Introduction:

Kotter's Change Management Model Process Checklist focuses less on the change itself and more on the people behind the change (adopting a top-down point of view).

Kotter's Change Management Model: An introduction

Developed in 1995 by John Kotter, the model works by creating a sense of urgency for change to create momentum behind it. Kotter's theory can be used to great effect in adapting a business to the current climate.

The theory works by:

  • Creating a sense of urgency
  • Building a core coalition
  • Forming a strategy vision
  • Getting everyone on board
  • Removing barriers and reducing friction
  • Generating short-term wins
  • Sustaining acceleration
  • Setting the changes in stone
What's good about it

The first stages of Kotter's theory set the foundation for success, creating a sense of urgency and convincing everyone why the change is necessary. This gives your team the drive to enact change, with enough people working on it for the change to become standard practice.

What's bad about it

Kotter's model is a top-down approach. The model doesn't take feedback onboard and therefore runs the risk of alienating employees by telling them what to do. This can be an issue for the company's working more collaboratively.

Having a back and forth between upper management and employees is vital for giving context from varying points of view and skill sets, and for having employees adapt to the change at all.

How to use this checklist

At the beginning of this checklist, you will be presented with a set of specialized questions given as form fields. You are required to populate each form field with your data.

The checklist is broken down into the 8 stages of Kotter's Change Management Model:

  • Step 1 - Creating a sense of urgency
  • Step 2 - Building a core coalition
  • Step 3 - Forming a strategy vision
  • Step 4 - Getting everyone on board
  • Step 5 - Removing barriers and reducing friction
  • Step 6 - Generating short-term wins
  • Step 7 - Sustaining acceleration
  • Step 8 - Setting the changes in stone

At the end of each stage, your supervisor/manager will review your work using Process Street's approvals feature. Other features used in this template include: 

  • Stop tasks - To ensure task order.
  • Dynamic due dates - To make sure your initiative is reviewed on time.
  • Role assignment - To delegate tasks within your team ensuring your supervisors are appropriately assigned to the review tasks.
  • Approvals - Tasks can be accepted, rejected, and rejected with comments.

Record checklist details

In this Kotter's Change Management Model Process Checklist, you will be presented with the following form fields for which you are required to populate with your specific data. More information for each form field type is provided via linkage to our help pages:

Let's start by recording your business details, your details, and the details of your supervisor or manager.

This is a stop task, meaning you cannot progress in this template until the required form fields are populated.

Business details
Your details
Details of Manager/Supervisor
Checklist details

Once set, the due dates for each phase in this Kotter's Change Management Model Process Checklist will be used to set a dynamic due date, notifying your manager for the needed stage approval when required.

Overvirew the changes to be made

Before you implement Kotter's Change Management Process, take the time to overview the changes you intend to implement.

Begin my providing a summary of the changes to be made, before stating why these changes are needed. Next, outline any potential roadblocks you could encoutned after implementing these changes.

Use the long-text form fields provided to do this.

Step 1 - Create a sense of urgency:

Plan communication

Creating a sense of urgency for your change will provide initial traction that you'll need to get your team on board and motivated.

Luckily you don't need to do all of the work for this sense of urgency to spread. What you need is a core group that is open to discussing the changes. It is then likely that this group will, in turn, talk to others and convince them to feel the same way.

You need to take stock of:

  • Potential threats
  • What your competitors are doing
  • Opportunities you can capitalize on

Use the long-text form fields below to document the above:

Potential threats
  • 1
    Develop scenarios showing what could happen in the future
Competitors
Opportunities

Communicate this information with your team. Set up a meeting for this communication to occur.

Select a date using our date form field. This will utilize our dynamic due date feature, pinging you and the participating members a reminder a day before the meeting.

There is also an option to select the participants to attend this meeting using our members form field.

Look out for common errors

Common error: Complacency

Step 1 meeting

It is now time to run your meeting. Remember to communicate....

Potential threats: {{form.Potential_threats}}

What your competitors are doing: {{form.What_your_competitors_are_doing}}

Opportunities to capitalize on: {{form.Opportunities_to_capitalize_on}}

This is a stop task meaning you cannot progress in this template until commitment from your core coalition has been obtained

During the meeting, discuss with your team the effects of change on your company and how these effects can be reduced. Use the long-text form field to document this.

This meeting aims to start honest discussions and give dynamic and convincing reasons to get people talking and thinking about the changes introduced.

Request support

To re-affirm the desire for the changes introduced, it is a good idea to request support from outside stakeholders to strengthen your argument.

Approval: Step

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Step 1 meeting
    Will be submitted
  • Request support
    Will be submitted
  • Plan communication
    Will be submitted

Step 2 - Build a core coalition:

Build your coalition team

Creating a sense of urgency for change gets the ball rolling. Next, you need to get the key players on board. For this, gather organization leaders and stakeholders and convince them of the need to change.

The best way to do this is to set up a meeting with these key players. To set up this meeting make sure that you have a good span of people with:

  • 1
    Various experience levels
  • 2
    The needed skillset
  • 3
    Various job titles

Assign a date for the step 1 meeting. This will utilize the dynamic due date feature.  You can then select the members to attend this meeting using the members form field given below.

Look out for common errors

Common error: Failing to create a sufficiently powerful guiding team

Step 2 meeting

It is now time to run your step 2 meeting.

This is a stop task meaning you cannot progress in this template until commitment from your core coalition has been obtained

During this meeting be sure to ask them for a commitment to these changes, since you will need a strong core of promoters who can reach every employee in your business.

  • 1
    Commitment from your core coalition has been obtained

Approval - Step 2

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Step 2 meeting
    Will be submitted
  • Build your coalition team
    Will be submitted

Step 3 - Form a strategic vision:

Summarize your vision of changes

This step aims to define your changes and the vision that you are aiming for.

It is key to not overwhelm whoever is listening with detail or complicated language.

Use the long-text form fields to:

  • Write down what values your changes work towards achieving
  • Record what the changes are
  • Record the predicted outcome
  • Document the values central to the change
  • Detail the future vision sought from the changes introduced

Make sure the above-documented information is a summary. That means it must be kept to one or two sentences and in a simple enough language that everyone in the core group will understand.

Create your strategy

Vision is unhelpful without a strategy that will help you achieve that vision. Follow the subtask form field below to guide you through the creation of your strategy.

You can then use the file upload or website form fields to add your documented strategy to this checklist.

  • 1
    Create a strategy to execute your vision
  • 2
    Consult with stakeholders to identify concrete tasks to be done to get closer to your vision
  • 3
    Check existing policies and procedures and responsible individuals

Once you have your strategy, you need to ensure you have the right resources for the effective implementation of this strategy.

Use the subtask form field below to guide you through the process of checking what resources you have.

Resources needed:

  • 1
    Environmental
  • 2
    Equipment
  • 3
    Information and knowledge
  • 4
    Financial e.g. cost/benefit analysis
  • 5
    Personnel
  • 6
    Time

Look out for common errors

Common error: Underestimating the power of vision

Approval: Step 3

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Summarize your vision of changes
    Will be submitted
  • Create your strategy
    Will be submitted

Step 4 - Get everyone on board:

Gather feedback

Now it's time to spread your idea for change to the rest of your organization, including the front-line employees.

The goal of this stage is to convince your entire organization that the changes are necessary by explaining why they should happen. You are setting the stage for them to later deploy the changes.

Use the subtasks form field below to guide you through step 4:

  • 1
    Host discussions about the change topic
  • 2
    Be open to feedback
  • 3
    Set up a regular meeting with your employees
  • 4
    Promote change elements outside meetings

During this stage make sure you are applying feedback obtained from your employees.

It is good practice to create a centralized document that will record this feedback. You can use our file upload, or website form fields (for online documentation) below to add this document to this checklist.

Lead by example

What you do is far more important than what you say.

Follow the subtask form field below to ensure you lead by example:

  • 1
    Openly and honestly address peoples concerns and anxieties
  • 2
    Apply your vision to all aspects of operations - from training to performance reviews - everything needs to be tied back to the vision
  • 3
    Lead by example
  • 4
    Communicate through actions as well as verbally and through written forms of communication
  • 5
    Acknowledge that the best person to write the procedure is the one who does it, utilizing information and resources - use this as a coaching opportunity and an opportunity to check knowledge
  • 6
    Test the procedure after it has been written
  • 7
    Keep others aware of the change/developing vision
  • 8
    Ensure all stakeholders are kept informed and involved when appropriate
  • 9
    Discuss the change as it develops and encourage constructive feedback
  • 10
    Keep motivation through work acknowledgment
  • 11
    Value team members
  • 12
    Make sure your teams value each other
  • 13
    Make processes easier, safer, rewarding and fun

Look out for common errors

Common error: Under-communicating the vision

Approval: Step 4

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Gather feedback
    Will be submitted
  • Lead by example
    Will be submitted

Step 5 - Remove barriers and reduce friction:

Identify the issues

With the successful completion of stage 4, all of your employees should be eager to get started with your changes.

Before that, however, take a moment to access what might block the progression of your change to be implemented.

An example of this would be that an employee might not have the skills required to use a new piece of technology or a team might not have the manpower spare for implementing a new task.

Use the long text form field below to detail the issue.

Limit the issues

Once the issue blockading change has been highlighted, you need to implement strategies to limit the issues as much as possible.

The best way to do this is to analyze your structure and business processes to identify where your changes are being held back. 

Problems can then be tackled (both human and technical) head-on.

Start by making sure you have documented processes. Use Process Street to document your business process in a checklist just like this one. For more information on how to document your business processes watch the below video.

Sign up to Process Street here to get started.

Once you have documented your business processes and identified the specific road-blocks, devise a plan to limit these issues. Use the long-text form field below to detail this plan.

