CS5: Interim Operations Manager – Financial Services

Case Study: Interim Operations Manager

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This was a business that had organically grown over the last 10 years and had a strong reputation and a good level of repeat clients. They had reached the size of being too big for the team to be managed by the business owner, but not yet big enough to warrant bringing in a full-time manager. They were also reaching the stage of wanting to take the next steps in being a growing business and were looking to put together a 5 year plan to double turnover.

I had meetings with the individuals and the business owner and this is what I found:

  • Individuals who had been empowered to take responsibility for themselves and their role, requiring much more management input & guidance
  • A business owner who was developing other interests and direction for himself and the business and didn’t have the time for the day-to-day
  • A member of staff with great aspirations to move into a more senior position in the business but without the experience or training to do so
  • No recent review of roles & responsibilities leading to some friction over differing workloads


  • Gathered detail on all the projects, intentions and aspirations of the business and formed a prioritised project plan
  • Project managed the individuals through achievement of some of these identified projects
  • Spent time with the individuals understanding their roles and capabilities and bringing job descriptions up to date
  • Getting to grips with not just the tasks but the personalities required by the roles and making adjustments where there was not a good fit
  • Working alongside the individual with management aspirations, training and guiding on the job
  • Doing appraisals and setting objectives for the staff which tied in with the organisational direction
  • Providing a sounding-board to the Director as he dealt with staff changes, recruitment and worked through his desired business direction
  • Input to a consultant-led workshop setting the 5 year plan


  • After 18 months of one morning per week the business was in a position to have a clear growth path and a good understanding of the staffing required
  • I was able to then help recruit a full-time Operations Manager to lead the business through the next phase

To put it even more simply, don’t struggle through the gap between requiring support and needing someone full-time when there are part-time options available to see you through

“From first meeting Paula I was impressed by her attitude. She clearly had extensive experience and professional skills, but then so do many others. What Paula also had was a deep care for the people she works for and with, a rare quality that I value highly.” Chris Budd, Ovation Finance