Have you ever wondered what a change manager can do to help improve your business?
If yes, this article is for you, especially if you have struggled with keeping up with competitor changes and implementing necessary changes on time and at scale.
What is a Change Manager?
A change manager is a professional who helps organizations and teams manage change. Change managers can be internal or external.
They are often called upon to help with transitions, mergers, acquisitions, and downsizing. They also allow teams to improve productivity by improving their work together.
For example, an inner change manager may be hired by your company to help you make changes to your business processes and improve productivity.
Your company’s CEO may have brought in an external change manager to assist in a merger or acquisition that has taken place.
The purpose of a change manager is to ensure that any changes made by the organization are done so smoothly and without disruption to staff or customers alike. In addition, they serve as a liaison between management and staff during times of transition or restructuring within the company.
Most, if not all, change managers carry a graduate certificate of change management.
What Does a Change Manager Do?
The pace of business change continues to accelerate as organizations evolve to keep up with technological advances and respond to competitors’ disruptions.
Projects with efficient change management are more likely to be successful. As a result, the field of change management and the change management job market are overgrowing.
A change manager plays a crucial role in the success of the following:
- organizational change
- changes to business processes
- adaptation of technologies
- fixing of organizational structure
- defining job roles
- setting up systems
Their mission is to prepare the organization for change to realize its maximum benefits & ROI. They also mitigate any negative impacts on the business’ staff and customers.
Change managers implement strategies to ensure a faster adoption rate and minimize objections to change.
They also work with people across all levels of an organization.
So they may provide support and coaching advice to execs and managers to help them instil change in their teams and directly support project teams during the transition period.
Change Manager Responsibilities
- Develop change management plans for projects and change initiatives.
- Evaluate the impact of planned organizational change.
- Identify risks and develop risk mitigation tactics.
- Identify and manage anticipated resistance to change.
- Lead change management work streams with a structured methodology/process.
- Support the development of communications relevant to change initiatives.
- Provide coaching and training to employees at all levels.
- Define success metrics and measure performance against these.
- Provide reports and updates to management and various project teams.
What Skills Do They Need?
Change management has become more complex and cross-functional. Thus the skills effective change managers need to possess are growing.
This includes technical and soft skills such as:
- An excellent understanding of change management principles, techniques & tools.
- Effective facilitation and influencing skills.
- Strong stakeholder management skills.
- Conflict resolution and negotiation skills.
- Good listening and communications skills.
- Strong business acumen.
- Project management and planning skills.
- Analytical mindset and critical thinking.
- Able to cope with pressure.
- Good problem-solving skills.
- Team player & able to collaborate with others.
What Is The Distinction Between A Project Manager And A Change Manager?
Many people think that project managers and change managers have the same roles. But there is a clear distinction between the roles and responsibilities of each.
Project managers are more focused on what is being delivered and ensuring it is completed on time, within budget, and meets stakeholder expectations.
On the other hand, change managers concentrate on the impact of change in an organization. So, they aim to minimize the adverse effects and maximize the benefits of these changes.
This often involves focusing on the people side of change, such as identifying the impact on people, getting them ready for change, and handling any resistance to change.
How to Choose a Change Manager for Your Business
Choosing the correct change manager for your business can make or break its success. So here’s how to tell if they’re right for you.
The first thing you should do is figure out what kind of change management your company needs.
Is it going through a merger or acquisition? Do you need someone to help you shift from a traditional business model into something more digital? Or do you need someone who can manage the day-to-day operations of your company?
Once you’ve figured out what change management would benefit your team most, it’s time to start looking for potential candidates.
You should always hire someone with experience in their field, even if they have little experience working with your specific industry or organization.
Verify if their experience is relevant. So check their resume or CV. If they have relevant experience, they will be able to help you with your specific needs.
Determine they have empathy. A good change manager will be able to empathize with your business and its challenges to help them work through the changes in a way that works for everyone involved.
Check what kind of personality they have. It’s crucial for both parties involved in this relationship that they like each other and respect each other as people first, even if it’s only professionally.
This means that if there are personality clashes between them, it could end up detrimental for both parties involved.
Change is the one thing that you can be sure of in business. In business, you have to be able to adapt quickly and effectively to stay competitive and relevant.
You will always have to adjust and change as the market changes around you constantly. Unfortunately, this means that the way you do things now might not work in the future.
Working with a change manager is beneficial to help you cope with these changes. In addition, they can help you find ways to improve your business by making those changes happen smoothly and effectively.
Change managers can help you understand how to create and implement change within your company. In addition, they can help you build the structure needed for success, which is essential for making changes happen in the first place.
So, if you want to improve your business, hiring a change manager is one of the best ways.