Demystifying Change Management Roles

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Job titles in organizational change management can be confusing!

Here’s your definitive guide to the key roles in change management

Change Analyst

 

Change Analysts are often the first line of defense in the world of organizational change management roles. They play a vital role in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data related to the impending change. This includes conducting surveys, gathering feedback from employees, and assessing the current state of the organization. Their primary objective is to provide valuable insights and data-driven recommendations that inform the change strategy.

In most organizations, the ‘Change analyst’ is the first rung on the ladder in change management roles. Change Analysts typically formally work under a Change Manager. In practice, their day-to-day activities are directed by a more senior Change Manager.

Change Analysts get involved in many areas of change. They focus on impact analysis and gathering change metrics. Another particularly important task conducted by Change Analysts is gathering and maintaining the stakeholder (end user audience) list. In many organizations, collating this list can be an onerous, never-ending chore.

Key Responsibilities of Change Analysts:

  • Data collection and analysis.
  • Employee surveys and feedback.
  • Identifying change readiness.
  • Recommending areas for improvement.
  • Providing insights to support decision-making.

These roles are integral to the overall change process, ensuring that organizations have the necessary data and insights to make informed decisions and successfully navigate through changes.

ChangePlan helps Change Analysts by automatically keeping stakeholder lists up to date, synching with organizations’ people directories. Read more

 

 

 

Change Manager

 

Change Managers are the orchestrators of the change process. They use their experience and expertise to deliver Change outcomes that support project success. Change Managers typically have a standard set of tools and an approach they utilize, which may or may not include a proprietary third-party methodology.

They take the insights and recommendations provided by Change Analysts and translate them into actionable plans. Change Managers may be managed by a Change Lead, Change Director, or the Project Manager. Ideally, they work in tandem with these roles to ensure a holistic approach to change management.

Their role is to develop, communicate, and implement the change strategy in a way that minimizes resistance and ensures a smooth transition. In addition to devising appropriate training, communications, and engagements to support affected groups, Change Managers are responsible for tracking adoption and reporting their findings to leaders and the project team.

Key Responsibilities of Change Managers:

  • Developing change plans and strategies.
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication.
  • Mitigating resistance.
  • Monitoring progress and adjusting plans as needed.
  • Ensuring the project stays on track.

While Change Managers play a pivotal role in supporting project success, they typically do not make decisions that impact the project’s direction or how project governance is managed. Their focus is on facilitating the change process, ensuring that the organization transitions smoothly through the changes implemented.

ChangePlan supports Change Managers by providing them with a single view of change, preventing rework caused by re-creating standard views & reporting in PowerPoint. Read more

 

 

 

Change Lead

 

Change Leads are often subject matter experts in a particular area of the change initiative. They are responsible for guiding their respective teams or departments through the change process, bringing a deep understanding of the change’s intricacies to the table. Change Leads work closely with Change Managers to ensure that department-specific needs and concerns are addressed, making their knowledge invaluable in driving successful implementation.

A Change Leader will often work alongside the Project Manager rather than reporting to them. In larger organizations, they may be governed or guided by a Change Practice, also known as a Change Management Office (CMO), sometimes supported by Change Analysts.

Change Leaders are expected to influence the way change is delivered, drawing from their experience and expertise in the specific domain. In a change-mature organization, Change Leaders may use an existing framework or methodology, while in a less mature organization, they might need to establish one from scratch.

Typically, Change Leaders work on one project, often managing multiple streams within it. However, there are instances when they juggle multiple projects simultaneously.

One of the biggest challenges for Change Leaders is maintaining consistency in change delivery to benchmark and track the success of individual projects. Unfortunately, depending on the organization’s size, Change Leaders may not always receive the exposure they deserve at C-suite level conversations.

Key Responsibilities of Change Leads:

  • Department-specific change leadership.
  • Liaison between teams and Change Managers.
  • Ensuring team readiness.
  • Providing subject matter expertise.
  • Identifying and addressing departmental challenges.

Change Leads bridge the gap between subject matter expertise and change management, ensuring that the specific needs of their departments are met while aligning with the broader change strategy.

Digital solutions like ChangePlan ensure that Change Leads are across all of the activities of their Change team and have real-time access to the reports they need to present to Executives & Business Leaders.

 

 

Change Director

 

Change Directors hold a comprehensive view of organizational change initiatives. They oversee multiple change projects within an organization, ensuring alignment with the organization’s strategic objectives. Change Directors are responsible for setting the overall direction of change management efforts, securing necessary resources, and monitoring the progress of various projects. They work closely with senior leadership to ensure that change initiatives support the company’s long-term vision.

Change Directors are concerned with uplifting change capabilities and change maturity in the company. They typically fulfill one of two roles:

  1. Change outcomes in a large project: They oversee multiple Change Managers, communications professionals, and instructional designers, all reporting to them. Their role is pivotal in ensuring that large-scale change initiatives are executed successfully.
  2. Running a change management practice: In this capacity, they direct Change Managers who work on different projects across the organization. This approach allows them to standardize change methodologies and best practices, fostering consistency in change management.

Key Responsibilities of Change Directors:

  • Aligning change initiatives with organizational strategy.
  • Resource allocation.
  • Monitoring and reporting on multiple projects.
  • Collaborating with senior leadership.
  • Risk management and contingency planning.

Change Directors play a crucial role in not only ensuring the success of individual change projects but also in elevating the organization’s overall change capabilities and maturity. They use tools like ChangePlan to manage and measure the impact of change while simultaneously handling multiple projects across the organization.

 

Head of Transformation

 

The Head of Transformation, also known as the Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) or Chief Change Officer (CCO), holds the highest-ranking executive position responsible for driving and overseeing all aspects of transformation within an organization. This role combines strategic thinking with strong leadership skills to facilitate major organizational shifts, often involving cultural, technological, or structural changes. The Head of Transformation works directly with the CEO and the board of directors to shape the organization’s future.

Heads of Transformation are responsible for looking at making significant changes to a company’s roadmap. Although the Head of Transformation role is often a career progression for a Change Manager, it is not usually a traditional Change role.

Changes proposed by the Head of Transformation will be realized as projects, with the change team playing a crucial role in bringing them to fruition. However, the Head of Transformation operates strategically at a senior level in an organization.

Key Responsibilities of the Head of Transformation:

  • Leading transformation strategy development.
  • Aligning transformation efforts with business objectives.
  • Executive leadership and advocacy for change.
  • Resource allocation and budget oversight.
  • Ensuring the long-term sustainability of change efforts.

The Head of Transformation bridges the gap between high-level strategic vision and the practical execution of transformation initiatives, making them a pivotal figure in an organization’s evolution. They use dashboards such as those generated by digital solutions like ChangePlan to monitor Enterprise and Portfolio-wide Change.


At ChangePlan we’re encouraged by how we see Change Management becoming a “must-have” rather than a “nice-to-have” for project success. We are also excited to be able to support more Change professionals to gain more influence at the C-Suite level.

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