Companies use change management planning in a variety of processes and strategies to manage organizational change that involves people. These processes make the transition smooth.

Why should you implement change management planning?

Management support is required when you are trying to change your processes, operations or tools. Your employees will need to buy-in.

Both groups are resistant to changes for different reasons.

Senior executives can be difficult to convince. They are reluctant to approve changes that might be dispopular with their employees.

It is possible that they don’t see the value in the proposed changes. They might have a different opinion on the type of changes that are needed. It is often forgotten that large changes can mean changes in resources, budgets, and influence. Change is inevitable.

Employees resist change because of fear about what it might bring. People are afraid of increased workloads, outdated skill sets, vague expectations, and worse, getting fired.

Change management places the human factor at center of proposed changes.

A successful change management process guides both the organization and the individuals involved. They can get out of their current state, move through the transition phase and then into the future.

These are the 4 most common models for change management

Change management planning is not a new concept. There are already established structures for organizing, structuring, and communicating change. There are many models for change management, but some are more popular than others.

Let’s look at four proven models for change management.

1. Lewin’s model for change management planning

Kurt Lewin, a psychiatrist, created this model of change in 1947. This is one of the most important theories in change management.

Lewin’s model emphasized the importance of a transition period in order to adapt to organizational changes.

He defined change management as the process of managing that transition.

Lewin outlines three stages of change management

  1. Renew old ways of working and behaviors
  2. Teach new people
  3. The new ways and behaviors of work can be frozen

2. Bridges’ Transition Model

This model was developed by William Bridges and places people’s emotions at center of the change management process.

Bridges, like Lewin, identifies three stages in change management planning. Each stage can be linked to different emotions.

Bridges outlines the following stages:

  1. Endings
  2. Neutral zone
  3. New beginnings

3. Prosci’s ADKAR Model

Prosci’s model of change goes by the acronym ADKAR. It stands for:

A: Awareness of the need to change

D: Want to support change

K: Knowledge about how to successfully change

A: The ability to adapt new behaviors and skills

R: Reinforcement (similar to Lewin’s concept of “freezing”)

Prosci, like Bridges and Lewin, also identified three stages in the process of change.

They are:

  1. Prepare for Change
  2. Change Management
  3. Reinforcing change

4. Kotter’s 8 step model of change

Kotter’s eight-step model of change is a top-down strategy.

This is different than Lewin, Bridges and Prosci. They use a bottom-up approach for change management.

Kotter’s model focuses on keeping the momentum going and preventing the project from getting stuck.

Kotter’s eight step process for managing change in is

  1. Instill a sense of urgency
  2. Create a guiding alliance
  3. Create a strategic vision.
  4. Enlist a volunteer army
  5. Remove barriers to enable action
  6. Short-term wins are possible
  7. Sustain acceleration
  8. Institute change