Thomas van de Wouw

The ADKAR assessment: a valuable instrument to navigate change

How do you track change readiness throughout your S/4HANA journey? How do you differentiate your change management approach between different stakeholder groups when implementing SAP Ariba? Common challenges which come to mind when managing change in digital transformations. The answer to these questions: the ADKAR assessment.

What is the ADKAR assessment?

The acronym ‘ADKAR’ stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. It serves as a structured approach to understanding and managing the transition of individuals and stakeholder groups during periods of change, such as digital transformations. By breaking the change process down into these five phases, organizations can identify potential barrier points (the first ADKAR phase with a score <3.0) that need attention and tailor their change management strategies accordingly.

Why using the ADKAR assessment?

The ADKAR assessment enables organizations to address the human side of change. When implementing SAP S/4HANA, SAP Ariba or any other digital transformation, the human side is often overlooked. Yet, your change is as good as your adoption, and it is therefore essential to differentiate your change approach among different stakeholder groups. The ADKAR assessment helps organizations navigate this human side of change, and it can be beneficial during digital transformations in the following ways:

  • Assess readiness for change

The ADKAR assessment allows you to assess individuals’ or stakeholder groups’ readiness and ability to adapt to change. It helps identify potential gaps in understanding between the current state (as-is) and the desired future state (to-be). ADKAR scores lower than 3.0 could be a barrier point and should be managed closely.

  • Identify phases that require immediate action taking

By breaking down the change into five distinct phases (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement), the ADKAR assessment helps organizations identify specific areas that require additional attention. This allows a more targeted and effective change management strategy. To illustrate, a score of 2.2 on Awareness indicates that stakeholders are not sufficiently informed about the upcoming change. Tailored communication is necessary to increase the level of Awareness, emphasizing on the project benefits such as improved efficiency and collaboration.

  • Tracking progress

The AKDAR assessment shows that individuals or stakeholder groups may not go through the change process at the same pace. It helps understand at which phase individuals or stakeholder groups are, and what specific actions or interventions are needed to support them in moving forward.

How the ADKAR assessment enriches McCoy’s change management approach

As previously mentioned, the ADKAR assessment is the resource which change management consultants at McCoy & Partners use to get a snapshot of ADKAR scores for individuals and stakeholder groups. It is even included in our Simply Change Toolkit to successfully manage change. But how do we really use the ADKAR assessment and how does it help to manage digital transformations?

Measuring the elements of ADKAR at intervals throughout the program gives us insight into an individual’s readiness to successfully adopt the required change and sustain it. As each change initiative varies, we customize our survey to align with the specific needs of the organization. We initiate our first baseline assessment during the Discover phase of the project. This baseline assessment gives valuable insights into how the change is perceived and which specific actions need to be taken. To illustrate, if the barrier point is Awareness, change management should focus on effectively communicate to stakeholders why the change is needed.

The results are presented in an interactive dashboard. This dashboard displays potential barrier points, categorized by department. This provides immediate insight, allowing us to tailor our approach and change management activities based on this information.

ADKAR to accelerate digital transformation

By now, you know what the ADKAR assessment can do. It is practical to use as it offers a structured and insightful approach to address the human side of change. Do you want to learn more about the power of ADKAR and how it can help your organization? Have a look at the following blog Maximizing successful Digital Transformation with ADKAR. For more information you can get in touch with our Change Management consultants Wisse Wagenaar and Thomas van de Wouw. We are here to guide you through each stage of your SAP implementation journey!