As the Chief Financial Officer, it is your responsibility to drive the direction and success of the organisation, no matter the challenges. One way to achieve this is by engaging an interim manager to provide leadership, expertise and support during periods of transition, transformation, or change. In fact, nearly 10% of all interim engagements are in the finance function, making it the third most popular area of expertise for interim managers behind board/general management and operations.
Whatever the reason for the engagement, interim managers can be a cost-effective way to access big benefits, including:
- Exclusive commitment to your organisation without putting the integrity of your project at risk
- Increased flexibility
- Quick and effective support in times of crisis
- Access to hard-to-find skills and expertise
- Objectivity and fresh perspectives
- Business continuity during periods of change
- Increased capacity thanks to skill and knowledge transfer
That's not to say that interim management is the only resourcing solution available to you. Which is why before beginning an engagement it's necessary to determine the exact nature of the engagement as well as put in place key processes to ensure success.
5 questions to ask before commencing an interim management engagement
At Oakwood, before we begin your engagement, we hold a discovery session with you where we ask several important questions. The answers to those questions will help us to find you an interim solution that will meet your goals while adding value to your organisation. At the discovery session we work with you to determine:
1. What is the current situation?
This initial question serves as an invaluable opportunity for you to lay out the precise problem or opportunity you are facing as you see it. Sharing your perspective, allows us to ensure that we have a solid understanding of your unique situation and that the engagement benefits from your insights and perceptions. This input becomes the foundation upon which we build your tailored interim management solution.
2. What are the consequences if action is not taken?
This crucial question empowers you to delve into the potential outcomes and implications of inaction. By considering the consequences, you recognise the urgency and importance of addressing the identified problem or opportunity. In exploring the potential negative outcomes, such as missed growth opportunities, increased costs, or competitive disadvantages, we gain deeper insights into your specific motivations for seeking an interim management solution.
3. What specific skills and experience are required?
It is then essential to determine the specific skills and experience that are needed for your engagement. This will ensure we provide an interim manager with the necessary knowledge and expertise to effectively support your organisation and will ensure that the interim is a good fit for the business and project. Engaging a safe pair of hands with vast experience in financial systems implementations, mergers, acquisitions, business performance and process improvement, or a host of various financial projects, is a sound strategy when so much is riding on a successful project delivery.
4. What are the short-term goals of the engagement?
Defining the goals of the engagement in advance, including the desired outcomes and timeframe, will help to ensure that the interim manager has a clear understanding of your expectations and can deliver results within the specified parameters. Your goals may include improving financial performance, streamlining operations, or implementing new systems and processes within a finite timeframe or budget.
5. What is your budget for the engagement?
Another important consideration is the budget for the project. Determine how the budget will be allocated across technology or fixed costs, and what will be allocated to resourcing, whether via interim managers, consultancy fees, additional permanent staff etc. Always take into consideration any potential savings or returns on investment that engaging an interim manager may deliver, including a leaner fee structure than consultancies, and cost savings when compared to the sunk costs of permanent hires. This will not only help to ensure that the engagement is financially viable but also that it will be beneficial for your organisation long-term.
Once you've answered these questions, you'll be ready to begin the process of finding the right interim management service for your business. If you are uncertain about how to proceed, then connecting with an interim management specialist could be the way forward. 32% of all interim engagements are conducted through a specialist firm.
Working with an interim management specialist
Interim management specialists like Oakwood Resources work closely with your business to understand your requirements and provide a shortlist of suitable professionals from our pool of highly experienced and qualified interim managers. Once you've found your perfect match, we will manage the engagement, including contract negotiation, performance monitoring, and evaluation, as well as advice and considerations around IR35.
What sets Oakwood Resources apart is our unique Blended Model® that combines the hands-on specialist expertise of interim management with the strategic framework delivery of a consulting firm. This model enables businesses to accelerate problem-solving, transform operations, and achieve strategic and cost-effective solutions.
The Blended Model® gives you:
- Agile and bespoke project solutions that yield results
- Consideration of your short- and long-term strategic business plans
- A tailored approach that captures your key objectives and goals
- Deep relationships with consultants who understand how your business works
How Oakwood Resources can help you find the right interim management support
When you partner with Oakwood Resources you gain the expertise and knowledge of our specialist interim managers with the strategic delivery of a consultancy. This powerful combination means you can harness the insight and expertise you need to transform your finance function.
For a more responsive, cost-effective solution that gives you a bespoke strategy tailored to your business, think Oakwood!