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What is the role of an Interim Manager?

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When a company needs to fill a management role quickly, they usually look for an interim manager. The person is appointed at short notice and assumes full operational management responsibility, seeking to bring stability to the business. What skills do you need to succeed? How does an interim manager differ from an active manager and manager? And what does the role of an interim manager means?

What is an interim manager?

An interim manager is a highly skilled professional who is in demand due to their ability to provide prompt and efficient solutions. These people are best recognized for taking on challenging or failing assignments and swiftly transforming them into a more advantageous scenario. Companies appoint specialists with enough experience to work for an organization undergoing a major transition due to a change in operations or an unfilled top-level position. Interim managers work for a shorter time than permanent managers—often between three and twelve months. What kind of assistance do they provide? For starters, professionals can help with project management, implementing new strategies, improving ongoing processes and expanding into a new market. A qualified interim project manager will oversee the entire project life cycle, ensuring cost-effective and timely project delivery.

Differences between an interim manager, acting manager and manager

As previously stated, an interim manager is a temporary position assigned when there is no manager within the organization. Usually, a person is chosen from the business’s employees, filling the job while the company looks for a replacement. However, if expressing a desire, they can take on a permanent role. Businesses occasionally recruit for a specific purpose, such as launching a new project or helping in effective interim project management. Even though an acting manager holds a similarity to the temporary one, there is one distinct difference. The person is appointed briefly, usually when a regular manager is on vacation or leave. When the primary employee returns, the acting manager goes back to their actual position and has no chance of being promoted to a permanent role. Unlike interim and acting managers, the manager is appointed for a long-lasting period. The person has significant responsibilities, including leading the staff and directing business operations, therefore must possess exceptional skills and have enough experience.

Essential skills for working as an interim manager

If you were asked to fill the position and work as an interim manager, you must know what to offer. Typically, employers appoint based on both soft and hard skills that you already have. However, you can get promoted to a permanent position when you show your development. The primary skill that you must possess is leadership. Your ability to motivate a team is essential to achieve specific objectives. Organization and planning are also crucial if you want to emphasize that you can take on multiple tasks at once. A good strategy will help you move each project to completion. Furthermore, you must prove that you can communicate and interact with your team. When doing projects, you should explain your concepts and give feedback that is easy to understand. And last but not least, decision-making skills. You should demonstrate your ability to seek information, analyzing advantages and disadvantages to see each project through to successful completion.

In summary, when appointed as an interim manager, think of what you want. If you would like to be promoted to a permanent position, do your best to show your employer your progress. Earn the trust of your team and assist whenever necessary. When performing tasks, ensure that they feel your support – it will show both the employer and your co-workers that you take the job seriously. This way, your way to the promotion gets more accessible. However, if you are an employer and seek a temporary replacement, look for organizations offering interim project management services. A qualified professional will come to your aid, effectively leading all the operations.


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