Our last article, Key Competencies of an Effective Change Manager, defined change management and focused on the skills and competencies needed by a Change Manager to succeed. We also highlighted the need for the Change Manager to focus on facilitating adoption and use of the change and ensuring those impacted are well equipped and supported to ensure the desired outcome of the change.
We clarified that the Change Manager needs to understand the discipline and dynamics of change and how individuals, teams, and organisations respond or react to change. Finally, we highlighted the need to have a structured methodology and a good knowledge of the tools one can deploy to move the organisation out of the current state and into the desired future state.
In East Africa, change management is relatively younger than other disciples like project management. This results in most of its responsibilities being appended to the role of an individual with other substantive responsibilities such as in human resources, learning, and development, project management, business analysis etc.
As organisations increase their awareness of the importance of change management and its ability to deliver successful change initiatives, several are opting to create substantive change management positions in their organisational structures. This reflects a clear understanding of its growing importance. However, there is still debate on the right structural position and we will explore the current trends soon.
The 2018 Prosci© change management research asked participants whether their organisations had a permanent position or job role specific to change management. 49% of the study population, had a permanent position or job role specific to change management and 63% had only had permanent change management positions for a maximum of three years. When asked how many initiatives they supported, the majority (63%) reported they were supporting two to four projects.
The common job titles for the position included:
- Change Manager
- Organisational Change Manager
- Senior Change Management Advisor
- Change Management Consultant
- Change Lead
- Business Change Consultant
Other titles assigned include:
- Change Coordinator
- Transformation Lead
- Transformation Manager
- Benefits Realisation Manager
This article delves into the roles and responsibilities of a change manager. We seek to provide a solid foundation for anyone tasked to develop a change management job description that can also be adapted to the scope or terms of reference for a change consultant. Additionally, the responsibilities can be adapted to the seniority of the resource.
Change managers do not work in isolation nor are they solely responsible for implementing change. Several others play critical roles and must work in harmony with the Change Manager for successful change initiatives. Though this is not the focus of today’s piece, leadership teams, line managers, change agents, project teams, and subject matter experts cannot absolve themselves from the responsibility of change management and place the burden of success on the Change Manager alone. All must work together to each fulfill their unique responsibilities, support, and equip those affected by the change.
Also Read: 3 Things We Know About People and Change
A Change Manager is typically facilitating the implementation of several types of changes and applying a structured methodology that would be adapted to a technology change, restructuring, merger, remote working, digitisation, or changes that affect suppliers or customers.
What is the job of a Change Manager?
The primary function of a Change Manager is to facilitate the adoption and use of change initiatives by employees, suppliers, or customers. They are an enabler of change and the frameworks they use lead to improvements in benefits realisation and value creation.
The Change Manager’s specific tasks include but are not limited to the following;
- Conducting change assessments –Determine the impact of change on the affected community, the overall organisational readiness to embrace the change, and identify inherent risks through well-targeted assessments.
- Develop change management strategies and plans –Craft appropriate detailed strategies and plans that will move the organisation from its current state to the desired future state based on the results of the assessments.
- Develop change scorecard – Develop a clear, understandable assessment measures and metrics to monitor and evaluate the change process.
- Coordinate change activities –Organise, track, and report on the change implementation activities with all affected groups.
- Identify and manage change risks – Recognise the change risks and develop mitigation, monitoring, and evaluation strategies that can be tracked and reported throughout the implementation period.
- Manage and engage stakeholders –Drive, manage, and support engagement activities with the different stakeholder groups affected. This will take different forms including and not limited to coaching, training or facilitation.
- Support change communication –The nature of the change will determine the combination of internal/external communications. The Change Manager supports the design, development, and implementation of all communication about the change to ensure clarity.
- Support Change Training –Working closely with internal or external trainers, one must support, design, and deliver appropriate training initiatives in the agreed timelines to ensure the changes are completed as required.
- Change Portfolio Management – The Change Manager may also be responsible for the management of a portfolio of changes across the organisation.
Written By Nyawera Kibuka
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