How to use interim management adequately

It is not enough for managers who employ an interim manager to do no more than choose ‘the right person for the job’ for their change projects. Too many change processes are unsuccessful and that’s not only by cause of what the interim managers do. The hiring managers can do more to achieve sustained favourable outcome. They have bountiful possibilities than only in the selection period. Hiring managers should focus their attention on the mutual effort of all stakeholders.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines interim management as “Temporary executive control of a business or other (especially financial) concern; temporary managers collectively; (also) the practice of employing managers on a temporary basis, especially to direct specific projects.”

The key words are “executive control” and “temporary basis”, up until now interim management has changed.

The benefits of dedicated, planned interim management use are often not acknowledged, and again and again people see it to be a short term fix instead a designed action. In challenging economic times interim management is a cost effective way to employ professional experience for specified pieces of work. Define the project and the cost, employ the right interim manager and, on successful completion of the assignment – that’s it.

But how do you employ an interim effectively? You should examine:

  • The expected result.
  • Measuring success: what metrics will you use?
  • Impact: what will a successfully delivered project mean to your organisation?

Whether cost saving, time saving or developing new services, all of these activities should have a direct impact on customers, outcomes and a cost benefit that can be related to your profit.

Understanding and thinking about what you want to achieve is the start. Communicating openly and effectively with your chosen interim provider is critical.

  • Be clear with them.
  • Let them advise you.
  • Track outputs and deliverables for the duration of the assignment.
  • Monitor the benefits to your organisation on completion and in the months that follow.