What is the difference between interim management and management consulting? Both support an existing organization  in the field of management. The fundamental difference between the two is the person’s hierarchical position that executes the assignment.  As a consultant, you are not included in the organizational chart of the organization. Therefore, you will report to the client. An interim manager has a place within the organizational chart and as a result reports to the level above it.

Interim management consists of two key elements: a clear purpose and a clearer exit plan. Without an exit plan interim management is useless. Both elements must be clearly laid out at the beginning of an assignment. A major advantage of an interim management assignment is that you, as the client, gain a whole new perspective while a neutral person takes a look at the situation.

How does this process work? In interim management assignment there are four distinct phases:

Delineating expectations of a interim management assignment

The first phase begins with the first contact for an agreement. In this phase the scope of the assignment is determined. This is the part where the precise expectations of the customer are laid out. This includes objectives to achieve, resources and key elements of the existing company culture.

Analysis and action plan

The second phase consists of a further analysis of the existing situation, and the detailed objectives. The result of this analysis is probably an action plan with clear milestones, resources and a clear timetable in which  these objectives should be achieved. This action plan will be discussed with the client and then will be formally accepted, after any adjustments. The plan will serve as a road book during the assignment.

Implementing the action plan

The third phase is what many people consider to be the actual execution of the assignment. In this phase the instructions will be carried out. At predetermined moments, discussion regarding the progress of the contract will take place in consultation with the client.

Evaluation and completion of the assignment

If the plan has been fully executed, the contract is concluded with a transfer of knowledge and experience to the organization. During this phase, internal staff will be guided to take back over the lead. Finally, an evaluation session is organized regarding the results of the assignment.

Coverton can assist you if you need temporary extra help at the operational level. If you need assistance, we can help you with any of the above matters. Do not hesitate to contact us.