Change Management

Key Roles in Change Management

Your change programme needs people to make change work – to take action, to overcome the hurdles, challenges and barriers and to play a key part in successfully delivering projects.  There are many people responsible for change who play a role in change management and it is often their efforts that make the difference.

Generally, a change programme role may be one of four types:

  • Change Driver – the principle cause and motivator of change
  • Change Implementer – manages and performs tasks to bring about change
  • Change Enabler – sets up environments so that change can happen
  • Change Recipient – expected to behave differently in the changed organisation

Change Driver

The key driver roles for organisational change are:

Change Leader

The change leader should be sufficiently senior in the organisation to be able to command resources and the attention of the executive team. The change leader has a strong personal commitment to the success of the programme and is the principal trouble-shooter.

Programme Sponsor

The programme sponsor is the executive’s representative for ensuring that the appropriate resources are committed, problems are solved and the programme succeeds.

Steering Committee

Steering Committee members share overall responsibility for the success of the programme with the Programme Sponsor. The committee typically represents the key stakeholders and reviews regularly the progress of the project.

Change Implementer

The key implementer roles include:

Project Manager

The project manager has overall responsibility of one or more components of the change programme.

Change Manager

The change manager has overall responsibility for detailed planning and implementation of one or more components of the change programme.

Project Team Members

Project team members are responsible for completing various project activities.

Change Enabler

The key enabler roles include:

Middle Managers

Middle managers are responsible for supporting and communicating change initiatives and allocating the resources required within their area of control.


Frontline supervisors and team leaders are the face of the organisation to employees and serve a critical role in supporting and coaching employees throughout the change process.

Change Agents

Trainers and Super Users are key to implementing and facilitating change.  They are at the very heart of the business and can make a huge difference to making change happen successfully within organisations.

Tips for Assigning Roles and Responsibilities

  • For the key driver roles, select people that are genuinely supportive of the proposed changes. These roles should always be filled voluntarily.
  • For team membership roles, such as on project teams and working groups, include opinion leaders in the organisation and sceptics that you need to win over. Sometimes, giving objectors a say in how things are done can lead to these change resisters becoming your greatest allies.
  • For each role, consider the right mix of task assignment and goal assignment. The distinction here is the difference between delegating a specific task or action and assigning an end goal or objective.

As a final consideration, have you also checked off that you have covered adequately the two areas of accountability; change management/project implementation activities versus new operational activities? The former activities deal with moving from where you are now to the new ways of working. The latter involves activities to adapt to new ways of working. Many organisations spend considerable effort getting to where they want to be, but leave employees, customers and suppliers wondering what’s next.  It is the role of Change Management to ensure that continuity has been taken into account and operational activities and processes are up and running with any changes that have been implemented.

We offer a number of courses in Change Management.  If you want to know more, please contact us. 

 15 March 2021 

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