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Change Management Model Guide

We've outlined the world's most prominent change management methodologies and models to help you choose the right approach for your change.

Step-by-step change methodologies

Step-by-step change methodologies (also known as 'linear' methodologies) prescribe a recommended pathway of stages or phases, consisting of particular activities to work through in order to achieve lasting change.

Individuals' experience of change

Rather than showing how to implement a change project from an organizational perspective, these two models focus on the psychological journey through which individuals typically move as they experience change. These models are useful when considering change from the perspective of the individual.

Organizational change capability

These three models prescribe broad interconnected organizational competencies that are required for effective change management. Organizations that wish to build the ability to make successful changes (change agility) can use the competencies as benchmarks to work towards.

ADKAR Model for Change Management

ADKAR is an acronym that describes the five stages that individuals ideally progress through in order to successfully move through a change.


ADKAR goal






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ADKAR is Prosci's model for understanding the shifts that individuals make rather than a step-by-step methodology for implementing organizational changes.

The ADKAR change management model was first published in the 1998 book "The Perfect Change" by Jeff Hiatt, founder and CEO of Prosci Research. See Hiatt. J.M. (2006) ADKAR: a Model for change in business, government and our community.

External link: https://www.prosci.com/adkar/adkar-model

Agile Management

Agile Project Management and Agile Management are increasingly utilized by organisations outside of the realm of software development. Agile has been adopted by organizations to describe the process of developing new products rapidly through collaboration despite evolving requirements.

The following 5 values should be adhered to by groups wishing to successfully develop products quickly that are fit for purpose despite continually shifting requirements.


Agile Value

Individuals & interactions

Working software

Customer collaboration

Responding to change

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These 12 Agile Principles are the principles that groups should follow in order to achieve agile development capability.


Agile Principle

1. Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery

2. Welcome changing requirements

3. Working software delivered frequently

4. Working software the principle measure of progress

5. Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace

6. Close, daily cooperation between business people & developers

7. Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication

8. Projects are built around motivated individuals who should be trusted

9. Continuous attention to technical excellence & good design

10. Simplicity - the art of maximizing the amount of work not done - is essential

11. Self-organizing teams

12. Regular adaptation to changing circumstances

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Adaptive project life cycle, a project life cycle, also known as change-driven or agile methods, that is intended to facilitate change and require a high degree of ongoing stakeholder involvement. Adaptive life cycles are also iterative and incremental, but differ in that iterations are very rapid (usually 2-4 weeks in length) and are fixed in time and resources.

- Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Fifth Edition

AIM (Accelerated Implementation Methodology)

The Accelerated Implementation Methodology features 6 goals that are designed to be approached in a linear manner in order to achieve a successful change.


AIM goal

Define the Implementation

Generate Sponsorship

Build Change Agent Capability

Develop Target Readiness


Develop Reinforcement Strategy

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External link: http://www.imaworldwide.com/aim-change-management-methodology-description

Beckhard and Harris Change Management Process

The Beckhard and Harris Change Management Process is seven step linear process for implementing a change.


Beckhard and Harris phase

Establishing the need for change

Building the change team

Creating vision and values

Communicating and engaging

Empowering others

Noticing improvements and energizing


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Beckhard and Harris' originally formula for change (sometimes attributed to David Gleicher) was a mathematical equation for describing how resistance to change can be overcome within an organization:

Dissatisfaction x Vision x First steps > Resistance to change

The formula suggests that the three components dissatisfaction, vision and first steps must be present in a sufficient quantity to overcome resistance to change.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Change Delta

Boston Consulting Group's 'Change Delta' approach to change management is a non-linear approach to change featuring four 'Change Deltas' that organizations require in order to effectively manage portfolios of change successfully. Each of the change deltas is an ongoing process and feeds in and reinforces the other deltas in building long lasting capability.


BCG Change Delta factors

Executional Certainty

Enabled Leaders

Engaged Organization

Governance & PMO

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External link: https://www.bcg.com/expertise/capabilities/people-organization/change-delta.aspx

Bridges Leading Transition Model for Change

The Bridges Leading Transition Model for Change features 3 overarching stages as well as suggested activities within each of these stages.


Bridges stage

Specific activity

Letting Go

Describe change reasons

Communicate during transition

Consider & encourage 'endings'

The Neutral Zone

Listen, empathize, support

Develop temporary roles

Short term goals

Don't over promise

Celebrate small wins

Provide learning opportunities

New Beginnings

Model new attitudes & behaviors

Be consistent

Symbolize new identity

Celebrate successes

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Bridges explores human behaviors relating to change and defines typical emotions individuals might exhibit during the change process.

Bridges provides strategies on how to overcome some of the emotional barriers to change, without getting stuck. For example, in the New Beginning phase, there may be a great deal of fear of the unknown. One strategy might be to provide training on specific tools or educational materials. In the Neutral Zone, allow creative ways to think about work. During the Ending and Losing phase, people will feel committed and requires the need to sustain the new way of working, possibly through goal setting.

See Bridges. W. (2009). Managing transitions: Making the most of change.

External link: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/bridges-transition-model.htm

The Change Leader's Roadmap

The Change Leader's Roadmap is a linear methodology for approaching organizational changes through a 9 phase process.


