Change manager job description

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What does a change manager do?

The rate of change in business continues to accelerate as organisations evolve to keep up with technological advances and in response to disruption from competitors. Projects with effective change management are far more likely to be successful, and as a result, the discipline of change management and the change management job market is growing rapidly.

A change manager plays a key role in the success of organisational change such as changes to business processes, technologies, organisational structure, job roles and systems. Their mission is to prepare the organisation for change to realise maximum benefits & ROI and to mitigate any negative impacts to both internal staff and external customers. They implement change management strategies to ensure a faster rate of adoption and minimising resistance to change.

Change managers work with people across all levels of an organisation. They may provide support and coaching advice to execs and people managers to help them instill change in their teams, as well as directly supporting project teams during the transition period.

 

What is the difference between a change manager and a project manager?

Change managers focus on the impact of change. They aim to minimise the negative effects and maximise the benefits of organisational change. This often involves focusing on the people side of change – identifying the impact on people, getting them ready for change, and handling any resistance to change.

Project managers on the other hand are more focused on what is actually being delivered and ensuring it is completed on time, to budget and meets stakeholder expectations.

Change manager responsibilities

  • Developing change management plans for projects and/or change initiatives.
  • Evaluating the impact of planned organisational change.
  • Identifying risks and developing risk mitigation tactics.
  • Identifying and managing anticipated resistance to change.
  • Leading change management work streams with a structured methodology / process.
  • Supporting development of communications relevant to change initiatives.
  • Providing coaching and training to employees at all levels.
  • Defining success metrics and measuring performance against these.
  • Providing reporting and other updates to management and project teams.

What skills does a change manager need to have?

As change management becomes more complex and cross-functional, the skills effective change managers need to possess are growing. This includes a mix of technical and soft skills such as:

  • Good understanding of change management principles, techniques & tools.
  • Effective facilitation and influencing skills.
  • Strong stakeholder management skills.
  • Conflict resolution and negotiation skills.
  • Good listening and communications skills.
  • Strong business acumen.
  • Project management and planning skills.
  • Analytical mindset and critical thinking.
  • Able to cope with pressure.
  • Good problem-solving skills.
  • Team player & able to collaborate with others.

Common change management terms

  • As-is
  • Baseline
  • Benefit
  • Best practice
  • Change curve
  • Change initiative
  • Change management
  • Change readiness
  • Coaching
  • Communication plan
  • Communication strategy
  • Current state
  • Dis-benefit
  • Future state
  • Gap analysis
  • GROW
  • Incremental change
  • Individual change management
  • Lagging indicator
  • Leading indicator
  • Learning programs
  • Organisational change management
  • Readiness
  • Resistance
  • Reskilling
  • Retention
  • Risk
  • Rollout
  • Sponsor
  • Stakeholder
  • Step change
  • Stretch goal
  • Target
  • Transformation
  • Transition state
  • Vision

What qualifications does a change manager need?

Requirements will vary depending on the role, but many change managers often have a degree in a field such as business, economics, management, organisational change management or human resources. Certifications in change management from a recognised body such as Prosci will be highly regarded.

Previous experience in change management or similar positions is a bonus, as is experience and knowledge of project management best practice. Candidates will also require sound understanding of the principles and practices of change management methodologies.

Who does a change manager report to?

A change manager may report to different people depending on the type and size of organisation they are working in, and the project they are working on. In some businesses a change manager will report directly to the CEO, particularly if the organisational change is significant. Alternatively they may report into a CTO/CIO for major IT projects or to the Human Resources Director.

How much does a change manager earn?

Depending on their level of experience and seniority, change managers can earn between AUD90-240k per year in a permanent role, or AUD450-1600 per day as a contractor.​

Sydney

Change Management
Permanent (AUD/000)
Contracting (AUD/day)
Financial Services
Change Director
180 - 240
1,200 - 1,600
Change Lead
155 - 190
1,100 - 1,300
Senior Change Manager
135 - 155
900 - 1,100
Change Manager
115 - 135
800 - 900
Change Analyst
90 - 115
650 - 800
Change Communications Lead
130 - 180
900 - 1,000
Change Communications Manager
100 - 150
700 - 900
Technical Writer
85 - 110
400 - 625
Learning and Development Specialist
95 - 130
450 - 800
Trainer
95 - 130
450 - 800
Commerce and Professional Services
Change Director
200 - 230
1,200 - 1,500
Change Lead
155 - 190
1,000 - 1,200
Senior Change Manager
135 - 150
900 - 1,100
Change Manager
110 - 130
800 - 900
Change Analyst
80 - 110
450 - 600

Melbourne

Change Management
Permanent (AUD/000)
Contracting (AUD/day)
Change Manager
120 – 160
750 – 1,200
Change Analyst
100 – 120
600 – 750

Brisbane

Change Management
Permanent (AUD/000)
Contracting (AUD/hr)
IT Change Manager (Junior)
80 - 100
90 - 105
IT Change Manager (Mid Weight)
100 - 140
105 - 120
IT Change Manager (Senior)
140 - 200
120 - 160

Newcastle

Change Management
Permanent (AUD/000)
Contracting (AUD/hr)
Change Manager
120 - 140
80 - 100
Change Analyst
90 - 110
60 - 70
Change Communications Lead
120 - 140
80 - 100
Change Communications Manager
140 - 160
100 - 120
Change Lead
150 - 160
100 - 120
Senior Change Manager
140 - 160
100 - 120

Perth

Change Management
Permanent (AUD/000)
Contracting (AUD/day)
Change Consultant
-
1,400 - 1,600
ICT Change Lead
140 - 165
850 - 1,200
Senior Change Manager
135 - 160
900 - 1,200
Change Communications Manager
140 - 160
1000 - 1200
Change Manager
120 - 145
700 - 850
Change Analyst
80 - 125
550 - 700
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