For a few years there seems to be a trend in sourcing change management projects. I have had many conversations with recruiters and seen many job postings that called for a level of technological expertise for change management projects. The client was requesting consultants to have expertise in a specific technology or systems as part of the requirements for the change manager position. I personally think this hard requirement limits the pool of viable change managers that are capable of doing the work.
I have worked with a number of different technologies, all with their own unique set of challenges and capabilities. I have managed change project implementations for Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, Banner ERP and custom developed solutions. Now here’s where I make my case for change management expertise being the key-determining factor instead of technology experience driving the hiring decision. Before I worked with any of the above technologies, I knew nothing about them. I am an expert in enabling change and I consider my capabilities to be technology agnostic. Like most experienced change managers, I possess the ability to learn the technology while executing the change management plan without inhibiting the progress of the project. It’s a natural phenomenon. Almost through osmosis, change managers seem to be able to grasp system functionality and capabilities while aligning their newly learned technical knowledge to tactical execution of change management activities.
In my opinion, as long as there is leadership/sponsorship capabilities, an analysis between current state and future state, impact assessment to determine how folks will be affected, executable communication and intervention plans, the type of technology being built and implemented is irrelevant.
One might say, a highly skilled change manager with technical knowledge is the best of both worlds. However, I am adamant, a change manager with specific capabilities coupled with effective execution of change management activities is sufficient for a vast majority of IT implementations. After all, change is change regardless of the technology.
Agree or disagree? Please share your thoughts.