This paper examines the complex software development environment in which IS professionals commonly function today. Skills and competencies appropriate to this environment are increasingly related to managing change and adopting change agent roles. These skills and competencies are discussed in relation to complex and changing environments. Asurvey of IS professionals evaluates their perceptions of the importance of these competencies and their own capability in these areas. Observations and conclusions in this paper are primarily drawn from research on organizations that have initiated software process improvement initiatives (McGuire 1996a; 1996b; 1997).