The WHO of Change Management

October 26, 2016   |  Tags: Blog   |  Tags: Leadership , Culture
Jennifer Hendrickson

Who are the Change Management (CM) practitioners in an organization?  Like the definition of what change management is, this answer is varied.

In some organizations, there are designated CM professionals. Their title specifically encompasses this practice and its part of the overt cultural and functional understanding of the organization. They may be deployed to specific projects; work in tandem with a project manager (PM) or project management team; or as part of a process improvement team of professionals (Lean and Six Sigma) who are looking for ways to improve organizational functions and processes.

Change Mangers often work in tandem with a company’s Project Management Office (PMO) on a myriad of projects of varying scale (departments, divisions, organization, or enterprise wide).  In some organizations, the project manager has change management as part of their role.  This is an evolving theme for project management and project management organizations.  Early results show it can be difficult to manage both in one role. Having a separate change manager for the process, working together with a project manager, is usually most effective.  That tandem partnership could entail two PMs if the person assigned to do change management is an experienced change management practitioner.  Many project management certifications now include aspects of change management principles, which greatly enhances the PM’s ability to understand the process and partner effectively with CM professionals or take on the CM role as needed.

Change managers may also be housed within an organization’s Human Resources department.  They are frequently part of the Organizational Development and Design team and help identify and support larger HR strategic objectives (reorganization, redeployment and training, retooling, etc.) in service to creating and maintaining a larger, human focused framework specifically designed to support both the existing organizational function and the larger, strategic vision of the company which requires a fleet change strategy.

Information Technology (IT) is another area where you might find a dedicated change manager or change management team.  You will usually find this in larger organizations where IT is organization or enterprise-wide.  Their role is to ensure the adoption of technological changes, both within the IT structure and the departments or divisions affected by IT changes, to ensure uptake of new programs and processes.

Prosci is a well know Change Management training program. There are a variety of others. These programs provide the philosophical basis of change management as well as practical tools and strategies for working with teams to ensure effective adoption and outcomes. There is also a change management body for practitioners called the Association for Change Management Professionals (ACMP) that has growing and vital chapters here in the Pacific NW and around the world.

Jennifer Hendrickson joined the Q Corp team in March 2016 is a Program Director with the Patient-Centered Primary Care Institute.  She brings a passion for strategy, innovation, public health, and change management to her role focusing on the Extension Program. Jennifer has held a variety of roles in her health care career, including Providence Health and Services and, most recently, at Health Share of Oregon.  Her career spans work in change management, project management and health care transformation and she is a Communications Management graduate of the University of Portland.  In her free time, you can find her spending time with family and friends, hanging out at Powell’s (or any available book store), walking her two loveable mutts, reading, eating or drinking chocolate, and cheering on the Portland Trail Blazers.