Change is the corner stone for growth and organizations often embrace change by initiating new projects to help meet future goals.
For example, an organization that wants to grow its sales may decide to move from a manual process of managing contacts to installing a new CRM system for greater transparency.
Does this then require a project manager, a change manager, or both to drive the initiative?
The two are often confused, and at times not even considered, yet both are critical for success. A project manager must ensure all the technical aspects of a project are considered, while the change manager must ensure the organization faces the least disruption as possible from this new initiative .
The project manager must manage the scope, schedule, and budget and ensure the necessary tasks are completed so that the new CRM is installed successfully. The change manager must understand the people.
- What is the impact of the new system?
- Is there a communication plan in place?
- How will employees process the change?
While some people may be excited for the change, others may feel the old way was just fine. In this case, if the CRM is installed successfully, but the people do not use it, the end goals will never be met.
It’s important to understand the difference – and need – for these two positions.
Depending upon the scope and impact of the project, they may not, and should not, be the same person as each requires a depth of understanding and experience. In some cases, if an individual is adept at both, he/she may be able to wear both hats. However, if the impact is large enough, having a change manager in place will help ensure a smoother transition.
Change is a process of moving from a current state to a future state. It’s not always easy. Having the right people and the right roles can help ensure the changes made are maintained within the organization.