The ADKAR Change Model

Feb 2, 2023

The ADKAR model is a framework that helps individuals and organizations move through change in a more effective and efficient manner. This model was developed by Jeff Hiatt, the founder of Prosci, and is based on extensive research on change management. The ADKAR model provides a roadmap for individuals and organizations to move from their current state to their desired state, while minimizing resistance to change.

The acronym ADKAR stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. Each of these five components plays a critical role in the change process and must be addressed for the change to be successful.


The first component of the ADKAR model is Awareness. This refers to the understanding of why the change is necessary and what it means to the individual or organization. Awareness helps people to see the bigger picture and understand the need for change.


Desire refers to the motivation or willingness to change. This component is critical because without a strong desire to change, people will not take the necessary steps to make the change happen. The desire to change must come from within, as external factors, such as a mandate from management, may not be enough to drive change.


Knowledge refers to the understanding of what needs to be done to move through the change. This includes understanding the steps that need to be taken, the skills required, and the resources that are necessary. Knowledge helps people to feel more confident in their ability to make the change happen.


Ability refers to the capacity to make the change happen. This includes the skills, knowledge, and resources required to take action. The ability to change must be developed and supported in order for the change to be successful.


Reinforcement refers to the steps taken to reinforce and sustain the change. This includes reward systems, training, and ongoing support. Reinforcement is critical to ensuring that the change becomes a permanent part of the individual or organization’s culture.

The ADKAR model has several benefits that make it an effective tool for change management. One of the key benefits of the model is that it focuses on the individual level, making it easier for people to understand and apply the change process. Additionally, the model provides a comprehensive framework that covers all aspects of change, including the need for change, the motivation to change, the knowledge required to make the change, the ability to make the change, and the reinforcement needed to sustain the change.

Another benefit of the ADKAR model is that it helps to minimize resistance to change. Resistance to change is a common challenge in change management, but the ADKAR model provides a roadmap for overcoming this resistance. By focusing on the awareness, desire, and knowledge components of the model, individuals and organizations can better understand the need for change and the benefits it will bring. By developing the ability and reinforcing the change, individuals and organizations can overcome resistance and ensure that the change becomes a permanent part of their culture.

The ADKAR model is also a flexible and adaptable tool for change management. It can be applied to a wide range of changes, from small changes in personal habits to large-scale organizational changes. Additionally, the model can be adapted to suit the specific needs of different individuals and organizations, making it a versatile tool for change management.