Realizing immediate and long-term ROI through change management

Training and Adoption Practice at Wilson Allen

When you consider the success of an implementation project, training and adoption are where your firm realizes most of its return on investment (ROI). Giving users precisely what they need to adopt technology goes a long way to encouraging a learning culture where people feel a sense of accomplishment and personal investment.

Effective change management requires a focused effort to address both the organizational and the people side of change, which we discussed in a previous blog post. In this post, we’ll discuss in more detail how to manage the people side of change.

Applying the ADKAR Model

At Wilson Allen, our training and adoption team follows the Prosci ADKAR Model of change management. ADKAR is an acronym for the phases users must move through to achieve change (see below). Addressing the following points and answering the related questions helps remove obstacles to accelerate the phases of user adoption:

  • Awarenessof the need for change. Communicate the right messages from the right people to the right audience. What is the nature of this change? Why is the business doing this?
  • Desireto participate and support the change. Why should I do this? What’s in it for me? Here you may be doing a bit of resistance management.
  • Knowledgeon how to change. Show me only what I need to know to get my work done. Show me different ways that I can learn.
  • Ability*to implement required skills and behaviors. I got this! And it works for me.
  • Reinforcementto sustain the change. Show me where can I go when I forget – especially when I am in a hurry!?

*It is important to note that ability is the stage where behavior change occurs – the learner has integrated the learning into their workflows. This is when you can begin to see your return on investment through adoption.

Building your training strategies and tools ala ADKAR

No matter what hardware or software you are implementing, having ready-made strategies and tools goes a long way to accelerate the user adoption process. The table below summarizes effective strategies and tools you can use to support the different ADKAR phases of change management. Using these ideas can help your firm ensure a more satisfying user experience that translates to an immediate and continued return on your ROI.


Strategies Tools


  • Effective communications
  • Effective sponsorship
  • Coaching by managers and supervisors
  • Access to business information
  • Client discovery interviews
  • Communication plans
  • Coaching plans
  • Stakeholder videos


  • Effectively sponsor the change
  • Equip managers to be change leaders
  • Assess risks and anticipate resistance
  • Engage employees in the change process
  • Sponsor/manager coaching
  • What you’re going to love videos
  • What’s in it for me videos
  • Townhalls


  • Align incentive programs
  • Effective training and education programs
  • Job aids
  • One-on-one coaching
  • User groups and forums
  • Champion program
  • Remote/live training
  • Remote/live support
  • Just-in-time learning
  • User forums


  • Day-to-day involvement of managers
  • Access to subject-matter experts
  • Hands-on exercises during training
  • Adoption and performance monitoring
  • Champion program
  • Efficiency dashboard to track and measure training success
  • Evaluations to check skills


  • Celebrations and recognition rewards
  • Feedback from employees
  • Just-in-time courseware repository
  • Badges
  • Learning in the live application

Note that these phases are sequential. If you have any barriers to a phase, those issues will interfere with the successful outcomes of the subsequent phases. It is critical that you identify where you need to supplement your strategies and tools before moving on to the next phase.

As you think about your approach to change management, consider how you will address each of the specific phases and the strategies presented for ensuring better adoption. While every tool may not be relevant to your firm’s culture, be sure that you are providing something to promote every phase of ADKAR. In future posts, we will go more deeply into the significance of each of these strategies and tools and how you can incorporate them into your projects.

How we can help

If your firm is about to embark on or has already started a software implementation project and needs assistance with change management, please contact us. Our team of training and adoption specialists can provide all the coaching, strategies, and tools to train users and help them fully adopt new technology. If you have questions or would like to discuss your change management needs further, please contact us.