Change management is becoming increasingly important as organizations change more rapidly to keep up with both technological advances and their competitors. Change management deals with the people side of change and focuses on a smooth transition to the new state while minimizing resistance. Because of this, organizations that use effective change management strategies are more likely to successfully implement change.
Change managers play a key role in implementing change and ensuring a change initiative’s success. By managing the change process, they ensure organizations make successful transitions and avoid the high rate of failure associated with implementing change initiatives.
This article discusses the position of a change manager, roles and responsibilities that come along with the title, and other aspects the job entails.
What Does a Change Manager Do?
Change Manager Roles and Responsibilities vary across different organizations and the specific change initiatives being implemented. While specifics may differ, there are general responsibilities that remain consistent across roles. These are the roles and responsibilities we have discussed in this article.
An organization’s transition may include changes to technologies, processes, systems, jobs, organizational structure, etc. A change manager ensures the organization’s readiness to change and is tasked with maximizing return on investment and benefits while minimizing negative effects and resistance.
Change managers devise change management strategies that aim to make change implementation faster and deal with resistance effectively. They are in charge of all aspects of the change management process, from identifying organizational and employee readiness to implementation and post-implementation evaluation.
According to Prosci, “a change manager plays a key role in ensuring that organizational projects and initiatives meet objectives on time and budget by increasing employee adoption and usage.” Furthermore, depending on the organization, a change manager may report to the CTO or HR.
If the change is particularly significant, the change manager may report to the CEO. The number of people working on change management also differs from organization to organization. Larger organizations may have many roles or teams dedicated to change management efforts while smaller organizations may have a single person in charge of change management roles and responsibilities.
It should also be noted that change managers don’t work with a specific group of people – they work with individuals across all levels of an organization. This includes senior management, middle management, and even team members.
Change managers provide support to management and advise them on how to best guide their teams through change and support individual teams by easing their transition. A change manager may or may not be responsible for supervising teams, but one of the many responsibilities they are tasked with is that of helping senior leaders and executives become change management sponsors.
Ultimately, change managers drive the adoption of changes and encourage proficiencies that allow employees to utilize changes. This benefits the organization by maximizing return on investment, benefits realization, and ensures that outcomes and results are achieved.
Change Manager vs. Project Manager: What’s the Difference?
Change Manager Roles and Responsibilities are often confused with those of project managers. However, the roles differ considerably. While both focus on organizational change, project managers deal with systems and processes and ensure timeliness, delivery, budget, and meeting stakeholder expectations.
On the other hand, change managers deal with the people side of change and focus on guiding teams through the transition to minimize resistance and maximize benefits.
Focusing on the people side of change includes preparing individuals for change, supporting them through the process, and equipping them with the tools, information, and competencies needed for successful change adoption. In addition to determining the impact of change, change managers focus on change readiness and successful implementation.
Change Manager Roles and Responsibilities
The following are some of the roles and responsibilities that come along with being a change manager.,
- Determining the change impact on the organization and individuals by conducting impact analyses, change readiness assessments, and identifying key stakeholders
- Developing change management plans
- Identifying risks and coming up with strategies to minimize risks
- Identifying resistance and devising strategies to deal with resistance
- Developing structured change management processes and strategies to support change adoption
- Working with teams to implement change management strategies
- Supporting and engaging senior leaders
- Managing stakeholders
- Ensuring effective change management communication by developing the design, delivery, development, and management of communication efforts
- Determining and defining metrics to measure the change initiative’s success and measuring performance and progress
- Tracking and reporting issues that arise
- Providing training and coaching to managers and employees and supporting training efforts by designing and implementing training programs
- Consulting and coaching project teams
- Managing the change portfolio
- Updating management and teams as the change management plans change
Summary and Conclusion
A change manager may be known by many names, including a change management consultant, change management analyst, change management specialist, business readiness lead, business transition analyst, change realization lead, implementation specialist, and more.
However, despite the many different formal titles associated with this job and varying specifics from organization to organization, one thing remains clear – change managers are a vital part of effective change implementation and Change Manager Roles and Responsibilities can mean the difference between success and failure in organizational change.
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