Professionals who specialize in change management are in charge of overseeing projects and initiatives aimed at changing systems and processes that are critical to an organization’s success. Some change managers, for example, may focus on training employees to follow new policies and codes of conduct, while others may serve as project managers who assist employees in adjusting to new technology, such as information systems. Change managers typically work for consulting firms, where they are hired organizations to advise on and sometimes lead change initiatives, or for large corporations full-time. People who work as change managers typically have specialized knowledge in areas like information technology, employee training and management, and supply chain management and inventory control. It is also common for change managers to have multiple areas of specialization, such as a change manager who can assist an organization in implementing new information systems and training employees on how to effectively use those systems.
People who work as change managers are usually experts in their fields. They almost always have a bachelor’s degree in a related field and may also have a master’s degree. Change managers frequently have years of experience managing employees and acting as project managers in their respective fields. Change managers in the manufacturing industry, for example, may have engineering degrees and extensive experience as supply chain managers, negotiating with suppliers, designing inventory management systems, and performing logistical work related to distribution and transportation.
When people with change manager jobs work for themselves or for consulting firms, they usually meet with company executives to discuss problems and possible solutions. In these scenarios, the exact responsibilities of change managers are largely determined the hiring managers’ preferences. Change managers, for example, may be required to analyze production data, identify problems, recommend solutions, and supervise the implementation of these solutions, which may include employee training. In some cases, however, change managers may enter a process after solutions have already been determined, and they will only need to assist employees in adapting to the changes.
People who work as full-time change managers in large organizations frequently act as consultants to high-level executives as well as project managers for change initiatives. Human resource employees make up a large percentage of change managers. Employee training is a specialty of change managers in these situations.