Condition 2: Knowledge and Skills Exist

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Introduction | 1. Dissatisfaction with the status quo | 2. Knowledge and skills exist | 3. Availability of resources |
4. Availability of time | 5. Rewards and/or incentives exist | 6. Participation | 7. Commitment | 8. Leadership

(Prosci, 2017)

The second facilitative condition, summarized as “I can do this” or “I can learn quickly” (Ellsworth, 2000) states that people who will ultimately implement any innovation must possess sufficient knowledge and skills to do the job (Rogers, 1995).

Effective training must be provided to all intended adopters. This includes not only technical aspects of innovative solutions, but also new behaviors, processes required to implement them and sustain the new ways of working.

While this seems completely obvious, the importance of this condition is often overlooked in education change efforts. Insufficient training of teachers and staff is one of the most common causes of failed adoption or discontinuation. (Ellsworth, 2000).

With the pace of innovation in education and learning tech accelerating, it is important to invest in adequate training and skill-building to facilitate adoption.


Ellsworth, J. B. (2000). Surviving Change: A Survey of Educational Change Models. Retrieved from

Prosci (2017). Applying the Prosci Model. Retrieved on September 7, 2017 from

Rogers, E. (1995). Diffusion of innovations, Fourth Edition. New York, NY: The Free Press


6 thoughts on “Condition 2: Knowledge and Skills Exist

  1. I just completed my company’s annual survey and one of the questions always asked is “I have the knowledge or skills to effectively do my job.” I find it amazing how often training is actually overlooked or put off until the very end. I think developing effective training programs correlates to the availability of time. I’ve been in situations were an innovation/change takes 1+ years to complete and then I find out a week before it’s to go live that I’m responsible for developing training. This something that should always be considered from the start of planning.

  2. When financial resources are scarce in higher education, I have found that training and professional learning opportunities are some of the first things sacrificed. I’ve also noticed, in my current professional context, that financial resources are allocated for the purchase of the technology innovation itself with little thought toward the costs associated with infrastructure, training, implementation project management, and long-term maintenance of the innovation. It’s no surprise, then, that the university doesn’t have a strong track record of success with technology implementation. By budgeting (and investing) additional funds up front for the necessary training and infrastructure associated with the technology innovation implementation, there could be hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential long-term savings because it would slow the revolving door of technology innovations being introduced.

    1. Agreed, project success metrics have got to extend beyond delivery on time and on budget, and include implementation and adoption success. In situation when a training module was provided during new technology roll-out, it felt like a “check the box” exercise rather than a true skill-building experience. Sitting through a passive workshop doesn’t translate to on-the-job performance.

      1. Similarly, “one and done” trainings when the innovation is first launched do little to help with long-term implementation and adoption. A commitment to ongoing trainings and other professional learning opportunities should be the foundation for the implementation of most technology innovations.

    2. One question I always face is “who’s going to pay for it?” When budgets are tight it seems like training always get sacrificed first.

      1. Yeah, budget conversations can be tough. From experience, this is almost always a “pay me now, or pay me later” scenario. A little investment upfront in making sure people are properly trained saves on a the price of mistakes, rework costs, etc. later. It is amazing how hard it can be to convince people to look past the “go live” date though.

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