Professionals who specialize in change management are responsible for overseeing projects and initiatives that are designed to change systems and processes essential to the success of an organization. For example, some people with change manager jobs might specialize in training employees to adhere to new practices and codes of conduct, while other change management specialists might act as project managers who help employees to adjust to using new technology, such as information systems. Change managers tend either to work for consultant firms, where they are contracted by organizations to consult and sometimes lead change initiatives, or they might also work full time for large organizations. People with change manager jobs usually have specific areas of expertise, such as information technology, employee training and management, and issues related to supply chain management and inventory control. It also is common for change managers to have multiple areas of specialization, such as a change manager who can help an organization to implement new information systems and train employees to use information systems effectively.
In most cases, people with change manager jobs tend to be experts in their fields. They almost always have undergraduate degrees in related disciplines and may also have graduate degrees. It also is common for change managers to have years upon years of experience managing employees and acting as project managers in their fields. For example, people with change manager jobs in the manufacturing industry might have degrees in engineering and might also have much experience as supply chain managers who negotiate with suppliers, design inventory management systems, and perform logistical work related to distribution and transportation.
When people with change manager jobs work independently or for consulting firms, they generally meet with managers of an organization and discuss issues, as well as possible solutions. The exact duties of change managers in these scenarios depend largely on the preferences of managers who hire them. For example, in some instances, change managers might be required to analyze production data, locate problems, suggest solutions, and oversee the implementation of these solutions, which might also include employee training. In other cases, however, change managers might enter a process at a point where solutions already have been decided upon, and they might only need to help employees to adapt to changes.
It is common for people who have full time change manager jobs in large organizations to act both as consultants to high level managers and as project managers for change initiatives. Many people with these kinds of change manager jobs are human resource employees. In these cases, change managers specialize in employee training.