What is a Change Coordinator?

Carol Francois

The primary role of the change coordinator is to coordinate the flow of documents surrounding any changes to an ongoing project or large system. In order to be successful in this role, he or she must be detail-oriented, enjoy working with complex projects, and have excellent multi-tasking skills. Change management is the process of controlling and managing change, and this position is critical in this process.

Documents and communications related to changes to ongoing projects are often guided by a change coordinator.
Documents and communications related to changes to ongoing projects are often guided by a change coordinator.

There is no specific training program to become a change coordinator. Instead, the vast majority of employers require the change coordinator to have completed formal post-secondary eduction in a related field. This may include accounting, business, management, or computer information systems. These programs can be completed at either the university or community college level and usually take three to four years of full-time study.

Change coordinators must excel at multi-tasking.
Change coordinators must excel at multi-tasking.

The three main tasks for a change coordinator are the implementation of a change management process, designing the business process to support it, and ensuring compliance. The details of the process will vary, but there will always be the person requesting the change, the project manager responsible for reviewing the request, and the notification of the team of the status of the request. Most companies design a multi-part form or electronic work flow to manage this process.

There are two aspects to change management that must be in place for it to work properly: documentation of the request and appropriate approval. The documentation of the request must include the actual item to be changed, the business rational for the request, and the expected benefits and risks inherent with the request. All change must have a clear benefit, either by improving a process or fixing a problem.

The approval process is essential in change management, and it is the change coordinator's responsibility to ensure that all requests are approved by the appropriate person. By requiring approval from senior staff, all requests must be explained to a member of the management team, who may have a different perspective and see additional risks or benefits. In addition, this process reduces the risk that staff will request a change that will reduce internal controls.

Ensuring compliance is an important part of the change coordinator's role. He or she is responsible for issuing tracking numbers for changes and reviewing project plans to make sure all change requests have a number assigned to them. In addition, it is important to validate that the approver is responsible for the area that will be impacted by the change request. For example, the floor manager should not be able to approve a change request regarding the central financial system, as he or she is not responsible for that area.

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