When to use an interim manager?
Interim managers often fill key skills gaps, manage change, or deliver key projects for a short period of time, making them a cost effective resource.
Engaging an Interim Manager for a specific time-limited role avoids juggling internal resources to the detriment of other functions within your company. It also ensure that you have the best choice of individual who will come with the right skills and wide experience of similar situations. An Interim will be focused on the job in hand, and not be distracted by internal politics.
The following examples illustrate situations where Interims might be used:
Unexpected Departure or unavailability
When these events occur, it may be necessary to find a temporary replacement rapidly until a permanent solution is found:
- Unexpected resignation
Your company has to react quickly to ensure business confidence and retain the confidence of key stakeholders, customers and staff.
An interim executive can occupy the vacant role quickly and effectively. The company then has the time it needs to find a suitable permanent replacement.
Because there will often have been no opportunity for a briefing and handover, the Interim needs to be very experienced in similar roles in order to take control. The situation frequently requires the Interim to add value by appraising the role within the organisation and often the departmental function and proposing and implementing changes. In this situation the interim will often help to recruit their successor.
Planned temporary departure
These events are more predictable and it is usually possible to plan ahead:
- Maternity/Paternity leave
- Sabbatical leave
The incumbent executive will usually be ably to brief the incoming Interim and agree a plan to cover the Interims activities during the period. The Interim will usually be focused on providing continuity as a "safe pair of hands" pending the executives return. The Interim will usually keep sufficient records of events and actions taken to allow a smooth handover on the incumbents return to work.
Where a business faces a defined challenge, it may be necessary to engage an expert from outside the company where existing employees lack the necessary skills and experience.
Such challenges include:
- Business crisis
- Major change
- Merger or acquisition
- New operating conditions
- Expansion into new territory or new functions
- New legislation
Careful selection of an Interim with the appropriate experience can significantly enhance the quality and timeliness of the process.
New Programmes or Projects
Where a major project is defined, it may absorb considerable resources and compromise other areas of company activity. Selection of an Interim Manager will not only avoid this, but also give the opportunity to acquire a project manager with exactly the right skills and experience rather than being limited to those available in-house