is necessary and what impact it will have on them personally and within the organization.


Having the knowledge and skills is not enough – individuals must also have the ability to apply them. This may require removing any barriers or obstacles that may hinder their ability to support the change.


Finally, it is important to reinforce the change and ensure that it becomes embedded in the organization's culture.

This includes celebrating successes, providing ongoing support, and making sure the change is sustained over time.


The next step is to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to support the change. This includes training, resources, and information on how to implement the change effectively.


Once individuals are aware of the need for change, they must then develop a desire or motivation to support it. This requires clear communication from leaders and a compelling reason for why the change is necessary.

The ADKAR Change Management Model provides a structured and practical approach to managing change within an organization. By focusing on individual transitions, this model helps leaders create a smoother and more successful change process. By implementing the ADKAR Model, you can ensure that your team is prepared for any changes that may occur in the future.

Sheree Christin
Sheree Christin

Devoted internetaholic. General travel lover. Amateur web nerd. Proud coffee evangelist. Proud pop culture maven.