The role of the Business Change Manager is primarily benefits-focused. The Business Change Manager role is responsible, on behalf of the Senior Responsible Owner, for defining the benefits, assessing progress towards realisation, and achieving measured improvements.
This need to define and realise benefits in terms of measured improvements in business performance means that the Business Change Manager role must be ‘business-side’, in order to provide a bridge between the programme and business operations.
On many programmes, change will effect different parts of the organisation. In such situations there should be a team of Business Change Managers, one for each business area. Specific responsibilities of the role include:
- ensuring the interests of the sponsoring group are met by the programme;
- obtaining assurance for the sponsoring group that the delivery of new capability is compatible with realisation of the benefits;
- working with the programme manager to ensure that the work of the programme, including the scoping of each project, covers the necessary aspects required to deliver the products or services that will lead to operational benefits;
- working with the programme manager to identify projects that will contribute to realising benefits and achieving outcomes;
- identifying, defining and tracking the benefits and outcomes required by the programme;
- identifying and implementing the maximum improvements in business operations (both extant and newly created) as groups of projects deliver their products or services into operational use;
- managing the realisation of benefits, and ensuring that continued accrual of benefits can be achieved and measured after the programme has been completed;
- establishing and implementing the mechanisms by which benefits can be realised and measured;
- taking the lead on transition management; ensuring that ‘business as usual’ is maintained during the transition and the changes are effectively integrated into the business;
- preparing the affected business areas for the transition to new ways of working; potentially implementing new business processes;
- optimising the timing of the release of project deliverables into business operations.
As the programme progresses, the Business Change Manager is responsible for monitoring outcomes against what was predicted.
Desired Skills and Experience
The individual, or individuals appointed as Business Change Manager(s) should be drawn from the relevant business areas. Suitable individuals are likely to have ongoing operational responsibilities within their business areas.
Their participation in the programme should be an integral part of their normal responsibilities, to enable changes resulting from the programme to be firmly embedded in the organisation.
- detailed knowledge of the business environment and direct business experience;
- understanding of the management structures, politics and culture of the organisation(s) involved in the programme;
- management skills to co-ordinate personnel from different disciplines and with differing viewpoints;
- effective marketing and communication skills to sell the programme vision to staff at all levels of the business;
- change management skill and enough experience to be able to bring order to complex situations and maintain focus on the programmes objectives;
- knowledge of business change techniques, such as business process-re-engineering;
- knowledge of benefits identification, modelling and management techniques.