Change management is an expanding field in IT and an approach that businesses have to take when dealing with change from the perspectives of both the organisation and personnel. Simply put, change managers have to deal with the consequences that any systematic change imposes on both the workforce and the organisation itself.

It is a rather ambiguous term in the working world. Jobs in IT Change management have at least three main processes that include adaptation, controlling, and effecting. Proactive change deals with all three of these aspects at its very core. From an organisational standpoint, it means implementing the procedures that create change in the working world and profiting from these changes. When applied to IT, change managers oversee the changing systems and how these changes are affecting the organisation's profit margins. For example, a change manager may authorise the upgrading of an operating system and monitor how these changes are affecting productivity and workplace performance.

Successfully adapting to these changes is critical and might involve establishing a more structured method to handle change requests and bring forth coping mechanisms that respond to these changes, like implementing new policies and technology. Overall, it is an important consideration for project management as the project manager must consider the proposed changes and determine their overall effect before they can be implemented. However, is it the right role for you? Find out below.

The ideal IT change management job candidate

As outlined, the purpose of a change manager is to ensure that changes within an organisation are implemented effectively and that these changes do not hinder productivity on a workforce level. Thus, the job is best suited to those who can work independently and conceive their own logical, methodical conclusions regarding change. The position is in line with other IT management level positions in the sense that they are best for those who have high levels of academic achievement and are geared towards those who prefer working more independently. Self-motivation is the key to success in this role, since change managers will only report to project managers, who are not likely to have a firm command on IT.

It is possible for some career progression to be had from this position, but for the most part, becoming an IT change manager represents the pinnacle of professional success for those who seek this type of position. While some may aspire to becoming project managers in the long term, becoming a change manager is usually the end result of professional achievement and a working lifetime.

Skills needed

Hard skills

Change management is a highly authoritative position that requires a high level of academic achievement. It is similar to IT consultancy in that change managers usually have to acquire a minimum of postgraduate study, such as a Master's degree in computing or ICT, or have had a considerable amount of professional experience in a directly relevant IT role (usually no less than five to seven years with many employers requesting a minimum of 10 years). 

Soft skills

IT change managers will need to have well-developed communication skills, as they will often need to communicate advanced technical terms as simply as possible to any team members around them. While they will often be working on their own, this does not completely disregard the need for effective communication skills, since they will prove themselves to be of the utmost importance when it comes to integrating with fellow team members in other departments.

They will also need developed leadership skills, since change managers are often responsible for a team of IT personnel beneath them, who will facilitate any changes at their discretion. Change managers will still have a very hands-on approach to their days at work, but can sometimes delegate tasks, like software installation, to lesser members of the team.

Employment prospects

IT change managers are currently enjoying excellent employment prospects with opportunities being available nationwide. However, they are especially concentrated in the south-east, west midlands, and Manchester. It is usually a well-paid position with permanent, full-time salaries being in excess of £40,000.