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By Thomas Reid, Oct 29 2014 07:12AM

The task of the interim manager in improving business

In today’s highly competitive environment characterised by tight operating margins, businesses need to maintain market standards and stay ahead of the competition. From time to time successful businesses need an injection of fresh ideas, innovative strategies, and cost effective measures in order to deliver a strong and dependable workforce that can deliver targets.

How can an interim manager help?

Interim managers are tasked with bring skills to your business in order to drive specific internal project goals. These projects arise due to today’s market conditions and the continuing need to push the boundaries of your business ever forward. To deliver the desired change, specialists are often required with the industry transformation experience. Existing management may not have the time to take out from delivering on their own general targets to implement the necessary changes.

Interim manager over full-time executive

There will always be a choice of either hiring an expensive executive as a permanent addition to the full-time staff or assigning an interim manager. Both bring the skills and sector experience to implement the necessary changes. Perhaps you need to expand, downsize, relocate, open or close outlets, review your range of services or review costs and cash-flow. These require project based skills and experience to oversee and once accomplished, often don’t require the project leader to stay on as a full-time employee. The advantage of the right interim manager is that they will be able to work within the existing management structure or independently to achieve a successful conclusion. This will be done in the shortest possible time and with minimal disturbance to the existing business.

Successfuly managing the business cycle

Every industry will go through a cycle of growth, stability, and unfortunately, downturns. Those businesses that can react quickly to these trends are those that will inevitably thrive. The board does not always have the necessary skills or time to manage individual project changes within the business. An interim manager is directly responsible to drive the desired transformations, with very limited involvement in other unrelated operations. They are therefore ideally place to perform cost cutting exercises, communicate with stakeholders, and maintain confidence with your employees, suppliers, stakeholders and creditors. They are also ideally placed to take on the difficult role of reducing the workforce, not leaving the incumbent management ’tarnished’ with redundancies.

Clarity in the scope

The contract should have specific objectives, deliverables and deadlines that are to be achieved, all of which should have been fully explored and agreed with the interim before the commencement of the role. Aside from the transitory nature of most interim assignments, from time to time companies will ask the interim manager to stay on longer. This is often not a problem as long as there is a job to do however unless the scope of the project changes, it is worth remembering that interims are the most effective decision makers when working to pre-determined goals within time constraints.

Interim Management Solution



By Thomas Reid, Oct 16 2014 02:34AM

Hiring an interim manager can be a complicated process, with many things to consider. Here are our top tips to achieve the best hire. By keeping these tips in mind it will help you to reach your goals and to closely monitor the results and accomplishments of your interim manager.

1. Be clear about the brief

After your hire, in order for an interim manager to fully utilize their experience and achieve the best results you need to clearly define the brief before the assignment commences. An interim’s brief could be virtually anything so it is important that everyone is clear from the outset on your expectations and what they have been hired to achieve.

2. Explain required outcomes and how they will be measured

Things need to be clearly established from the outset. For an interim to deliver the best possible performance, setting out expected deliverables and performance indicators need to be clearly defined from the beginning – not half-way through the assignment. This will ensure you get the results you need because if there is any delay, then your time and money will have been wasted.

3. Hire the right person

It sounds obvious but there are many things to consider when hiring an interim manager. The first thing to think about is the process of finding the right person. This includes taking advantage of your personal network and hiring based on the solution, not the CV. By providing a full written brief for the role in the hiring process, you’ll be sure of receiving candidates with relevant experience, who have a clear under¬standing of your requirements.

4. Have clear lines of communication between interims and permanent staff

Induct your interim manager properly because a structured induction program means your interim will start to tackle issues sooner. To keep consistency in performance it is important that everybody knows what everybody is supposed to be doing. This communication is not just for the extant staff – it is necessary for the interim to have the freedom to work. It is important from the start to allow them access to the people and resources required to achieve their desired objectives. Everything is all about delegated authority and freedom to operate. You need to give the interim permission to act on your behalf, to ask difficult questions and to challenge the status quo.

5. Be clear about reward

Whenever an interim is to be utilized it must be clear what the reward scheme is and how it ties into results. There’s no reason why you can’t create incentives based on achieved deliverables and performance indicators. This is especially important to avoid any misunderstandings regarding the relationship mid-assignment.

6. Ensure a legacy

Interims have skills that mean they can be of a greater and longer lasting benefit to the company, especially after they have completed their assignment. Interim managers are often more experienced than their permanent equivalents, so use them to put in place better processes for your perma¬nent staff to adopt. Performance should not only take into account the delivery of the project but also successfully facilitating knowledge-transfer to permanent staff, thereby creating a legacy. An on-going dependence on the interim manager is not a desired outcome.

Interim Management Solution



By Thomas Reid, Oct 15 2014 07:55AM

As the appeal of the world’s second largest economy continues to grow, the increase in foreign investment combined with ever expanding local enterprises continues to drive healthy competition across industries. This creates a necessity for flexible workforces that can adapt to keep up with industry standards. This is particularly essential in the Operations field of Lean Six Sigma manufacturing.

Lean Six Sigma is widely recognised as a world class operational excellence programme, however it is certainly not a new concept. They are together well embedded and widely used globally across many industries with their application producing significant results in maximizing production efficiency and assuring quality of products at the highest level. Over 60% of the Fortune 500 companies are actively seeking professionals in the global market with qualifications in Lean and Six Sigma in order to achieve a competitive advantage. With China at the heart of global manufacturing, the need to achieve operational excellence has become common place in order to keep up with the competition.

Companies are continually seeking new methods to build on and apply new Lean Six Sigma applications. This creates a high workload resulting from internal project work and assignments to oversee the research and application of principles. As such there is an ever increasing demand for highly skilled professionals with the qualifications and experience to oversee the transition from theory to the factory floor.

When recruiting for Lean Six Sigma leaders to oversee projects of such importance, sometimes looking internally is not always the best option. For such action sometimes the external interim manager is the person ideally placed to ensure project completion and to yield maximum results. Interims have a proved track record of project success that gives them great knowledge to oversee application and solve any problems that may arise. Their local and international working background affords them global insight into the best practices and procedures. This allows them to deliver instant experience, taking control immediately and hitting the ground running, resulting in immediate impact. They bring their industry and role specific expertise to the assignments targets and can work at pace with a hands on style. This is further helped by their non-affiliation with intercompany politics as they are not limited by pre-assignment baggage.

Interim Management is proving to be a highly attractive alternative in the Lean Six Sigma field. Whether it is overseeing deployment at a factory level or higher in an operations role, senior managers and executives are eager to showcase their skills and experience. Operations, Lean and Six Sigma has great potential for interims to be effectively utilized in a high demand and fast evolving industrial field.

Interim Management Solution



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