Everything You Need to Know About Prosci & the Prosci Change Management Process & Model  

You won’t get very far in researching organizational change management before running across the name Prosci. Many of the world’s top change management consulting firms use the Prosci methodology in how they approach company transformations.

In fact, there are some firms that require knowledge of Prosci change management methodology and certification before they’ll hire someone as a change consultant or organizational change manager.

Prosci certifications for change management are well-known as a measure of knowledge in the industry.

However, because the firm is so synonymous with change management philosophies, there’s often confusion about the difference between the company itself and the Prosci change management model.

prosci change management

What is Prosci Change Management Model?

In this AGS guide about Prosci change management, we’ll clear up that confusion and answer important questions about this subject, such as:

  • What is Prosci change management?
  • What is the difference between Prosci and ADKAR?
  • What is the Prosci change management process?
  • Which change impact assessment does Prosci recommends?
  • How do you get a Prosci change management practitioner certification?
  • What resources are in the Prosci change management toolkit?

Whether you’re an organization interested in successfully managing a change project or an individual considering becoming a Prosci change management practitioner, it’s important to understand the Prosci change model fully.

This guide will be an excellent introduction and primer on everything you need to know about Prosci and Prosci best practices in change management.

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What is Prosci Change Management?

First, let’s answer the question, “What is Prosci change management?” Is it a company or a change management methodology? Actually, it encompasses both!

Prosci is a company that was founded in 1994 by a former Bell Labs engineer and program manager (Jeff Hiatt). This company found an area of business consulting that was untapped and carved out a niche in change management and facilitating change.

One of the hallmarks of the firm early on that helped Prosci change management methodology become an industry standard is the attention the firm paid to continuous research and the scientific method.

This research was weighted heavily on how the change impacts people and the factors that cause a change project to either succeed or fail. For example, Prosci’s founder saw that two projects with equally effective technology components could have completely different outcomes.

The difference was the people component of change. By studying the human side of change management, the firm developed The Prosci ADKAR® Model to guide organizations through successful change.

Today, Prosci change management consulting firm has built up an impressive business that includes:

  • Providing change management consulting services
  • Offering certification to those that want to become a Prosci change management practitioner
  • Offering a Prosci change management toolkit for individuals and businesses
  • Facilitating training and eLearning on the Prosci methodology

What Does Prosci Stand For?

Wondering, “What does Prosci stand for?” The name is a combination of the first three letters in words “professional” and “science.”

The Prosci organizational change management model is based on scientific principals and research applied in professional settings.

How is Prosci Pronounced?

Many people read Prosci change management model information all the time, but when it comes to saying the name out loud, they wonder, “How is Prosci pronounced?”

Some people say it with a “cee” at the end, but how to pronounce Prosci goes back to the two words that make up the name, professional, and science.

Prosci is pronounced: pro-sigh.


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What is the Difference Between Prosci and ADKAR?

It’s not uncommon for those that are new to change management to confuse the firm with the Prosci change model, ADKAR.

If you’ve been wondering, “What is the difference between Prosci and ADKAR?”, this section will give you the answer.

Prosci is the firm that developed the methodology, and ADKAR is Prosci’s methodology/framework for change management.

Prosci’s model of individual change is called The Prosci ADKAR® Model, and it’s one of the most widely used change methodologies in business.  

What is the ADKAR Prosci Change Management Model?

ADKAR is an acronym for the five key stages that an individual should be guided through to achieve success during an organizational change.

ADKAR stands for:

  • Awareness
  • Desire
  • Knowledge
  • Ability
  • Reinforcement

Prosci best practices in change management are founded in the ADKAR stages, which in essence illustrate what an individual needs: Awareness of the need for change, desire to participate in and support the change, knowledge, and ability to be successful, and continued reinforcement for the change to stick.

prosci methodology

Prosci Organizational Change Management Model: ADKAR


What is Prosci Change Management Process?

Another important component you need to know when studying Prosci methodology is the Prosci 3 phase change management process.

While ADKAR provides you with the Prosci change model and framework of where stakeholders need to be for change to be successful, the Prosci 3 phase change management process gives you a roadmap to planning and executing your change project.

Each of the phases used in the Prosci change management methodology includes steps that you can take to complete them and suggested mechanisms to help prepare for, manage, and reinforce change.

Prosci 3 Phase Change Management Process

Phase 1: Preparing for Change

In this first phase, you begin to see some of the Prosci change management toolkits. This is a guide of steps and assessments that can help you properly plan your change project.

Phase 1 involves being aware of where your organization and users are before you begin change activities. Steps include:

  • Define the change management strategy
  • Prepare the change management team
  • Develop a sponsorship model

Within this part of the Prosci 3 phase change management process, you’ll see reference to mechanisms like a change impact assessment and organizational attributes profile.

