This can be a decision that may lead to increased productivity and a bigger chance for success. Change agents have a lot of expertise, but they’re not subject matter experts. Because they are hired by many corporations, it’s quite hard for a change agent to be an expert in every single detail of every business that they work for. Most business change who have achieved success, have employed subject matter experts to help out.
The job of the change agent is to deal with the parts of the process that are part of their expertise. This may involve coming up with new procedures for evaluation, developing channels of communication so all parties have a smooth way of passing information with each other, or keeping the internal staffing on task with the change process. Change agents have one other primary role and that is to make certain that there are subject matter experts on hand if ever and whenever their input is necessary.
Subject matter experts are usually not qualified enough to deal with business change because they’re not experts on change. They are not in the position or capacity to develop the business change proposal. Sometimes, technical experts can be cranky and they are often excluded from the entire change process. This is wrong, in more ways than one. They ought to be given the chance to offer input in the technical aspects of the project. They can focus on the technical side of the process, know what the competition is up to, the technology that the business uses and other relevant patents. This puts them in the position of being able, when a technical choice needs to be made, of identifying the choice that has the highest probability of success.
During a business change, one important thing to remember is that it’s all about business. For a successful business change, someone with a high level of expertise is needed. And this person with a high level of expertise is not the change agent, it’s the subject matter expert.