JP Kotter’s Formula for Change...

... Applied to Platform Implementation

Deciding on a platform that will sit at the apex of planning, executing, and reporting for a business is a major undertaking. Overcoming the inertia of existing systems is challenging and picking the wrong system or implementing it poorly carries serious risk. To ensure a major change has the greatest chance of success, I like to run it through a proven framework.

Harvard Business School legend John P. Kotter lists the Formula for Change in his international bestseller Leading Change. I’ve seen at least four versions of this eight step process over the years but lets compare the original to the most recent.


  1. Create a Sense of Urgency
  2. Build a Guiding Coalition
  3. Form a Strategic Vision and Initiatives
  4. Enlist a Volunteer Army
  5. Enable Action by Removing Barriers
  6. Generate Short Term Wins
  7. Sustain Acceleration
  8. Institute Change


  1. Establish a Sense of Urgency
  2. Create a Guiding Coalition
  3. Develop a Vision & Strategy
  4. Communicate the Change Vision
  5. Empower Broad-Based Action
  6. Generate Short-Term Wins
  7. Consolidate Gains & Make More Changes
  8. Anchor New Approaches in the Culture


According to Kotter, the original steps were designed in a more traditional business hierarchy where a small but powerful core group leads a structured change. The most recent version is adapted to looser organizational networks, flexible platforms, and faster changes.

Over the next few days, we will apply the the current 8 steps to an organizations transition from an outdated or poorly integrated project management platform to a contemporary and highly integrated platform.