Roles and responsibilities of the Business Change Manager

The Business Change Manager is responsible, on behalf of the Senior Responsible Owner, for defining the programme or project benefits, assessing progress towards realisation and achieving measured improvements in business operations.

Purpose of the business change manager role

The Business Change Manager (BCM) role is mainly benefits-focused. The BCM role is associated mainly with programmes, which tend to be more benefits focused than projects, although projects that deliver benefits in their own right will warrant the creation of a BCM role.

The BCM must be 'business side' to bridge between the programme and business operations. Where a programme affects a wide range of business operations, more than one BCM may be appointed, each with a specific area of the business to focus on.

Responsibilities of the business change manager

The BCM is responsible for:

  • ensuring the interests of the sponsoring group or Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) are met by the programme
  • obtaining assurance for the sponsoring group or SRO that the delivery of new capability is compatible with the realisation of benefits
  • working with the programme manager to ensure that the work of the programme, including the scope of each project, covers the necessary aspects required to deliver the products or services that will lead to operational benefits
  • working with the programme manager to identify projects that will contribute to realising benefits and achieving outcomes
  • identifying, defining and tracking the benefits and outcomes required of the programme
  • ensuring that maximum improvements are made in existing and new business operations as groups of projects deliver their products into operational use
  • leading the activities associated with benefits realisation and ensuring that continued accrual of benefits can be achieved and measured after the programme has been completed
  • establishing and implementing the mechanisms by which benefits can be delivered and measured
  • taking the lead on transition management, ensuring that business as usual is maintained during the transition and the changes are effectively integrated into the business
  • preparing affected business areas for transition to new ways of working
  • optimising the timing of the release of project deliverables into business operations

Skills and attributes needed to be a business change manager

The individual appointed as BCM should:

  • be drawn from the relevant business areas - their participation in the programme should be an integral part of their normal responsibilities to enable changes resulting from the programme to be firmly embedded in the organisation
  • have detailed knowledge of the business environment and direct business experience - in particular, they need an understanding of the management structures, politics and culture of the organisation owning the programme
  • have effective marketing and communication skills to sell the programme vision to staff at all levels of the organisation
  • have some knowledge of relevant management and business change techniques such as business process modeling and re-engineering
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