Change Leader's Roadmap phase

Phase I - Prepare to Lead the Change

Phase II - Create Organizational Vision, Commitment & Capability

Phase III - Assess the Situation to Determine Design Requirements

Phase IV - Design the Desired State

Phase V - Analyze the Impact

Phase VI - Plan & Organize for Implementation

Phase VII - Implement the Change

Phase VIII - Celebrate and Integrate the New State

Phase IX - Learn and Course Correct

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See Anderson, L.A. & Anderson, D. (2010) The change leaders roadmap.

External link: https://www.beingfirst.com/services/change-leaders-roadmap-methodology/

General Electric Change Acceleration Process (CAP)

The General Electric Change Acceleration Process (CAP) is a linear methodology for organizational change featuring seven phases.


CAP phase

Leading Change

Creating A Shared Need

Shaping a Vision

Mobilizing Commitment

Making change last

Monitoring progress

Changing Systems and Structures

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External link: https://bvonderlinn.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/overview-of-ges-change-acceleration-process-cap/

John Kotter Eight Step Model for Change

The Kotter Eight Step Change model is a linear change methodology that focuses on the importance of gaining buy-in. It is relatively simple to understand and works well in organizations that are organized in a relatively narrow organizational structure. One of its key selling points is its simplicity, memorable eight steps and basis in Kotter's years of research into organizational change.


Kotter model step

Create a sense of urgency

Build a guiding coalition

Form a strategic vision & initiatives

Enlist a volunteer army

Enable action by removing barriers

Generate Short-term Wins

Sustain acceleration

Institute change

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See Kotter, J.P. (1996). Leading Change and Kotter, J. (1998) Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail , Harvard Business Review.

External link: https://www.kotterinternational.com/8-steps-process-for-leading-change/

Kubler Ross Change Curve™ Model

The Kubler Ross Change Curve™ model of individual change originally described how individuals react to grief, and has subsequently been applied to the context of individuals reactions to change.

These 5 stages are a linear model that describes the journey that individuals undergo during changes. The aim for those leading changes being to ensure that the final stage of 'acceptance' is reached quickly.

The Kübler-Ross Change Curve is trademarked by The Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Family Limited Partnership (EKR FLP) for various uses.

Kubler Ross phase








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Kurt Lewin Three Stage Change Methodology

One of the most famous approaches to change, the Lewin Three Stage Change Management Methodology is a linear methodology describing 3 stages for approaching an organizational change with activities within each stage.


Lewin stage

Specific activity


1. Determine what needs to change

2. Ensure there is strong support from upper management

3. Create the need for change

4. Manage and understand the doubts and concerns


1. Communicate often

2. Dispel rumors

3. Empower action

4. Involve people in the process


1. Anchor the changes into the culture

2. Develop ways to sustain the change

3. Provide support and training

4. Celebrate success!

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The Lewin 3 stage approach is increasingly at odds with approaches that suggest that organizational change is constantly occurring and an ongoing process.

LaMarsh Managed Change™ Model

The LaMarsh Managed Change™ model is a 4 stage linear methodology to implementing organizational changes.


LaMarsh phase

Identify the Change

Plan and Prepare the Change

Implement the Change

Sustain the Change

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People Centered Implementation (PCI) Model

The People Centered Implementation (PCI) Model proposes 6 interdependent critical success factors that enable organizations to achieve successful changes.

Like BCG's Change Deltas and Prosci's Change Levers, this is an approach to important factors that contribute to organizational change capability rather than a step-by-step guide to executing changes.


PCI Critical Success Factor

Shared Change Purpose

Effective Change Leadership

Powerful Engagement Processes

Committed Local Sponsors

Strong Personal Connection

Sustained Personal Performance

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Prosci Enterprise Change Management

The Prosci Enterprise Change Management methodology is a linear methodology for approaching organizational changes. It features 3 main stages, each with activities within designed to guide the implementation of change.


Prosci stage

Specific activity


Define future state

Assess current state


Engage primary sponsor

Form & prepare project team

Select deployment strategy


Build project plan

Create change management plan

Create and present business case

Implement integrated plan

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External link: https://www.prosci.com/

Prosci Change Management Levers

In addition to both its Enterprise Change Management methodology and ADKAR model for individual change, Prosci suggests there are 5 change management 'levers' that are critical to enabling organizational change effectiveness.


Prosci change lever

Communications lever

Sponsor roadmap lever

Coaching lever

Training lever

Resistance management lever

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The 5 Prosci change levers may be seen as analagous to BCG's Change Deltas in that they constitute overarching interdependent capabilities that organizations should build in order to maximize their ability to make effective changes.

Viral Change Roadmap

The Viral Change Roadmap is a linear change management methodology featuring 5 phases:


Viral Change Roadmap phase






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External link: http://www.viralchange.com/how_does_viral_change_work.html

Note: Information regarding proprietary change management methodologies is provided here for information and comparison purposes only and is not endorsed by the publishers of such methodologies. Links to other websites are provided as useful sources of information. Inclusion of a link to another website does not imply endorsement of any kind. We do not monitor external websites and are not responsible for their availability, quality or content.