Defining the Change Manager: Doing the Right Thing for our People

In my experience, a good, well set-up project with a significant scope will normally include the role of Change Manager. But this role often lacks a clear definition. While it’s seen as a core role for the delivery of a successful project, it’s often difficult for the project team to articulate its true purpose. Additionally, when a project hits hard times it can often be one of the first roles to be sacrificed, perhaps because of that struggle to articulate its purpose and hence value.

I recently attended a Prosci webinar hosted by their Chief Innovation Officer Tim Creasey, which explored how ADKAR can be used to support businesses with the current challenges they are facing. He used a phrase that I felt brilliantly summed up the core purpose of the Change Manager role – to ensure we are “doing the right thing for our people”.

Within project teams there are a variety of roles – each has a specific purpose and will follow a common process; focussing on the plan, current issues, reporting and budgets etc. The Project Manager and Change Manager should work hand in hand to deliver the future state, with the Project Manager focussing on the technical side and the Change Manager focussing on the people side. To use the ADKAR approach and language, the Change Manager has a particular focus on the Awareness and Desire elements of the model. Their remit is to concentrate on what it means for people to transition from the current to the future state and help them to understand “why” the change is being made.

For successful delivery of the project, each role requires the person doing it to have certain knowledge and experience and they will often bring with them scars from previous work! It’s up to the Change Manager to use their knowledge of processes, tools and techniques to manage the people side of change and create the required business outcome.

In Kwatee, we’re advocates of the ADKAR change management process and principles, and are strong believers that people are a business’s greatest asset. When it comes to transformation and transition, why wouldn’t a business want to do the best thing for its people and support them through any change they are making? For us, change management really isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ element but is an essential part of a successful project. It is key to making sure that we “Do the right thing for our people”.

If you want to find out more about our change management services, get in touch with our experts today.

Neil Holloway