Business Center

Change Management Success: It Starts with You!

By Laura James, Process Improvement Intern
Date: August 21, 2018

Kathi Lyon

Kathi Lyon


In June 2015  Kathi Lyon, Central Program Survey and Right of Way  (ROW) Plans Coordinator, and then ROW Manager Wes Loetz were both embarking on new supervisory positions. With many CDOTers retiring, acquired knowledge was not documented for continuity and workloads were distributed among teams while new employees transitioned onto the team.

Lyon (pictured right) and Loetz shared a common vision: To fill critical vacancies by adding or reassigning positions, thereby providing an excellent return on taxpayer investment and enhancing employee satisfaction. With the objective to effectively address the needs of the work unit and enhance employee satisfaction, Lyon and Loetz brought their project to the CDOT (Prosci) Change Management for Project Managers and Change Managers course/workshop.

Integrating Change Management

Change management is a structured approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. Applying this methodology to their project, Lyon and Loetz identified several key benefits to take away from the course:

  1. Identify key project supporters in the CDOT Leadership Team
  2. Identify the main obstacle to success
  3. Identify small wins that could be achieved considering current limitations
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

An ADKAR Approach

Understanding that successful change is a process created by building awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement, Lyon incorporated the ADKAR approach into her management style. Establishing open channels of communication, clarifying goals, and celebrating successes Lyon stated, “I needed to work on [incorporating the ADKAR process] as a supervisor and a person. I knew I could do this!”

The Current State

In 2018, the ROW team has celebrated the reallocation of three staff members,  four promotions, five new hires, created a path for Engineering Physical Science Technician’s advancement, considering creating a new data management position, and are currently addressing hiring salaries to incentivize talented applicants. Thanks to the positive impact of change management integration in 2015, current projects continue to benefit today. The May 2018 Region 1/ Headquarters relocation required the ROW team to apply change management once again. With prior change management experience, open channels of two-way communication were needed to tackle changes to Projectwise, document storage, and data management. Furthermore, the team worked to identify procedure obstacles and communicate the improvement ideas to leadership to streamline processes.


With the demands of a public agency as large as CDOT, change is the only constant. Integrating Change Management positively impacted Lyon and Loetz’s efforts to improve employee satisfaction and it continues to be used today. By incorporating the ADKAR methodology to fulfill their leadership roles during change (as Communicators, Liaisons, Advocates, Resistance Managers, and Coaches), supervisors can focus on the people-side of change impacting their teams. The best place to start is with oneself, moving forward to be the change.

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!