A Change Manager plays a key role in ensuring that projects and initiatives within the organisation meet objectives on time and within budget. Different from the Project Manager, he or she will focus (even) more on the people-side of change, by increasing the adoption and usage by the employees. The Change Manager encourages and supports people to adjust business processes, systems and technology, job roles, organisational structures, and more.
The role of the Change Manager
Every organisation has specific needs and may fill in the role of the Change Manager differently. As the Change Manager is responsible for organizing and implementing structural and enterprise-wide change in processes, applications, frameworks, or methodologies, he/she can play multiple roles. This could be the role of a:
- Advisor to manage the stakeholders within the organisation
- Analyst to generate insightful information based on feedback and other statistical data
- Coach to get his/her vision of change across and develop ways in which employees can be trained
- Coordinator to align efforts with other specialists
- Facilitator to support and engage senior leaders
- Leader to guide teams to implement the change management processes and practices successfully
- Manager to oversee the change portfolio
- Practitioner to Evaluate and ensure user readiness
- Specialist to support change management at the organizational level
- Strategist to plan strategies around employees and departments for successful implementation of change
- Visionary to visualize the implementation of change
A Change Manager can be certified, although experience and the extent of Change Management expertise (what you have done and how effectively it has been) can be equally important for the role of a Change Manager.
The strategic perception of the role creates the expectation that the Change Manager will build internal capabilities for managing change, linked to training and development of staff. The transformational perception of the role is closer to a Programme Manager and involves identifying and managing multiple aspects of change together. The change perception of the role is about managing a single change, possibly as the result of a project, or managing change for a defined group of employees or customers.
The responsibilities of the Change Manager
A Change Manager has many responsibilities as a part of his job role. Being a Leader, a Visionary, Manager, Analyst and other roles each come with their own sets of responsibilities that a Change Manager is required to fulfill.
The Change Manager will:
- Apply a structured methodology and lead Change Management activities
- Be aware of the best practices and principles of effective Change Management
- Support and initiate communication efforts that help to create clarity on the required changes
- Conflict resolution between teams and among team members
- Assess the change impact and readiness, and identify key stakeholders for support
- Create performance metrics and analysis to see the progress of changes made
- Support training efforts with input on document requirements, design and delivery of training programs
- Continuously improve upon existing strategies and processes
The Change Manager’s goal is to drive faster adoption and create higher proficiency with the changes that impact employees who must use the changes in their daily work. These improvements increase value, ROI and higher achievement of expected outcomes.
The necessary skills of the Change Manager
- Understanding of how people go through a change process
- Experience with and knowledge of Change Management principles, methodologies and tools
- Exceptional communication skills
- Excellent active listening skills
- Ability to clearly articulate messages to a variety of audiences
- Ability to establish and maintain strong relationships
- Ability to influence others to move toward a common goal
- Flexible and adaptable
- Resilient and persevering
- Forward looking
- Organized with an eye for strategy and tactics
- Problem solving
- Able to work effectively at all levels of an organisation
- Team player
- Familiar with Project Management tools
- Experienced with large-scale organizational change efforts
Change Management is not a simple process. It requires dedicated time, effort, and resources in order to be successful. Organisations need to realize the importance of following proper guidelines and best practices according to Change Management principles. There are different Change Management certifications, offered by different organisations.
Source: APMG – What’s the role of a Change Manager?
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Do you want to deepen your understanding on these concepts and become a Change Manager? QRP International organises Change Management courses. Visit our site or write to us for more information!