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What Is the Role of an Interim Manager?

Interim managers are a temporary resource that can be used to bridge the gap between where your organisation is today and where it needs to be in order to thrive in the future. They provide you with the expertise and leadership that your organisation is lacking while you look for a more permanent solution.

In essence, interim management is a quick fix. It can assist you in cleaning up any mess that may be hindering your company’s growth. But interim management is so much more complex than that. Here’s how an interim manager can contribute to your organisation.

Gap analysis and management

Interim managers provide a bridge between the end of the old management team and the beginning of a new one. They have the ability to fill the void in the workforce until the operations are reined in. For this reason, organisations can appoint interim managers to fill gaps and keep things running smoothly while they look for a permanent replacement.

Since interim managers have a wide range of skills and experience with various industries, their abilities make their services invaluable to an organisation that wants to analyse performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and implement changes.

More importantly, an interim manager ensures that your business continues to operate with little to no disruption and as little impact on its customers and suppliers as possible while they review their options and make foundational management decisions.

Short-term problem solving

Interim managers are usually brought in when the current management team can’t resolve the problems they are facing. The goal of an interim manager is to help put a company back on track toward positive performance by making changes to the business structure, its operations, or the way decisions are made or reported.

Although interim managers typically take on both short-term and long-term tasks, they are required to be more focused on the former, which usually involves:

  • Gaining a better understanding of your organisation’s situation and industry environment.
  • Gathering data to update market research.
  • Making suggestions for immediate process improvements.
  • Making suggestions for internal controls.
  • Evaluating organisational structures and reporting relationships.
  • Performing a gap analysis of an organisation’s current performance versus its goals and objectives.
  • Providing recommendations to the CEO on how to resolve problems that are impeding progress.
  • Reviewing financial information to make sure financial reports are accurate.
  • Consulting with top managers to help them become more effective leaders.

Financial management

An interim manager can help you improve your company’s financial situation by:

Consolidating and investigating your existing financial records

Sometimes, a company’s books can be in such disarray that they need to be completely rebuilt before operating more smoothly. The right interim manager will help you quickly organise your records so you can make sense of them.

Multiplying revenue sources

An interim manager might help you look for new ways to make money through licensing, joint ventures, strategic alliances or other partnerships that could multiply your revenue.

Creating a long-term strategy

If you don’t have the time or resources to develop a long-term plan for your organisation, an interim manager might take on that role for you. Since they have experience in this area, they can help you evaluate whether it is time to relocate, expand or change how your company operates in some other way.

Cutting down on unnecessary costs

An interim manager might dive deeper into your company’s operations to identify potentially wasteful business practices that are or will be hurting your bottom line. For instance, they might take a look into the productivity levels of your employees and find ways to regulate the amount of time they aren’t able to deliver productivity and reduce wastefulness.

Crises management

As an organisation, you must think of an interim manager as a consultant with specific knowledge and expertise of a bad situation at hand. Your manager should be capable of advising and making decisions on behalf of the company as they play a crucial role in helping the company deal with crises and formulate an effective response plan.

Their crises management could be anything – from restoring confidence in the organisation, giving credibility to management, helping define a new strategy to getting rid of bad practices, improving efficiency and quality, replacing top management, and bringing fresh blood into the organisation.

An interim manager can also prove to be extremely useful in case of a rapid change or restructuring, implementing new systems or dealing with a change in leadership.

Transforming the existing work culture

Appointing an interim manager can be particularly useful for organisations that are going through a period of transition, where the organisation has lost its original vision and purpose. In such cases, an interim resource can act as a catalyst for growth, bring stability, develop strategies and establish a better work culture that everyone can get on board with.

They achieve this by understanding the specific needs of your company and the market position that you are looking to build as well as checking if there are any problems or issues that are impeding progress towards achieving your goals.

The interim manager is also responsible for providing an appropriate level of direction, motivation and control to the employees. They establish the goals and standards to be achieved by everyone in the company and provide resources to speed up the process.

Handling ongoing mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are a stressful transition for any organisation because it is accompanied by a complete change in ownership. Under the wrong management, it can disturb the entire operations and affect customer relationships.

Interim managers can be hired when your company is facing a challenge that is bigger than your own management team. From making sure all employees receive timely payments and negotiating pay cuts for those who have lost their jobs due to budget cuts to re-examining departmental budgets to find areas for cost savings and re-organising workflow to ensure productivity and quality control within the department – they will take care of every single aspect of your operations.

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