Refresh your Change Management Toolkit (2/6): Evaluate your project health with PROSCI Change Triangle (PCT).

24 December 2021

Using PROSCI Change Triangle Model helps you secure early wins and course correct for even better results.

author picture Article written by Morten Kamp Andersen

How do you set your change project on the right track? And how do you know for sure it is still on the right track as you proceed? Don’t guess your way to success. PROSCI Change Triangle Model[1] (PCT) is a powerful framework that helps you identify risks and improve outcomes. The second instalment of our series provides all the practical information you need not only to secure early wins that build strong foundations for the change but also to create a follow-up system. Leave nothing to chance!

To recap: the PCT, at the roots of the 3 Phase Process

Driving the change takes a set of actions that unfold in three stages. Just remember the simple triad “prepare – manage – sustain”.  Preparing the approach starts with defining what you are aiming for and what the organisation will look like after the change. But it takes a solid understanding of what success is made of to design the best approach that will get you there. The PCT comes in handy to lay the foundations of your project. 


Three corners, success at the center

PROSCI Change Triangle Model is a graphical representation (©PROSCI) of the four aspects that are core to the success of any change initiative or project. And why a triangle? Because it also describes the relationships between each aspect, in other words, how they connect and feed into each other. 


Before we dive into the dynamic part of the model, let’s explore the 4 PCT’s dimensions:

  • Success, which is placed at the center, represents “the purpose of an initiative or project”. This is the value proposition that infuses meaning into everything else. It encompasses the benefits of the change and must be attached to some clearly defined goals and metrics. The importance of crafting a strong “why” cannot be stressed often enough.
  • Leadership/sponsorship represents “the strategy and direction of an initiative or project”. It’s the governance and orientation of the initiative, its Northern Star. You can readily see why it is so important that sponsors are visible throughout the lifecycle of the project (see below). According to PROSCI, sponsorship is the number 1 success factor of change consistently ranking first across surveys for over two decades. This corner of the PCT relates to the set of decisions and actions intended to steer change.
  • Change management (CM) represents “the people side of an initiative or project”. It takes place at both the organisational and individual levels. Top-down approaches can only go so far. In fact, change happens one person at a time. The sum of them of all gives rise to deep-rooted and long-lasting change. Change Management, therefore, is mainly concerned with driving engagement, focusing on adoption and utilisation of the change (new processes, new working routines, etc….).
  • Project management (PM) represents “the technical side of an initiative or project”. PM teams oversee the process of designing, developing, and delivering the solution (the 3D’s). Unfortunately, change doesn’t happen “once the wheel has come full circle”. The best solution in the world is worth nothing if people don’t embrace it. And that is precisely why all three aspects/corners of the PCT are so strongly connected, combining to create fertile ground for the change. Let’s see how.

How does each one connect to the other? The keys to success.

Sponsors can make or break the change. They are there to steer the boat and be the face of change. Remember the ABC of sponsorship to get a clearer picture of sponsors’ role. They must be Active and visible throughout the whole change process, Build a coalition of sponsors and Communicate directly with employees. Two of the most important Change Management plans include the Sponsorship plan (roadmap) and the Communication Plan. As you might have guessed, Change Managers enter the picture right here to enable and activate sponsors’ roles.

The takeaway (see graph above)? Sponsors connect with PM through decision-making processes (strategy or leadership decisions) and get support from CM to promote the change (leadership actions).

Change Managers. Driving the change takes intentional efforts. PROSCI’s holistic approach includes a wide range of tools (such as the PCT), which gravitate around the ADKAR model (now ADKAR Blueprint), a highly structured process you can easily replicate. You need to ensure that each collaborator operates its own transition and moves forward in sync with the rest of the team. ADKAR helps you create Awareness around the change, build Desire, equip the people to optimise adoption and usage (Knowledge and Ability), and take Reinforcement actions to make the change stand the test of time.

Project Leaders. They translate the leadership’s decisions around the change into tangible actions, processes, systems … you name it. That is the perimeter of the project or initiative.  Project Managers plan for design, development and delivery  - including intermediate releases in Agile environments -, allocating resources accordingly. It is of utmost importance that Change Managers get an early seat at the PM table to align activities and milestones (schedule). A kick-off meeting simply won’t get people on board. That must happen upstream, taking an integrated approach to CM and PM. Awareness and Desire should always come first. And it takes everyone’s energy, from leaders to managers to CM experts, to prepare the groundwork for what is to come. So make the PCT a priority to assess your project’s health and optimise its parameters.

The takeaway (see graph above)? “Project management prepares the solution for the organization. Change Management prepares the organization for the solution”.CM plays a complementary role to PM by focusing on adoption and usage of the change, while also empowering all key players (integrated approach).

The PCT before starting … and across the project lifecyle.

Don’t think of the PCT assessment as a one-time event. It is incredibly useful when it comes to monitoring organisational performance and course-correcting as you move forward along the journey. The PCT also creates a shared vision and a much-needed shared language. And it makes a good case for CM because it highlights its pivotal or enabling role for other key players.

You will need to decide who to work with to conduct the PCT assessment. Is it going to be sponsors, project leader or other stakeholders?  Anyone qualified can join.  In any case, be sure to include the PCT in your Change Management toolkit!


Stay tuned to learn more about Prosci’s updated methodology. Eager to dive into it right now? Discover our one-day Methodology Application program for Prosci Certified Practitioners. 


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