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What is a business change manager (BCM)?

By Simon Buehring on 12 Jul 2019

What is a business change manager (BCM)?

One of the core things you will learn on a change management course is the role of a business change manager (BCM). This article explores the role of a business change manager in depth.

What is a business change manager?

In an organisation, a business change manager’s (BCM) job is to:

  • Determine the benefits of a business vision;
  • Assess progress towards a business goal;
  • Achieve measured improvements in the business operations.

In general, a BCM is a mediator between a change programme and the organisation’s operations. Business change managers also are part of the leadership team. They play a key role in supporting projects for business change.

What is business change?

Business change comes in different shapes and sizes. It exists whenever an organisation undertakes a project or programme.

Business change happens when an organisation improves, restructures or transforms a part of its operations. Its goal is to achieve a more productive and efficient organisation.

Managing change is one of the responsibilities of a business change manager.

Why are business change managers important?

In today’s world, culture, business acquisitions and technology are constantly changing. These things therefore affects an organisation and its business.

BCMs lead the change initiative and align it to the business’s strategy. Their role is to ensure that benefits are accomplished.

What does a business change manager do?

Some tasks a business change manager is responsible of include:

  • Making sure the benefits are achievable;
  • Preparing affected business areas for transition to new ways of working;
  • Establishing and implementing mechanisms to measure and deliver benefits;
  • Optimising the timing of the release of project deliverables into business operations;
  • Liaising with the programme manager to ensure operational benefits;
  • Communicating with people and senior leaders about the business vision;
  • Defining and tracking the benefits and outcomes required from the programme;
  • Managing the activities effectively that’s associated with the wanted benefits;
  • Leading the transition, ensuring that changes are integrated into the business;
  • Measuring the benefits after the work is complete;

Knowledge and skills of a business change manager

If you are interested in a BCM position, you need to have certain competencies. Some of them are:

  • Detailed knowledge of a business environment;
  • An understanding of the management structures, politics and culture of the company owning the programme;
  • Effective marketing and communication skills to sell the programme vision to all stakeholders;
  • Knowledge of business change techniques such as business process modelling and gap analysis;
  • Training in change management, programme management or strategic management.
  • Knowledge in applying best practices in project management;
  • Knowledge of organisational change models such as Kotter’s change model.

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