The role of a change manager
Day to day, what does being a Change Manager involve?
Day to day it is about managing workload, stakeholders and being part of a team that works through challenges and solves problems. You may have a plan for the day but it is important to be flexible to deal with anything that might come up.
How do you plan to address your workload?
A few years ago, I learnt to plan at the end of the day for the following day and on Friday plan for the following week. By doing this at the end of your day, you start the morning fresh, organised and ready to go. It will also enable you to deal with any morning chaos with minimum stress as you know what priorities you can move around. It is important to work closely with your Project Manager, business lead or key stakeholder – if you understand what they require, you can respond quickly. I like having a timeline up on a board with key actions visible for all to see. It creates a great talking point for stakeholders and visitors into your team.
How has your career developed in change management?
It has been an interesting journey. When I became a Change Manager, the industry was not very well known or understood - trying to explain my role (whilst I was trying to understand it myself) was challenging. I was fortunate to get a mentor early and was provided with structured training which gave me a solid foundation of structure and process. I have developed my professional skills through a range of roles over many years, moving from a permanent change role working within PMO's, to contracting across industries, setting up a change practice and being accredited to train others. Most recently I have established my own business (i.u.we, holistic change capability) focusing on developing change capability for individuals, projects, teams and across organisations.
Do you have any advice for others looking to develop a career in change management?
Every life experience provides you with the opportunity to put theory into practice, experiment, reflect and learn from your experiences. Start with what you know and find a mentor who can guide you. Take stock of your skills, experience and knowledge and be honest with your development. Build relationships and be genuine. I'm a big believer in discretionary effort - give without expecting anything back.
It is also important to remember tangible skills - communication and a training background are useful, analytics, business acumen are important.
Obtain some formal qualifications - join the ACMP - we can support you!
What do you think is the benefit of joining the Association of Change Management Professionals?
ACMP is a global network with a local focus. The association is change methodology neutral and provides a change management standard and certified qualification - the Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP) - which enables professional excellence through ongoing professional development opportunities, regular community gatherings and a fun relaxed environment to meet like minded individuals.
Beverly Andrews specialises in organisational & project based change management, training solutions and exceptional stakeholder communications. She is currently exploring the initiation of the ACMP Perth Chapter and previously the chapter lead for the Perth CMI.