But WHAT exactly does a Change Manager do?
Prosci | The Global Leader in Change Management Solutions is an organisation that focusses on helping people and organisations build change management capabilities. They have some great articles on Change Management if you have time to peruse them, but for the purpose of keeping this article brief here is the Prosci Job Description which defines the Roles and Responsibilities of a Change Manager.
Roles and responsibilities of a Change Manager
The change manager will:
- Apply a structured methodology and lead change management activities
Leverage a change management methodology, process and tools to create a strategy to support adoption of the changes required by a project or initiative.
- Support communication efforts
Enable the design, development, delivery and management of key communications.
- Assess the change impact
Conduct impact analyses, assess change readiness, and identify key stakeholders.
- Support training efforts
Provide input, document requirements, and support the design and delivery of training programs.
- Complete change management assessments
- Identify, analyse and prepare risk mitigation tactics
- Identify and manage anticipated and persistent resistance
- Consult and coach project teams
- Create actionable deliverables for the core change management plans: Sponsor Plan, People Manager Plan, Communications Plan, and Training Plan
- Create actionable deliverables for any required “Extend” plans, such as the Resistance ManagementPlan
- Support and engage senior leaders
- Coach people managersand supervisors
- Support organizational design and definition of roles and responsibilities
- Coordinate efforts with other specialists
- Integrate change management activities into the project plan
- Evaluate and ensure user readiness
- Manage stakeholders
- Track and report issues
- Define and measure successmetrics and monitor change progress
- Support change management at the organizational level
- Manage the change portfolio
As you can see, the change activities are immense.
Some Project Managers have a ‘dual hat’ role, which is managing not only the project, but putting a change management lens on the project to ensure that people adopt the change. Typically, dual hat roles are on projects that are small to mid-sized and not too complex. As you can see above, the full range of activities that a Change Manager is responsible for is huge and having both PM and CM responsibility would be a mammoth task, and not achievable on a large and complex program. If that was the case, the Project Manager is best to bring in a Change Manager to partner with and work closely with.
At some companies Operational Business Managers have also been involved in some Change activities (or utilized a structured change approach) on their internal projects, but again, for medium to large programs that have a lot of complexity, a dedicated Change Manager would be the best solution. If this is not feasible, then a Change Manager on an advisory part time basis may work best. This ensures the Business Manager can manage their own workload as well as have expert advice and guidance (course correct you could say) from an experienced Change Management perspective.
Getting the best results
Working with a specialized Change Management Recruitment agency is beneficial in sourcing your right Change Manager. I often consult with clients around the size of the change and give them recommendations on experience they need and also what they need to budget for this resource. If you haven’t hired a Change practioner in the past – often you don’t know what you don’t know, so having someone knowledgeable about the role and the market would ensure you get the right result.
If you think your organisation could need a Change Manager, let us talk further to find out what level of expertise you may require.