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Change is Disruptive! How Can We Be Better at Change?

By Meagan Brown, Process Improvement Intern
May 17, 2018

Change is disruptive

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) offers Prosci’s robust three-day Change Management Course for Change Practitioners and Project Managers to help address the challenges of thriving in an era of rapid change. In August of 2017, participants from CDOT and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) learned to apply effective change management to five different projects between the agencies. They were the 11th cohort of learners to benefit from this course.

Why apply change management?

Change is disruptive! People need support to progress from the current state, through the messy transition state, and land safely and productively in the future state. Research has shown that projects applying effective change management practices are significantly more likely to meet or exceed their objectives (see Prosci figure). This is due to the fact that the success of most organizational projects depends on the people that are most impacted by the change.

How does the Change Management Course for Change Practitioners and Project Managers course help facilitate successful change?

Participants began this course with a project in mind that needs change management. The course provides the tools, support, and time to develop a change management plan for their project. The most important tool for change practitioners to remember when they are tackling new projects is ADKAR. ADKAR is the foundation for implementing successful changes. It is an acronym for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. Building these elements in every individual affected by the change will help improve the speed of adoption, the ultimate utilization, and the level of proficiency that they have in using the new solution. Ultimately, participants who complete this course walk away with several tools that can help them develop ADKAR. Specifically, how to create communication, sponsorship, training, coaching, and resistance management plans. For example, a CDOT project affecting maintenance employees that benefited from this course was the Mobile Work Order Manager Project. A CDOT Technician IV, Kim Pachak used what she learned in the course by communicating face-to-face with the individuals affected by the change. She also learned to establish strong sponsorship in support of the new process. These tools enabled the change to be adopted more quickly and seamlessly by the maintenance employees.


awareness of the need for change
desire to support the change
knowledge of how to change
ability to demonstrate skills & behaviors
reinforcement to make the change stick

Want to learn more about Change Management at CDOT?
Check out our improvement efforts at the Office of Process Improvement’s website! Or, for CDOT employees, stop by the Change Hub on our Intranet!

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