Project Manager vs Change Manager

Project Manager vs. Change Manager

While there is a definite overlap in Project and Change Management responsibilities, key differences can be seen in their respective areas of focus.  A core focus of Project Management can be thought of as “what” gets delivered whereas Change Management hones in on the “how” of delivery.

We’ve outlined additional key differences of the respective areas of focus and their responsibilities below:

Project Manager FocusChange Manager Focus
What gets delivered
Time perspective – immediate & short term
Schedule, costs, time and resources
Scope, quality, budget
Birdseye view of what team is doing
Drive delivery of tasks
Monitoring of delivery (accountability)
Focus on people and getting them ready for the change
How it gets delivered
Internal and external stakeholder engagement
Adjust the organisation to change so that it is sustained
Focus on impacted by & impacted on
Time perspective – Immediate, short & long term
Ensure people know what they need to know when
Ensure effective overall communication
Project Manager TasksChange Manager Tasks
Compile & track project plan
Project governance & structure
Work the project plan
Define project roles for team members & business
Implementation of solutions – usually technology
Build & manage schedule
Mobilize team & resources
Budgets & costing
Risk and benefit identification
Manage stakeholders
Project reporting
Conflict resolution
Responsible for delivery (successfully on time)
Project team morale & team health
Team management
Identification & engagement with stakeholders
Communications plan & strategy
Embedding change – culture & behaviour / sustainability
Identification of impacts of changes on people, process & systems
Role mapping / Communicating / Communication
Handover of change outputs
Stakeholder engagement – manage perceptions / check ins
Provide input to project plan
Stakeholders engagement plan, identification & assessment
Change strategy / Change Impact & assessment
Case for Change – contribute to benefits Identification & risks
Strategize how changes will be facilitated & implemented
Enablement / Training plan / Knowledge Broker
Organisational design
Training delivery

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