What the Client can do to make Temporary Management a success.


Why do some companies achieve outstanding results from temporary  managers whilst others are disappointed?

It has little to do with the quality of the temporary managers, they usually have proven expertise in implementing the kinds of solutions that the clients need. Unfortunately, some companies treat the temporary management project like a magic potion, just drop it into the company and wait for amazing results. This unfortunately does not happen.


In a previous post we  presented six risk factors that the temporary manager  must overcome in various degrees during the timeline of the project in order to assure a successful conclusion. These risks for the temporary manager were:

 #Managing client expectations  #Controlling the scope of  work  #Struggling with limited resources  #Communicating effectively #Overcoming  resistance and politics #Harnessing management support – these tags are referenced in this article

Now let us view the project from the clients perspective and consider how these factors can be evaluated even before the temporary manager enters the company.

Factors for Success

Clients should consider the following five steps  to increase the impact of temporary management within the company organization:

  • Define your needs

  • Determine what you will provide

  • Choose your temporary manager

  • Induction of temporary manager

  • Monitor the project and Review the results

Define your needs

Getting the desired result starts with determining exactly what result you want. Ask yourself some questions.

What do we want the temporary manager to accomplish? Is our definition of his or her areas of responsibility clear and precise, or not? If not, spell them out in detail so both you and the temporary manager are clear on desired results and how you will measure success in achieving them.

#Managing client expectations #Harnessing management support

Determine what you will provide

What kind of a team will the temporary manager need for the job? What other resources will you make available? How will you ensure he or she has the necessary cooperation from the other employees? How much proprietary information will he or she need to accomplish your goals? How will you manage disseminating that information?

What level of decision-making authority will the temporary manager need? This may vary depending on the situation. If the temporary manager is guiding the organization through massive change, broad autonomy may be needed to avoid bogging the project down in repeatedly escalating decisions for confirmation. On the other hand, if the temporary manager is filling a position as a stopgap arrangement, limited authority may be preferable.

Even when broad authority is granted, make sure that the level granted is appropriate to the situation. Sometimes, hot-button issues that lie at the root of company problems may seem, to someone not aware of those issues’ history, easy to render a quick decision on. Such issues may, however, if dispatched cavalierly by an outsider, blow up and obstruct the intended goal. Thus, thinking through the limits of an temporary manager’s decision-making authority is essential.

#Harnessing management support #Communicating effectively #Overcoming  resistance and politics #Struggling with limited resources  

Choose your temporary manager

Only after you have a clear picture of what you want your temporary manager to accomplish and what you will provide are you ready to consider the qualities you need in your temporary manager.

What relevant experience does our temporary manager need? What technical skills are needed? How important of a role will interpersonal skills play?

Only after you are clear on all these matters are you ready to choose your temporary manager. Having done all this homework will make finding the right person much easier.

Induction of temporary manager

With your temporary manager in place, make sure he or she understands your goals. Here, again, the work you did beforehand makes this easier. Rather than hiring an temporary manager and then setting him or her adrift to figure out what you want – and possibly going in the wrong direction – you can communicate the detailed expectations that led to the hiring.

Lay out the resources and background information you are providing. Explain what level of decision-making authority the temporary manager will have and how to escalate decisions that lie outside that authority. Alert him or her to any business or personnel issues that need to be considered, so he or she can prepare strategies for potential obstacles. This will make the job easier and help achieve objectives fully.

#Communicating effectively #Overcoming  resistance and politics #Struggling with limited resources  

Monitor the project and Review the results

Continue to give support and advice throughout the project, beware of scope creep. Facilitate the temporary manager’s interdepartmental communications, as needed, as well as escalation of decisions that fall outside the temporary manager’s authority. The more you can help him or her work toward the goal, the better the chances of completing it successfully.

Reviewing the results when the job is complete will help you identify how to make future projects that involve temporary managers run smoother.

 #Managing client expectations  #Controlling the scope of  work  #Struggling with limited resources  #Communicating effectively #Overcoming  resistance and politics #Harnessing management support


Clearly, the success of an temporary manager in an organization depends on both parties – the client and the temporary manager. Creating a clear vision for the proposed work and determining what resources and information the temporary manager will need to achieve success are prerequisites to choosing the right person. Even then, success is not guaranteed. Once the right person is in place, he or she needs ongoing support to fully achieve the goal.

A successful temporary management project  requires clear vision of the desired results; deep insight into the path to reach those results; and clear, ongoing communication and interaction between both parties throughout the work process to get the greatest benefit out of the specialized skills of your temporary manager. The effort, though, is worth it. By working in this way to get the most out of your temporary manager, results can be exceptional.