Prosci and Kotter Change Methodologies – A comparison

Change is a constant in today’s fast-paced business landscape. Organizations must adapt to new technologies, market shifts, and evolving customer needs to remain competitive. Implementing change, however, is a complex process that requires a structured approach. Two popular change management methodologies, Prosci and Kotter, have emerged as leading strategies to guide organizations through successful change initiatives. In this blog post, we will delve into the key features of both methodologies and highlight their similarities and differences.

Prosci Change Methodology

Prosci’s approach to change management is rooted in the understanding that people are at the heart of any change. The Prosci methodology emphasizes the importance of addressing the human side of change to ensure successful adoption and implementation.

Key Principles
1. ADKAR Model: Prosci’s ADKAR model focuses on individual change by addressing Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. It provides a structured framework to help individuals transition successfully through change.
2. Three-Phase Process: Prosci’s methodology is structured around three phases – Preparing for Change, Managing Change, and Reinforcing Change. Each phase has specific tools and strategies to guide the change process.
3. Roles and Responsibilities: Prosci assigns clear roles and responsibilities to various stakeholders, including sponsors, managers, and change agents, to ensure alignment and accountability.

Kotter Change Methodology

Developed by John Kotter, the Kotter change methodology focuses on creating a sense of urgency and mobilizing a coalition of key stakeholders to drive change initiatives.

Key Principles
1. Eight-Step Process: The Kotter methodology outlines eight sequential steps for change: Create a Sense of Urgency, Build a Guiding Coalition, Form a Strategic Vision, Enlist a Volunteer Army, Enable Action by Removing Barriers, Generate Short-Term Wins, Sustain Acceleration, and Institute Change.
2. Focus on Leadership: Kotter places a strong emphasis on leadership’s role in guiding and facilitating change. A strong coalition and effective communication are critical to creating buy-in and momentum.
3. Continuous Change: The Kotter model promotes a continuous change culture, where change becomes an integral part of the organization’s DNA rather than an occasional event.


1. Emphasis on People vs. Leadership:
Prosci places people at the center of change, focusing on individual transitions and building support from employees. On the other hand, Kotter highlights the importance of strong leadership and mobilizing a coalition to lead change efforts.

2. Individual vs. Organizational Change:
Prosci’s ADKAR model addresses individual change by focusing on the psychological and emotional aspects of transition. In contrast, Kotter’s methodology emphasizes broader organizational change, with a focus on systems, processes, and structures.

3. Process Structure:
Prosci’s three-phase process provides a clear roadmap for managing change, offering specific tools for each phase. Kotter’s eight-step process offers a detailed plan for initiating and sustaining change, focusing on building momentum and overcoming resistance.

4. Short-Term Wins vs. Long-Term Culture:
Kotter’s model advocates generating short-term wins to demonstrate progress and build enthusiasm. Prosci, while also acknowledging the importance of celebrating successes, places a larger emphasis on creating a culture that embraces change as a continuous process.

5. Change Agent Roles:
Both methodologies recognize the significance of change agents or champions. Prosci assigns specific roles to change agents, such as communication and training, while Kotter focuses on building a guiding coalition with diverse skills and perspectives.

Both Prosci and Kotter change methodologies offer valuable frameworks to navigate the complexities of change. The choice between the two depends on the specific needs and culture of the organization. Prosci excels in addressing individual transitions and fostering a supportive environment, while Kotter’s focus on leadership and continuous change aligns well with organizations seeking transformative, long-term shifts. Whichever methodology an organization chooses, embracing change as an opportunity for growth and improvement is the common thread that ensures successful adaptation in today’s ever-changing business landscape.

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