The Business Change Manager: What Is Their Role and How Important Are They?

The Business Change Manager: What Is Their Role and How Important Are They?
5 (100%) 4 votes

Change is inevitable, but the road to change can be a rocky one. There will be unique challenges along the way, but fortunately a business change manager can stabilize transitions and address common issues.

They are responsible for defining the benefits of, assessing progress, and achieving improvements in business operations. Before we look at how important a business change manager is, let’s begin by evaluating the role.

What is the Purpose of a Business Change Manager?

The Business Change Manager (BCM) has a benefits-focused role, looking at projects that deliver benefits in their own right. Because change is so crucial to an organization’s long term success, an increased demand for change projects has cemented the BCM role at the center of a company’s strategic vision. They serve as a bridge between projects and business operations, and if multiple initiatives are created, organizations can choose to employ more than one BCM.

What Are Their Responsibilities?

  • Ensuring the change project is instigated in the best interests of the organization.
  • Obtaining assurance the delivery of new capability matches the realization of benefits.
  • Working in liaison with the program manager to ensure projects generate operational benefits.
  • Identify, define, and track benefits and outcomes.
  • Ensure maximum improvements are achieved with each project, so new business operations deliver value.
  • Leading activities relating to benefits realization, so that long-term benefits can be accurately achieved and measured.
  • Establishing mechanisms.
  • Taking control of transition management, ensuring change is integrated with the business.
  • Optimizing the timing of the release of project deliverables.

What Skills Do Business Change Managers Need?

  • The BCM that’s appointed should draw skills from relevant business areas. If aspects of the change project align with their everyday duties, it will be easier to enact and encourage change, which will ultimately become embedded in organizational culture.
  • They should have detailed knowledge of the business environment, with direct experience. By understanding the culture of the organization, they can take ownership over the project.
  • Have effective marketing and communication skills. These are essential for selling a vision to fellow employees.
  • Knowledge of change management models and relevant business change techniques.

Is Business Change Management Important?

Business change management has gained traction in recent years, mostly due to the rapidly advancing nature of business processes. This has a lot to do with digital evolution, where staff are required to constantly adapt to new work environments.

When companies are rooted in the past, it’s difficult to progress in the digital realm. Outdated companies who don’t use business change managers can get left behind. Their importance lies not only in implementing change, but influencing reluctant employees who struggle to accept change.

The concept has grown in prominence over the past three years, where there is a greater demand for people who can coordinate change projects. The elevation of acquisitions and mergers has encouraged a sharp rise in the profession, alongside a demand for updating systems and processes in alignment with technological advancements. Other reasons for change management include branding, culture, and organizational restructure. These critical decisions call for structured support, which can be offered by capable change managers.

In an area where negative culture can kill organizations, change managers play a crucial role in changing the outlook on change. This can be viewed from a psychological perspective, where behavioral change is vital to break the perception it brings fear and uncertainty.

Ushering in a New Era of Change Management

In yesteryear, companies would reach out to consultancies to help them through change. Though outsourcing has its benefits, change is best executed internally, and is an evolving concept that requires constant attention. Change used to happen every 36 months, but today change happens all the time. Business leaders are now using in-house change managers on a permanent basis.

Change projects once moved quickly, meaning organizations could lean on temporary change managers before moving onto the next project. Today, significant resources are dedicated to change, which is implemented gradually with a focus on continuous improvement. Though businesses must think quickly, due care and attention must be given to change projects, with a focus on long-term sustainability.

Permanent change vacancies are on the rise, providing a great opportunity for change managers. Those with formal education are at an advantage, and with years of valuable experience you’ll be best positioned for success. An increased demand has led to slightly inflated salaries, so if change management is your field of expertise, you’d be wise to strike while the iron’s hot! Business change managers are essential for growth because they can bring some method to the madness change brings!

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
Christopher Smith on sablinkedinChristopher Smith on sabgoogleChristopher Smith on sabfacebook