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My Path to a Cloud Project Manager

Naturally Curious

Communication Tower
  • Writer's pictureMarcus Yeo

Prosci Change Management - Course Review

Updated: Mar 11, 2019

So, for the whole of 2018, I attained 0 certification. I have enrolled and attended a number of courses, but they are either none-certified courses, or I chose not to push through to the end for the exam mainly due to other priorities. So, in 2019, I am super determined to quickly start off with a certification I really wanted.

Prosci Change Management is a course I had been looking at for a long time and looked forward to attend. It is a structured approach to implementing change, mainly only the people side of any organisational change, using a 'Prosci ADKAR Model' ('Awareness', 'Desire', Knowledge', Ability', Re-enforcement').

What is Prosci Change Management?

  • The application of a structured process and set of tools for leading the people side of change to achieve a desired outcome.

  • A process to manage the people side of system, process and organizational changes.

  • A competency applied to help employees through the transition from the current state to the future state.

  • A strategic capability to increase the organizational change capacity and to accelerate changes within an organization.

Change Management framework of a 3-legged stool

  • The first leg is leadership/sponsorship. This leg represents the formulation of the strategy and direction for an organization, and the required leadership to set the necessary changes into motion.

  • The second leg is project management. This leg represents the fundamentals of managing a project, including the design of work tasks and the management of resources to implement a change on time and on budget.

  • The final leg is change management. The people side of the change. This leg represents the actions taken by the organization to help employees transition from the current state to the desired future state.

Why Change Management?

Apparently, studies show that effective change management processes and tools had a much higher probability of achieving project objectives, finishing on time and staying on budget. Change Management helps to:

  • Translating change management into financial performance

  • Connecting change management to business results

  • Mitigating negative consequences

1. Translating change management into financial performance

Employee (people) resist changes. When people side of change is poorly managed, projects falls behind schedule, fewer employees engage in the change and proficiency levels are lower; projects deliver a lower ROI or in some cases fail completely. Applying change management can directly impact:

  • Speed of adoption (how quickly the change is adopted into the organization and how well the project stays on schedule)

  • Ultimate utilization (the overall level of participation and ultimate utilization of the new processes, tools and job changes)

  • Proficiency (how employees perform in the new environment – are they achieving the expected performance levels?)

2. Connecting change management to business results

Change management look at another aspect of relationship between intended outcomes of your project and the amount of people change required in order to achieve those outcomes. Once this is identified, you can assess the percentage of project outcomes that are directly dependent upon people doing their jobs differently. Thus, able to articulate the importance of getting people on board with the change.

3. Mitigating negative consequences

A natural reaction to change usually result in an increase in resistant behaviors. As people move into the risk/flight zone, productivity declines, customers are negatively impacted and valued employees leave the company. Effective change management minimizes these negative factors and avoids the compounding risks of multiple changes.

Some of the thoughts which Prosci Change Management makes you think about for your project/program to establish with your primary sponsor:

  • Why is this change necessary and important?

  • What are the business results expected from this change?

  • What are the new ways of working required by the different impacted groups (if they can be envisaged now) and their relative importance to the desired business outcomes?

  • What is the budget (if it has been approved as a project) and the expected ROI/business outcomes – e.g. quantified financial impact on bottom line

  • What is the risk of remaining in the current state or achieving less than what was intended?

  • Why is there a need to change now?

Some thoughts to this:

  • Where do you anticipate the points of resistance to be for 2 or 3 of the functional groups directly impacted by your project and what can you do to minimise its effects?

  • What is the scope of the change? How many people will be affected?

  • Is the impact of the change(s) going to be the same for everyone? How will their roles and work routines be affected?

  • How long do you think this change will disrupt people and their internalized processes before it becomes the new norm?

My thoughts...

Project managers focus on projects, from start to the end. No doubt about this and that is what project managers are paid to deliver at the end of the day. PM certifications in the market, i.e. PMP, focus on just that, (Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring, Closure). Prosci change management makes you thinking beyond this, not just on the scope of the project, but how to manage the 'people' expect of making your project successful. 'How do you get others onboard?'; "Organization don't change, people does'. This is definitely a good compliment skillset for project managers. I am also certified in Program management and can easily imagine how this could benefit Program managers as well.

For a 3 days course, it is packed. The course will go through almost every single slides in the book (About 320 slides). Teaching in details various Prosci concepts. (i.e 'ADKAR', 'CLARC', etc). There will also be a number of team exercises. This is on top of an individual presentation which you will need to prepare during the 1st two days and present on the 3rd day. As if this is not enough, the exam is scheduled on the final 30mins of the day on the 3rd day of the course.

The price for this course is probably on the high side. For a 3 days training, pricing more than USD3,800, this is probably the most expensive course I have taken. This, however, is not the main cons in the course. It's licensing policy is extremely strict. Even though you are taught and provided with the templates to use for change management, you are only 'licensed' to use Prosci methodology in the organisation where you worked in and able to use the templates provided you are the practitioner. You are not allowed to share or teach the materials to anyone. For me, who works in a vendor environment, I am not allowed to practise this to in my projects with my clients (Unless my clients have a separate license with Prosci). To me, this is shocking and unheard of.

I have completed the 3 days course and is now 'Prosci Change Management Practitioner' certified. Personally, Despite the price and licensing restrictions, I would still say this is still an awesome course. Prosci is able to transform change management into a series of process, quantify the results and measure an organisation change progresses. Their methodology is an eye-opener and 'tools' (templates) are well established, with lots of statistics and research results to back it up. Lots of materials in terms of handouts, softcopy of templates, books are provided as well. I would recommend PMs or anyone practising change management to go for it.


"What do you think?" Let me know if you think there is any important/useful details I have missed in the above write up.

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