Rethinking Change Management: Why Hiring a Change Manager May Not Be the Best Solution for Your Transformation Project

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Why Hiring a Change Manager May Not Be the Best Solution for Your Transformation Project

Are you looking for a way to manage change in your organisation? If so, hiring a change manager may be the first solution that comes to mind. But is this the right approach for your change project?


In this blog, we'll explore why there are better choices than this and how other approaches can provide greater value. Read on to discover what to consider when managing change and leading transformations!


What is a business change, and why do we need to manage it?

Let's start with some basics. Organisational change is a complex business challenge that requires effective management and leadership to ensure success. Transformation can be defined as the process of transitioning from one state to another in an organisation's structure, systems, business processes or culture. This may include a digital transformation project or a simple organisational change. Business transformations cover all projects that change the way things are done. Change Management is the practice of managing your people, project teams, and key stakeholders through the transition so that the project benefits are fully realised.


Project managers often lack the expertise and resources necessary to adequately manage changes. Hiring a Change Manager may seem like an obvious solution for your transformation. Join us as we examine the benefits and drawbacks of hiring a Change Manager.

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What makes a Change Manager invaluable to your project?

Hiring a Change Manager can be a valuable addition to your project team. Experienced change managers bring in-depth knowledge, skills, and new technology to help you implement changes successfully. With the right change management strategy, projects become more agile, enabling the business to rapidly meet its goals. 

A Change Manager is responsible for developing tailored change management strategies and plans specific to your organisational context and environment. These plans typically include key elements such as stakeholder engagement, communication, training and coaching, resistance management, and monitoring and evaluation. 

The benefits of hiring a Change Manager are plentiful.

  • 1 A change manager can provide a structured approach to managing the transformation process, ensuring that all elements are considered and implemented effectively.
  • 2 Drawing from other projects, they anticipate potential resistance and risks early on, allowing for quick mitigation of any issues that may arise during the project.
  • 3 Experienced change managers bring in-depth knowledge, new ideas and materials to support sponsors, champions and managers in implementing changes well.
  • 4 They are responsible for developing tailored change communication strategies that improve stakeholder buy-in and satisfaction.
  • 5 With an experienced Change Manager on board, projects become more agile, enabling organisations to rapidly meet their goals with minimal stakeholder disruption or resistance.
change managers, training, meeting

How to find the right Change Manager?

Finding the right Change Manager for your transformation project is vital in ensuring its success. It's essential to take the time to screen and hire a Change Manager who has the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to make your project a success. 


When screening potential Change Managers, look for someone with strong communication skills who can clearly articulate their change management strategy and approach. Additionally, look for someone who asks the right questions to understand the scope and organisational contexts for the project. 


By asking these 5 questions when hiring a Change Manager, you can rest assured that your organisation will benefit from having an experienced professional leading your transformation efforts:

Do you want your next project to succeed?

Don't miss out on this opportunity! The Agile Change Leader course helps you strengthen your social capital and circle of influence to be successful in your next transformation project.

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  • Can you outline the Change Management approach you are using and how that fits with the project management phases?
  • What templates, tools, systems or materials would you use to help your stakeholders understand and implement change better?
  • Can you handle the changes and stakeholders associated with this project, or do you have a plan of action in case your current capacity is insufficient?
  • How can you guarantee reliable, uninterrupted service and the ability to adjust your operations quickly whilst implementing change?
  • Do you have the processes, resources, and skill sets to leverage from one project to the next so that we can get maximum value out of your services?

When is hiring a Change Manager not the best solution?

An experienced Change Manager is essential for any successful transformation project. They support sponsors, champions and managers in implementing changes efficiently and effectively. Tailored change communication strategies improve stakeholder engagement and make change efforts and transitions easier and faster. However, it's important to take the time to find the right solution for how you will manage your workforce through the transformation. Questions like those outlined above can spotlight potential issues you might face when choosing the wrong option.

pros and cons of hiring a change manager

An effective Change Manager provides essential guidance and support to sponsors, champions, and managers throughout the project from start to finish. The Change Manager brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and business strategies. Customised change communication plans and strategies improve key stakeholder engagement and ensure a smooth transition.

Now let's check the potential drawbacks of hiring a Change Manager.

When hiring a Change Manager, there are several vital points to consider before making your decision - from their capacity limitations to overhead costs associated with employing them full-time. Without proper quality control in place, unstructured approaches may be applied, which could result in a lack of accountability or deliverables at the end of your project. Some major drawback of hiring new talent is that the scope needs to be clarified, and you can't match their work breakdown to your project schedule. 


An obvious risk of a single consultant or employee is the need for redundancy if someone falls ill or goes on holiday unexpectedly. Additionally, having one person manage all change management aspects may not be flexible or scalable over multiple project activities. Individuals also rarely have access to resources such as templates or training materials that could be leveraged to quickly upskill the workforce and improve future projects. 

What other options are there?

As you see, hiring a Change Manager is not always the best solution when it comes to managing complex change projects. It's important to assess whether or not they have the capacity and resources needed for success. Considering potential drawbacks when initiating your project can save you valuable money and time later. Redundancy and scalability can be good arguments for organisations managing multiple change projects.


Other options include:


Training PMOs, managers, and team leaders in change management, such as the Agile Change Manager blended course

Tell me more!

Change Management Training may be an effective short-term solution, however in reality training is often not translated into long-term workplace skills. Make sure your training provider holds leaders accountable and takes their competing priorities into account.

Change Capability Framework

Building an organisation-wide change capability framework to uplift the business's overall change management skills and capacity

Tell me more!

We let you in on a secret: With about the same budget as you would need to hire one Change Manager and train 30 people in Change Management you could engage Approach Services to implement a reliable, scalable framework and system for this and all future transformations.

Whichever route you take, you must do your due diligence to ensure that you have the right solution for your project.

Unlock success with the best Project Team

We understand the importance of having the right solution and are happy to help you set up a winning project team. Approach Services is an experienced change management consultancy that supports organisations during their transformation projects. We specialise in offering flexible and effective change solutions to help businesses manage change. Our experienced Change Managers are experts in delivering innovative communication strategies and creating successful stakeholder engagement plans. We leverage the learning pathways in our academy to scale your change capabilities and ensure sustainable growth. Call us to have a chat - no strings attached.


Happy Change!


Sam is one of the authors of The 6 Cents of Change. He's a father, a CEO, an Engineer, a trainer and a problem-solver. His work impacted Apache, Santos, MMA, and more. In his other life, he loves CrossFit and cricket. 

To learn more about us and the solutions we provide, subscribe to The 6 Cents of Change, follow us on LinkedIn or connect with us here or +61 (08) 610 20 343.

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