Interim Portfolio/Program/ Project Managers

QTC Interim assignments vary in scope and requirements, encompassing change management, ‘gap’ assignments, project management and turnaround management. The following stages of the ‘assignment lifecycle’ are typical of how QTC interim managers enter into an assignment, reach and carry out the actual implementation, and finally exit the assignment.

Entry The prospective client and QTC make initial contact and explore the requirement sufficiently for the client to be able to decide to engage QTC to address the situation. This is likely to involve a ‘preliminary’ assessment of what the client considers the scope of QTC’s contribution needs to be. Typically the entry stage takes place over one or more initial meetings and results in the QTC interim manager’s provisional engagement.

Diagnosis The QTC interim manager researches the current situation in order to understand it, how it came about (if required), and clarify what are the requirements of the varying stakeholders. At this stage a more detailed understanding of ‘what the situation is’ is formed as well as approaches to address it. Typically the diagnosis stage will take a few days.

Proposal The QTC interim manager presents a more detailed proposal which acts as the interim assignment objectives and plan. If this differs significantly from the preliminary plans determined at ‘entry’, the solution may involve different requirements from the QTC interim manager or possibly the ending of the assignment. It is common that this ‘proposal’ may challenge the clients understanding of the situation, on the basis of the QTC interim manager’s expertise. The QTC interim manager takes the responsibility to propose a solution most likely to be effective, not automatically the one originally requested. In the case of a ‘gap assignment’ such a proposal may simply outline how the QTC interim manager will be a ‘safe pair of hands’.

Implementation The QTC interim manager takes responsibility for managing the intervention, project, or solution, tracking progress and conducting periodic feedback reviews with the client. During this stage and depending on the assignment, we will get as close to the situation as is necessary, whilst remaining an independent practitioner. We may be managing teams, projects, dealing with crises or transformations or simply ‘holding the fort'. Our implementation is unencumbered by company politics or culture and purely focused on the task in hand.

Exit The QTC interim manager, approaching project end, ensures that objectives have been met and that the client is satisfied. This stage may involve ‘knowledge handover and training’, determining and sourcing ‘business as usual’ successors, and ‘sharing lessons learnt’ in the process. The QTC interim manager is focused on the success of the assignment and not simply the length of their own tenure, which means that this stage can be carried our professionally and objectively. Often this will be end of the QTC interim manager/client relationship. Sometimes QTC interim managers may continue to give occasional ad hoc consultancy.

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