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Belgium’s leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient hiring solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources

Read more
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For us, recruitment is more than just a job. We understand that behind every opportunity is the chance to make a difference to people’s lives

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Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters Belgium

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Interim project managers increasingly in demand

If you are open to new challenges and want to add significant value to an organisation to act as a neutral and objective person, you could have an exciting career as an interim project manager.  

Anthony van de Ven, recruitment consultant with the interim management division of international recruitment firm Robert Walters, explains which interim project management assignments are currently on the rise, why organisations turn to interim managers for such projects, and what the ideal profile of an interim project manager looks like. 

What assignments are currently on the rise within interim project management? 

Anthony: "On the one hand, there are the projects related to the switch to another ERP package, or the transition to a newer version of the existing ERP package. The interim manager then acts as a key user and translates, as it were, the needs of the finance department to the IT department. The ultimate goal of the project is that the data are transferred fully and correctly to the new ERP system, for which the interim project manager performs extensive checks. 

We also often see assignments involving the automation of reporting. The interim manager's responsibility then consists of setting up an automatic flow in which reports can be generated directly from the ERP system in Power BI, rather than having to draw them up manually in Excel. Because Power BI allows to go into great detail, the interim project manager must ensure that the relevant and complete data can be reported to the management in a well-organised manner. By automating this process, reporting can be a lot faster and smoother." 

Why would it be best for organisations to bring an interim manager on board for these types of projects?  

The big advantage of assigning such projects to an interim manager is that the operational functioning is not disrupted at any point. Internal employees can work on their tasks on an ongoing basis. "Both automation projects and transfers to a new ERP package are bulky assignments, easily lasting several months," Anthony says. "Carrying this out internally compromises the day-to-day tasks of one or more employees anyway, and risks the project dragging on longer."

"With an interim manager on board, you take the pressure off your employees and everything can continue its normal course, despite the implementation of a big project." 

 

Another big plus of interim managers is the knowledge and experience they bring to the table. An interim manager has often already managed this type of innovation project at several organisations and will therefore demonstrate greater efficiency.  

Are companies open to interim project managers? 

"We have seen the demand for interim project managers steadily increase for about two years now," Anthony explains. "Organisations increasingly need specialised reporting, and also recognise that automation projects can save a lot of costs in the long term. Also for an ERP implementation, they prefer a professional who has already built up expertise, and who can bring a new perspective to the organisation."  

Which professionals qualify for interim project management?  

Obviously, there are a number of hard skills associated with project management. An interim project manager has a strong affinity with IT, knowledge of business intelligence software and ERP packages, such as SAP S/4 HANA, Power BI and Analytics Cloud, and a financial background. They are often finance professionals with experience in an IT environment, or business controllers who have experience in working out reporting.  

"Furthermore, there are also a number of human skills essential for the role of interim project manager," Anthony adds. "An interim project manager is usually brought into an organisation for a period of 6 to 18 months. So in that short time, he has to manage an entire project, with or without the support of permanent staff within the organisation. Strong organisational talent and good communication skills are therefore indispensable, as are a sense of diplomacy and persuasiveness. To bring such projects to a successful conclusion, you need to be a real team player, hearing the needs of each party involved, thinking along and looking for solutions."

 

Interested to find out more?

Discover which project management assignments we currently have. Are you looking for a Project Manager? Contact our interim management division today 

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Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Anthony van de Ven

Recruitment Consultant | Antwer
Phone: +32 479 66 35 53

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