How to manage Mission creep?

Interim Managers engaged to carry out a specific brief and a set of objectives can sometimes find themselves in a situation where their initial brief and objectives have  ‘morphed’  into something else. Is this to be expected?

In our experience of providing Interim Managers to organisations this is quite normal and should be expected. In many regards it is a compliment to the Interim Manager as the host company clearly trusts the interim to take on board additional tasks.

So how should the interim manager manage this change in brief and objectives?

Firstly, if the additional duties/objectives are really just an extension of what was agreed at the outset of the assignment then we would suggest that the Interim Manager simply view the changes under the terms of the current service contract. However , should the Interim Manager be asked to take on board additional responsibilities and duties which are significantly different to the initial brief then we would encourage the interim to contact their Interim Service Provider (ISP) who can then speak directly with the client regarding the re-negotiation of the key terms of the service contract.

As an example of this type of scenario, one of our most experienced Interim Managers we have placed several times was recently engaged as an Interim Sales & Marketing Director for a manufacturing company however because of his Operations Management background he was soon asked to take on some of the duties of the Operations Director as well as those of Sales role. In essence, he was being asked to wear two ‘hats’.  Whilst many interim managers are very capable of multi-tasking it was significantly outside of the initial brief and therefore required a new contract to be drawn up.