5 Perks of Hiring an Interim Product Manager for Successful Product Launches

Building a new product is exciting but, at the same time, very demanding and requires a specific skill set. It also requires a significant amount of time, money, and resources to develop and bring a new product to market. One critical role in this process is that of a product manager who oversees the entire product development lifecycle. 

However, finding the right person to fill this role can be challenging. In this article, we will explore the perks of hiring an interim product manager, how they can help your company launch a new product successfully and challenge the organization's current thinking and management style in a healthy way.

Here are some of the perks of having an interim product manager:

Quick start

Interim product managers can quickly get up to speed on the needs of the company and the product in question. They are familiar with best practices for product management and can hit the ground running, allowing the company to make progress on the product immediately.

Interim product managers excel at quickly starting and onboarding projects thanks to their ability to connect individuals, teams, and peers across boundaries. Drawing on their experience, they can swiftly identify key stakeholders, facilitate collaboration, and establish clear communication channels. This leads to a smooth and efficient project initiation, says Sampo Lehtiniemi an Entrepreneur in Residence at Coventures.

Objective perspective

Since interim product managers are not permanent employees of the company, they can provide an objective perspective on the product and its development. They can bring in fresh ideas and offer constructive criticism without being hindered by existing company culture or politics.

Consultants also offer a great deal of flexibility when it comes to the duration of the engagement. Depending on the company's needs, they can be hired for short-term projects or longer-term assignments. Additionally, consultants can often be brought on at short notice, which is particularly useful for companies that need to fill a role quickly.

I have found the "non-manager mentor" position to be fruitful. You can discuss a team member's development needs, strengths, and weaknesses in a much more straightforward way since the burden of line management is not present - it can often be a much more frank conversation than what it can be with a manager who decides on the person's promotions and salary, etc. This assumes a good relationship between the interim PM (or head of PM) and the person in question. Building that relationship from the start is key to success in these interim roles, says Ira Wichmann an Entrepreneur in Residence at Coventures.

Specialized skills set

Interim product managers are often hired for their specialized skills in a particular area of product management. They may have experience in market research, user experience design, or product positioning. This means they can bring in specific skills that may be lacking within the company's current team.

The diverse experience interim role product managers have across various organizations and industries serves as an invaluable asset. As they transition between different companies, these professionals acquire a vast repertoire of skills, policies, and best practices, which they can then apply to new environments. Their external perspectives can help identify inefficiencies, highlight innovative strategies, and inspire a culture of continuous improvement.

Access to professionals who would otherwise be nearly impossible to hire

Experienced entrepreneur consultants offer businesses a unique opportunity to tap into a vast reservoir of knowledge and skills that might otherwise be inaccessible.Hiring an interim product manager provides companies with the unique opportunity to engage with industry veterans and professionals who might typically be out of their reach, either due to high salary demands or exclusive commitments. These professionals bring business building knowledge, network, and experience from previous roles in diverse sectors and companies. 

They can often leverage these connections and their extensive experience to facilitate partnerships, solve complex challenges, and provide strategic guidance to boost the product's chances of success.

These professionals' insights and perspectives can be game-changers, bringing innovative strategies and fresh thinking. This unique access to top-tier talent can lead to transformative outcomes.

Lower risk

Hiring an interim product manager can be a strategic move to mitigate risks associated with launching a new product. Firstly, they are not permanent employees, so they don't require the same financial commitment regarding benefits and long-term salary. This allows for better cost control, especially in uncertain product launch scenarios. 

Secondly, they provide flexibility in terms of engagement. If the product underperforms, discontinuing the contract is typically more straightforward and more cost-effective than terminating a permanent employee, saving the company from potential legal and financial burdens. 

To sum up, you will find, hiring an interim product manager can provide a variety of benefits to a company developing a new product. They offer quick starts, specialized skills, objective perspectives, reduced risk, and cost-effectiveness, making them a valuable resource for any company looking to bring a new product to market.