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What Does a Change Management Manager Do?

Nick Mann
By Nick Mann
Updated May 17, 2024
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When a company begins work on a project to implement a major change, it will often utilize the services of a change management manager. It's the job of these individuals to make sure that changes go as smoothly as possible, preventng conflicts from arising. This career can result in a person working in a wide variety of industries and on numerous types of projects. Nonetheless, the primary responsibilities of a change management manager are essentially the same. These include identifying potential problems relating to changes, developing strategies to handle those problems, providing guidance to managers, assisting managers and evaluating employee readiness.

To be an effective change management manager, an individual's first duty usually involves identifying potential problems that could result from company change. For example, if a company is planning on installing new software to its computers, the change management manager would need to determine what types of obstacles employees might face when adapting to the new software. Employees may experience confusion, have difficulty navigating through the program or be reluctant to switch from the old software program.

Once he has pinpointed some potential problems, it's the change management manager's responsibility to develop strategies to handle those problems. For example, he may create a training program that acclimates employees to the new software program. He may also select a few employees to undergo in-depth training on the software in order to instruct other employees. The strategy that a change management manager develops can vary considerably from business to business, and must address the unique change issues of each company.

After he has developed some effective strategies, he will typically provide guidance to company managers. Since the managers will need to assist employees, it's imperative that those individuals thoroughly comprehend the new changes. In the case of a new software program, a change management manager may hold a meeting and provide managers with a tutorial before employees begin the training program. Along with this, he will usually provide assistance to managers during the initial phases of change implementation. This practice should make the process go smoothly and gradually get everyone on track.

Evaluating employee readiness is an additional aspect of being a change management manager. For example, he may create a test or questionnaire to determine how well employees understand the new software program. If he feels that the majority of employees comprehend it and are prepared, his job is basically done. Otherwise, he may have to provide additional instruction to certain employees or develop a different strategy.

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Discussion Comments

By nony — On Feb 10, 2012

@MrMoody - I agree in principle that you should pick an existing employee, but I don’t think the systems administrator is the guy for the job. The way I see it change management is the normal training process for anyone in a management role.

You don’t need to be a dedicated change management manager as such. All managers need to handle change; they are taught to introduce change, help employees transition into new roles if needed, and provide continuing support and feedback throughout the transition process.

By MrMoody — On Feb 10, 2012

@David09 - I think what helps is if the change management manager is someone who already works in the company in some existing capacity.

Take the example of the new software that the article talks about. It’s true that employees tend to be wedded to their old software programs. However, if you had an existing system administrator – someone who is familiar with the old system – step into the role of the change management manager, he can allay some frustrations.

Importantly he can show these employees aspects of the new program that are similar to the old program. I also think that he is less likely to be the brunt of any angst, as opposed to a total outsider, who is already suspect because of his outsider status.

By David09 — On Feb 09, 2012

The way I see it, you can be an agent of change, or you can be a manager of the change that is taking place. I think that the managers have it easier.

They are not the ones who are rocking the boat; the boat has already been rocked, they are just trying to steady the ship and help it to navigate the choppy waters.

Of course, whether you are the change agent or the manager of the change, you are not – in my opinion – going to be all that popular either way. Regardless of claims that you are “just the messenger” other employees will take out their frustrations on you; they won’t nuance their frustrations to distinguish between you and the real agents of change.

I’ve seen this happen over and over again in companies where I worked at.

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