Empower a broad base for people to take action

Follow the below subtask guide to remove barriers to the introduced changes:

  • 1
    Identify the change leaders whose main roles are to deliver change
  • 2
    Look at your oranizational structure, job descriptions, and performance to ensure they are in line with your vision
  • 3
    Recognize and reward people for making change happen
  • 4
    Identify people who are resisting the change, and help them see what is needed
  • 5
    Take action to quickly remove barriers (human or otherwise)

You want to empower your staff as empowered staff...

  • Feel valued

  • A more motivated

  • Carry more self-responsibility

  • Have ownership of their work

  • Take increased responsibility for their work

  • Learn quicker

  • Gain confidence

  • Participate in team leadership

Look out for common errors

Common error: Permitting obstacles to block the vision

Approval: Step 5

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Identify the issues
    Will be submitted
  • Limit the issues
    Will be submitted
  • Empower a broad base for people to take action
    Will be submitted

Step 6 - Generate short-term wins:

Document short-term wins

It is now time to deploy your proposed changes. However, the initial motivation change won't last forever.

You, therefore, need to make sure that the short-term wins associated with the changes made are presented to your employees. Use the long-text form field below to summarize the short-term wins of the change proposed.

  • 1
    Thoroughly analyze the potential pros and cons of your process

You can also measure the effects of the implemented change as it happens, then present this data to your team to show them exactly how their performance is affected.

  • 1
    Measure the effects of the implemented change
  • 2
    Document the effects of the implemented change

Next, think of milestones/targets you can set.

You can reward employees sticking to the implemented changes and meeting the set target/milestones.

You want to acknowledge all who helped you meet your change targets:

It is important to acknowledge that:

  • 1
    Real transformation takes time, and there is a strong risk of losing momentum if there are no early successes

Set up a meeting with your employees to present these short-term wins from the changes introduced.

Presenting the short-term wins to your employees creates a sense of accomplishment, showing the process in action. This means it is more likely that the employees will stick to the changes made.

Look out for common errors

Common errors: Not systematically planning for and creating short term wins

Step 6 meeting

It is now time to run the step 6 meeting.

This is a stop task meaning you cannot progress in this template until commitment from your core coalition has been obtained

During this meeting make sure you communicate the short-term wins from the changes made.

Approval: Step 6

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Document short-term wins
    Will be submitted
  • Step 6 meeting
    Will be submitted

Step 7 - Sustain acceleration:

Evaluate changes and set new goals

Step 7 is all about sustaining the momentum that was generated from the initial changes made. 

With success, the acceleration can carry you far enough that the changes become a new habit before your team loses steam.

In this stage, you need to take stock of the successes (or failures) your team made, consider:

  • What happened
  • What can be improved upon
  • Successes
  • Failures

Use the long-text form fields to document the above:

In this stage, you should also look to set new goals, whenever one of your current ones has been reached, so your team continually has something to work towards.

Use the long-text form field to set your new goals.

The analysis of what went right and what went wrong needs to be carried out for every win. The idea of this stage is to continually set new goals to build on the momemtum you have achieved.

Look out for common errors

Common error: Declaring victory too soon

Approval: Step 7

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Evaluate changes and set new goals
    Will be submitted

Step 8 - Set changes in stone:

Incorporate change in your business processes

The final stage of Kotter's Change Management model looks at setting the changes made in stone. For this, the changes need to become a core part of your organization.

Your organizational culture plays a big part here, determining what gets done. This includes existing staff and new leaders that are bought in. You don't want to lose the support of these people.

To help you with this final stage of Kotter's Change Management Model, follow the below subtask form field.

  • 1
    Incorporate change in your documented processes
  • 2
    Talk about progress every chance you get - telling success stories about the change process
  • 3
    Include the change ideals and values when hiring and training new staff
  • 4
    Ensure the policies, protocols, and procedures are well written and presented
  • 5
    Change only sticks when it becomes "the way we do things" - therefore make sure your changes are incorporated into your processes, policies, and protocols
  • 6
    Hold on to the new ways of behaving and make sure they succeed until they become a part of the team's culture
  • 7
    Maintain a clear focus
  • 8
    Embrace resistance
  • 9
    Respect those you resist
  • 10
    Drive cultural change with priority
  • 11
    Ensure you have robust and sustainable information and a knowledge management system

Remember you can use Process Street to document your business processes as a checklist, just like this. Sign up to Process Street here.

Look out for common errors

Common error: Neglecting to anchor changes firmly in the organizational culture

Reflect on the changes made

Reflect on the changes that you made. This includes promoting the changes made and promoting their success to help them endure moving forward.

  • 1
    Promote the changes made

As time goes on, the long-term successes of the implemented change will begin to be realized. Use the long-text form field to document these long-term successes

  • 1
    Continue communicate long-term successes

Approval: Stage 8

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Incorporate change in your business processes
    Will be submitted
  • Reflect on the changes made
    Will be submitted
  • Look out for common errors
    Will be submitted

Sources:

Sign up for a FREE account and
search thousands of checklists in our library.

Sign up for a FREE account and search thousands of checklists in our library.