8 Steps to successful Change Management

Three Steps to Heaven

In 1960 Eddie Cochran sang ‘Three Steps to Heaven’



Step one – you find a girl to love

Step two – she falls in love with you

Step three – you kiss and hold her tightly


In 2 minutes 30 seconds Eddie was able provide three simple steps to eternal happiness, unfortunately successful Change Management takes a bit longer.

In this posting I will introduce Kotter’s 8 steps to Change Management to those who have yet to come across it.

Why Change Management

The impact of poor Change Management is all around us, and is often a major factor in IT project failures and cancelations, with high profile multi-Million dollar failures increasingly becoming Global news stories, it it something we all have to get right.

Earlier this year the BBC’s Digital Media Initiative (DMI) IT project was canceled with nothing to show after spending almost £100, this story unfortunately is not unique with according to surveys 70-80% of projects failing

Kotter’s 8 Steps to Change Management

In Professor John P. Kotter’s book Leading Change, Kotter introduces us to an 8 steps methodology to successfully manage change, the first four steps focus of de-freezing the organisation, the next three steps make the change happen, and the last step re-freeze.

Kotters 8 Steps for Change Management
Kotters 8 Steps for Change Management





The 8 steps methodology is the result of research conducted over 10 years on 100’s projects, across multiple industries, national boundaries, and with some the of largest companies in the world.

The 8 steps below are designed to be performed sequentially.

Step One – Establish a sense of urgency.

  • Examine market and competitive realities.
  • Identify and discuss crises, potential crises, or major opportunities.

Step Two – Form a powerful coalition.

  • Assemble a group with enough energy and authority to lead the change effort.
  • Encourage this group to work together as a team.

Step Three – Create a vision of change.

  • Create a vision to direct change effort.
  • Develop strategies for achieving the vision.

Step Four – Communicate the vision

  • Use every possible means to communicate the new vision and strategies.
  • Teach new behaviours using the example of the guiding coalition team.

Step Five – Empower people and remove obstacles

  • Get rid of obstacles to change.
  • Change systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision.
  • Encourage risk taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions.

Step Six – Generate short-term wins.

  • Plan for visible performance improvements.
  • Create those improvements.
  • Recognise and reward employees involved in the improvements.

Step Seven – Consolidate gains

  • Use increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit the vision.
  • Hire, promote, and develop employees who can implement the vision.
  • Reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes, and change agents.

Step Eight – Anchor the changes in the corporate culture

  • Articulate the connections between the new behaviour and corporate success.
  • Develop ways to ensure leadership development and succession.

Leave a Reply

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: