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Starting the change management process

Setting up a change process, I usually analyse the organisation, the size of the change task, any methodology that may exist and then think about appropriate models for change.

There are a wide number of models of change that exist in the literature. Some, like change specialist Dr John Kotter’s model are very well known with its eight steps.

Kurt Lewin also has a three-step model with nine activities within it. William Bridges‘ two is a staged approach of ending, neutral zone and new beginning. Each has merit.

I encourage the change managers I coach and mentor to understand the rich range of theoretical models that can be applied within a methodology. There are excellent resources that summarise each of these models and also some that provide an overall summary. (I will be covering these in future blog posts.)

Another source will be the soon-to-be-released Change Management Institute’s Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK), the first globally recognised body of knowledge currently being created by a team of committed volunteers. This will be a resource that will provide the foundations for change management practice.

Like the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the CMBOK will contain a rich range of agreed best practice principles and philosophies that underpin what is considered best practice and that methodologies are built upon.

Elissa Farrow is the founder of About Your Transition, a business specialising in strategy development and implementation, the Director of Ethics of the International Institute of Project Coaching and the Global Secretary for the Change Management Institute. With extensive experience in strategic organisational change, portfolio, program and project management in the public, commercial and not-for-profit sectors, she has assisted organisations in increasing their delivery maturity by implementing enterprise-wide methodology and building the capability of the people who use them.
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Comments from the community

  • imtiaz says:

    I have played vital roles in organizational change and changes within the department having teams in in the network. indeed organization’s culture and regional or national culture plays a lot but the most important is the top man in the organization. its a collective process which need willingness, know how, unlearning old practices and learning new competencies. only talks or some goody picture is not working particularly when it comes to psychological safety net.
    i wanna learn more because in present complexity and uncertainty, doing right thing by going through experimentation can be counterproductive. Instead one has to do the right thing i.e. informed steps.
    its a good site and hope to see more. regards

  • […] have previously outlined the importance of change managers having a clear idea of the theory that underpins their change methodol…. In this post I will outline the Kotter International model and give some examples of how I have […]

  • […] previous blog posts we have looked at change management methodologies, including the Kotter model of change. Here I am going to outline Kurt Lewin’s 3-step model. All […]