What's it really like?
Patrick Palmer, 31, has been a Business Transformation Manager for the last 14 months. Here, he explains what it's all about...
Becoming a Business Transformation Manager within a relatively new insurance company, I was initially employed to oversee its set up. This involved organising the office structure, finding permanent premises and recruiting staff. I now help facilitate the entire back office function. This includes working alongside the human resources, procurement and risk management departments. I also liaise with the IT department regarding any emerging technologies which may benefit the business.
Having previously worked as a sales manager for a publication which specialised in the insurance market, I was eager to utilise my knowledge and managerial skills within a more challenging and diverse environment. Initially, I found it really useful working alongside the CEO. This allowed me to fully understand the intricate workings of the company. Often, sitting in on senior meetings can also help evaluate the different aspects of the company and identify any areas for improvement. It provides a good opportunity to influence any improvements and make your mark at a senior level.
Currently, I am designing procedures and involved in steering groups which help evaluate, develop and implement the best processes for our company. I am also acting as an interim manager for each area of the business until we recruit someone to take day to day responsibility for individual functions. This means being responsible for recruitment within these departments and I can spend an entire day meeting and interviewing potential employees. My diary also consists of reviewing contracts and conducting audits on current suppliers. Where necessary, I will arrange meetings with third party suppliers to consider other options which may offer a greater return on investment.
Most days I am fortunate enough to meet new people. They could be future employees, marketing agencies, design companies or estate agents with new office premises which can accommodate our expanding company. However, making adjustments and improvements within the company also has its downside. Often, renegotiating external contracts can lead to disappointment and it is essential that I handle any company changes sensitively.
Business Transformation Managers need to be pro-active, able to use their initiative and not be afraid to ask questions. The role requires many different skills and specialist knowledge so it is important to use all the available resources, such as the internet and colleagues, for information.
In most cases, a Business Transformation Manager bridges the gap between the different business areas so they also need to be approachable and have strong communication skills. Building strong working relationships with colleagues and associates makes the work more enjoyable and, ultimately, the business will benefit.
Since joining the company, it has continued to grow steadily and I enjoy the part that I play in its ongoing development. Looking to the future, I would love to run my own company and this role allows me the opportunity to realise the different components of a business and understand how a successful business model works. The strategy and success of an organisation has always been of great interest to me and I am now gaining invaluable practical experience which will help towards achieving my ultimate goal. A business has so many facets and I am still enjoying the learning process.
Business Transformation Manager
Largely responsible for recognising areas for improvement within a company, a Business Transformation Manager must identify and implement necessary changes to enable a business to perform to its optimum ability.
Performing a challenging and diverse role, a Business Transformation Manager is often responsible for overseeing all areas of a business, implementing any operational changes and delivering measurable improvements.
A Business Transformation Manager must review new and existing processes, resources and systems, making and overseeing any changes to the company infrastructure where necessary. This relatively new role is largely defined by the employer but can encompass both the business and IT side. This involves playing a vital role in the decision making process regarding technology and recruitment. It can also include working alongside the human resources and procurement functions.
Achieving set company goals is an evolving process and can involve running focus groups, workshops and coaching staff. A Business Transformation Manager must bridge any gap between the departments and maintain strong communications across all aspects of the company. They should help colleagues understand the company more fully and clarify the reasons behind any company restructure or change.
Some companies appoint more than one Business Transformation Manager to concentrate on different business areas.
Salaries are largely dependent on experience, location, size of company and responsibilities undertaken. The average salary is currently £62,460 in London and £57,827 elsewhere. In both cases the maximum earnings can reach a six figure sum.
- Act as point of contact between different departments within the company and relevant third parties.
- Communicate strategies and objectives with relevant departments and colleagues.
- Identify any risks regarding changes and develop a strategy to overcome or address these.
- Implement any changes sensitively and with minimal disruption.
- Create a system to evaluate the success of any adjustments made within the organisation and present any findings.
- In some cases, manage HR issues including recruitment, staff training and appraisal.
- Where necessary, oversee any IT issues.
- You may be required to oversee and manage issues regarding the premises. This may involve negotiating tenancy agreements where necessary.
- Ensure the company runs in a compliant manner.
These will be largely dependent on the company although you will normally be required to meet the following requirements:
- Educated to A Level and above.
- Previous experience which demonstrates numeracy and literacy skills.
- Academic, professional or vocational qualifications in management and/or leadership are highly advantageous. Individuals without a relevant degree will need to demonstrate previous managerial experience.
- Eligibility to work in the UK.
- Detailed background knowledge or hands-on experience relevant to the company.
- Sound working knowledge of general business processes and organisational framework, such as goals, strategy, culture and structure.
- Ability to demonstrate a high level of verbal and written English.
- Proficient at producing and presenting reports.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with staff, at all levels, and third parties.
- Proactive and able to use initiative.
- Confident with strong decision making skills.
- Ability to develop strong relationships within the company and with third parties.
- Strong negotiation skills.
- Ability to demonstrate innovation and creativity.
- Attention to detail.
- Good leadership skills and ability to work well within a team.
- Ability to influence key decision makers.
- Ability to set and meet objectives.
- Strong analytical and problem solving skills.
- Excellent organisational skills.
- Flexible approach to work.
- Good time management skills and ability to multitask.
- Good judgement.
- IT literate.
Most business transformation managers are office based and work a normal 35-37 hour week, Monday to Friday. However, depending on the role and the company, you may be required to travel occasionally and work flexible hours.
Recruitment agencies should be able to provide information on opportunities in your area.
The experience required to become a Business Transformation Manager will often depend on the company and the role. However, candidates will usually have previous experience managing operational or structural change within an organisation and will need to demonstrate their knowledge of change management principles.
In some cases, other managerial experience with the proven ability to support and motivate staff can be sufficient.
Some employers may require relevant business qualifications or previous training on different management techniques. Knowledge of ADKAR, or similar goal orientated management change models, may be advantageous.
Within some companies, graduate schemes may be available for individuals with a Management degree.
Business Transformation Managers can work in large, small, public and private sector organisations. Opportunities may also be found within companies offering specialist management consultancy.
Companies who currently recruit for this role include:
- Ernst & Young
- BT Global Consulting
- McKinsey and Company
- Booz Allen Hamilton
To become a Business Transformation Manager, you will have proven management skills and shown the ability to develop at least one business area within your previous or current role. It may be a natural progression within your current company or you may have realised your full potential and are looking to utilise your experience elsewhere and within a more challenging environment.
The role of a Business Transformation Manager is largely measurable and your success will be dependent on your ability to set clear objectives and meet targets.
Further qualifications in management will also improve your chances of career progression. Before joining a company, it is worth finding out if they offer any additional internal or external courses.