The 7 biggest obstacles in change management – Prosci research

In 2023, Prosci conducted its 12th Change Management Benchmark Study. The 102 respondents shared lessons learned, insights and best practices on how to achieve better change outcomes. They defined 7 obstacles.


Insufficient stakeholder engagement and alignment

Stakeholder engagement and alignment are critical to successful change management, but challenging for a number of reasons, especially in large-scale organizational transformations. Stakeholder engagement, mapping, commitment, and alignment take time and energy and are often overlooked. But stakeholder resistance and lack of consent hinder change efforts. Leadership and sponsorship are essential to driving change and ensuring alignment, and in particular, resolving conflicting priorities. Effective communication and collaboration among all stakeholders contribute to successful change outcomes.


Lack of understanding and support from top management.

Gebrek aan leiderschapsondersteuning en instemming is een groot obstakel voor succesvol verandermanagement. Middenmanagement en projectteams moeten ook betrokken en toegewijd zijn aan verandering. Misalignatie en gebrek aan communicatie tussen leiderschap, en tussen het team en de sponsor, belemmeren de voortgang en creëren risico’s. Sterke sponsoring en actieve betrokkenheid van executives zijn cruciaal. Gebrek aan leiderschapsondersteuning kan bijdragen aan toegenomen weerstand tegen verandering.


Misalignment in organizational culture, attitude and vision

Misalignment in organizational culture, attitudes and beliefs is an obstacle to successful change management. Related challenges include resistance to change, ingrained beliefs, ineffective change leadership, lack of understanding of the need for change management, and a culture of comfort with “how we’ve always done it.” Additional related challenges include competing priorities, segregated practices, adherence to historical practices, differing perceptions of organizational expectations, and lack of agreement from affected individuals.


Resistance to change

Resistance to change is a common challenge in organizations. Resistance can come from a variety of sources in the organization, including employees, middle management, stakeholders and leadership. Fear of the unknown and reluctance to let go of old ways of doing things are common reasons for resistance. Lack of consent, limited resources, and poor support for change can contribute to resistance during a change. Effective change management and leadership support are critical to overcoming resistance and driving successful change.


Lack of understanding and knowledge of change management.

Key stakeholders lack understanding and knowledge of change management. Too little awareness about the human side of change led to resistance, limited resources and poor change management planning. Some organizations experienced challenges related to limited change management experience and lack of a structured change approach. Leadership support and understanding of the value of change management are lacking and built through effective education.


Project management challenges

Project management challenges include problems such as scope creep, delays and poor project planning and execution. Change management was not prioritized or integrated into the project plan, leading to difficulties in managing expectations and integration. Lack of clear timelines, resources and sponsorship contributed to project delays and confusion. Project teams struggled with communication, alignment and competing priorities, leading to attrition and turnover. Successful project management requires a programmatic approach, clear goals and objectives, and effective leadership and communication.


Limited resources, including people, time and budget

Competing priorities and workloads make it difficult to allocate resources and dedicate time to change initiatives. Time constraints and tight timelines add to the challenge of effectively implementing change. Lack of consent and commitment from stakeholders, including leadership, can hinder the progress of change efforts and create resource challenges.
If your company is on the verge of a major transformation?
Engage Lemento as a Certified ADKAR Change Management partner!

Many change projects end up with less than expected. And that is often due to the lack of solid change management. At Lemento, we have built up a special expertise in realizing sustainable change in companies and organizations. All supported by the right methodology and insights.

Book a meeting