Phase 2: Managing Change

In phase 2 of the Prosci change management process, you’ll see the ADKAR model come into play. As part of this phase, you’ll:

  • Define change management plans
  • Take action and implement the plans

The mechanisms you’ll use in this phase of the Prosci 3 phase change management process directly relate to putting users through the ADKAR areas. So, getting this phase right is vital to Prosci best practices in change management.

Mechanisms will include:

  • Communications planning
  • Creating a sponsorship roadmap
  • Training
  • Coaching
  • Managing Resistance

Phase 3: Reinforcing Change

An important take away from studying the Prosci methodology and Prosci change management model is that your change management isn’t over after your “go-live” date. It requires reinforcement to ensure training and new workflows stay intact.

The steps in this third phase of the Prosci change management process includes:

  • Collect and analyze feedback
  • Diagnose gaps and manage resistance to change
  • Implement corrective fixes and celebrate success

Mechanisms that will help with this reinforcement phase of the Prosci change management methodology include things like rewards and recognition, measuring changes in behavior, and after-action review.


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What Change Impact Assessment Does Prosci Recommend?

One of the mechanisms that is often mentioned when discussing items in the Prosci change management toolkit is the Change Impact Assessment.

This is an important step in phase 1 of the Prosci change management process, and if it’s not carried out correctly, it can doom a project from the start.

The Change Impact Assessment covered in the Prosci model involves looking at all the ways that a change is going to impact an organization, so you can plan your change management activities accordingly.

For example, not every change has the same level of impact on internal and external audiences. An individual might have a small level of impact and only need minimal training if they were moving from Office 2019 (non-cloud) to Microsoft 365 (cloud-based) because the software will be very similar.

However, if an individual was moving from G Suite tools to Microsoft 365 tools, then this would be a larger impact; thus, more change management training would be needed.

What is a Change Impact Assessment Prosci Recommends?

In the Prosci organizational change management information, you’ll find that Prosci identifies 10 different aspects of an employee’s job (i.e., daily life) that can be impacted by a change:

  • Processes
  • Systems
  • Tools
  • Job Roles
  • Critical Behaviors
  • Mindset/Attitude/Beliefs
  • Reporting Structure
  • Performance Reviews
  • Compensation
  • Location

Not all change projects will impact all these areas. According to the Prosci methodology, conducting a Change Impact Assessment helps you identify and address the areas that will be impacted so you can better mitigate change resistance.


►► Change Impacts Assessment Toolkit ◄◄


Prosci Change Management Practitioner Certification

If you’re considering a position in change management, then becoming a Prosci change management practitioner and getting certified is a smart way to prepare.

You’ll find that many companies will require Prosci change management methodology knowledge and certification as a job requirement. It’s also a great pathway to learning the fundamentals of change management that will apply to any size organization.

Here’s a brief overview of the types of certifications on the Prosci change management model that the company has available.

  • Virtual Change Management Certification Program
  • Change Management Certification Program: 3-day Experiential Program
  • Advanced Change Practitioner Certification
  • Advanced Deployment Leader Certification
  • Advanced Instructor Certification

prosci change management methodology

Certification on Prosci Methodology

If you’re interested in learning more about the Prosci methodology and becoming certified, you’ll want to start with one of the first two programs, as the advanced programs have prerequisite certifications.


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Training on Prosci Change Management Methodology

If you’re not yet ready to go through certification, but want to know more about, “What is Prosci change management?”, you’ll find multiple resources for training on the Prosci website.

Included in the Prosci change management toolkit are eLearning modules on topics like:

  • Introduction to change management
  • Introduction to ADKAR
  • Introduction to leading change
  • Thriving through change

You can also find details on Prosci methodology and the Prosci change management model through:

  • Webinars
  • Articles
  • Blogs
  • Downloads


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Conclusion – This Year’s Prosci Guide: What is Prosci Change Management & Prosci Methodology?

The key to understanding the Prosci change management methodology universe is to separate the firm itself, Prosci, from the framework, model, and process that the firm has created for change management.

As an early pioneer in the field, the scientific approach taken by this company forged one of the most used methods for change management in the industry.

Prosci methodology is people-centered and based upon a thorough study that indicates people can basically make or break a change management project, so you need to consider them first and foremost.

Understanding the Prosci change management toolkit, including the ADKAR model and Prosci change management process, will put you on the right path to becoming an expert at change management and leading successful organizational change.


Authors: Ogbe Airiodion (Senior Change Management Lead) and Francesca Crolley (AGS Lead Writer)
Content on Airiodion Global Services (AGS)'s Airiodion.com website is copyrighted. If you have questions, comments, or tips about this Airiodion Global Services content, please contact Airiodion Global Services (AGS) today.
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Images: https://www.prosci.com/solutions/solutions-for-individuals, https://www.prosci.com/adkar, https://www.prosci.com/solutions/advanced-certifications