What Does a Change Management Consultant Do?
Engaging a change management consultant may make all the difference as to how profitable an enterprise is or how effective a non-profit organization is. Sometimes, expected results may not be forthcoming but it may be difficult to pinpoint why. It may be that market or economic conditions have made change mandatory such as restructuring to reduce the wage bill and/or other costs.
A change may also be necessary for an organization to keep operating at all. The event of a pandemic where lockdown is enforced and a shift to remote working becomes necessary is a relatable case in point. This is where a change management consultant comes in.
A change management consultant facilitates change within an organization. They use the methodology of;
- Assessing the need for change
- Identifying the tools needed such as software
- Implementing changes
- Tracking the implementation process
- Sustaining change for the long-term.
This is achieved by guiding the management through the change. This may mean allocating new duties to departmental heads and supervisors, acquiring resources such as software and getting rid of redundancies such as old machinery. It may also involve training old staff in new methods or hiring new staff who can work with modern machinery and methods.
The job may also entail managing resistance factors. For instance, if the change involves getting rid of some members of staff, adherence to labor laws including fair termination compensation is a must. This will avoid wrongful dismissal cases that can cost a lot in legal fees, settlements and reputation.
What Qualifications Does a Change Management Consultant Have?
A change management consultant will have at least a bachelor’s degree in business, communication or psychology. It is also beneficial if the firm or consultant has additional training specifically in change management or project management which are offered as short courses. Additionally, a portfolio of successful change management projects is important. Having satisfied clients who can vouch for the quality of work done and completed goes a long way.
Effective Project Management by Change Management Consultants
Ideally, an enterprise or organization will keep growing as set objectives are fulfilled. For a business, this may be growing into manufacturing or distributing additional products or venturing into new markets. For a non-profit organization, growth may mean setting up bases in new locations, catering to an additional number of beneficiaries or setting up enterprises to generate profit to cover operational costs.
Whatever the case may be, growth will come with the need to make changes. This may be relocating to large premises, bringing in new members of staff or retraining existing staff and handling cost accounting in relation to expanding. The best case scenario would be if an organization would keep running as usual while changes are being planned and implemented. That is possible if project management is left to a change management consultant.
They would keep in and undertake the changes required as projects. They would analyze the project to establish the desired end result, how it would be achieved and sustained long-term, the best options for implementing the changes and the most efficient way of using resources to get the project completed.
For instance, where the management would simply consider looking for larger premises to handle a larger clientele, a change consultant would look at all the options including outsourcing some services, re-training staff to handle new tasks, investing in equipment and machinery to automate tasks and other options that would be cost-effective in the long run.
What Does Change Management Consultancy Involve?
A change management consultant will start by identifying if there is a need for change at all. If there is, there will break down exactly what needs to change, why and expected results. This may be changes to;
- Cut operational costs
- Improve turnover and/or overall productivity
- Outsourcing services or re-staffing
- Expanding or reducing product offerings
- Expanding or reducing distribution
- Changing how products or services are presented by reworking their packaging, marketing strategy or other aspect of how they are presented to the public
Where Does a Change Management Consultant Fit in the Management Framework?
A change management consultant works independently. They make their own assessment to ascertain if it is necessary to make changes, why and how they will be affected. They do not take instructions even from top management about this otherwise, the management would simply engage a project manager to handle projects that would affect the changes they have decided are necessary.
The Name of the Game
The aim of the change management consultant and the changes they propose will be to align an organization’s goals, systems and resources with the aim of achieving maximum productivity.
Once necessary changes are identified, the change management consultant will come up with an implementation plan. The plan will be comprehensive and will include details like:
- The transformation tools that will be used
- The techniques that will be used
- The duration the plan will take to be implemented with tasks broken down into weekly and monthly tasks
- The metrics that will be used to carry out benefit analysis or the effect of each change. This may be how much turnover has increased, how much operational costs have reduced, waste reduction, how much output has increased and other metrics.
Who Needs the Change?
With commercial organizations or enterprises, maximizing the bottom line is the goal. Here, the goal of change will typically be to maximize productivity in order to maximize returns. However, every organization needs to periodically review their operations, resource allocation and results to see if they are on track with their goals. This includes government and non-profit organizations that also utilize resources to achieve their goals of service delivery, raising funds for a cause or raising awareness.
Non-profit organizations also need their operations analyzed to assess the need for change with the view of making the best use of available resources to achieve their set objectives. They too could benefit from changes like reducing operational costs, improving fund raising methods or adapting a more effective resource allocation approach.
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