Interim management has a lifecycle. It could be a few weeks or several months. It is rarely for a period of a year or longer but if the right candidate is not available to don the role of a chief executive officer or take up other senior management positions, then there is no reason why interim management cannot be prolonged. The standard lifecycle of interim management is usually split into five stages: entry, diagnosis, proposal, implementation and exit. These may follow initial consultants, planning and strategizing, considering multiple options and then choosing a specific approach. The five stages are relevant in most cases, but this is not the ideal lifecycle for every business.
Not every interim management is tasked to diagnose a problem and find a resolution. Not every interim management has to implement the proposal and ensure it is effective in the short term or the long run. There may be a specific micro or macro issue. There may be an ulterior objective. Whatever is the specific goal, that alone should drive every other plan and accordingly one must choose the ideal lifecycle of interim management.
It is possible for an interim management lifecycle to be truncated to just a few days if the objective is to find a new leader. Interim managers may continue to play a role even after the new leadership is inducted. Those who are tasked with keeping things afloat do not really work on diagnoses and resolutions of problems. They are more caretaker managements and while they may still qualify as interim management, they do not get defined as trouble-shooters, which is what many stopgap measures are purposed for.
The ideal lifestyle of interim management shall depend on the needs of a business. It is unwise to provide interim managers less time than they need, and it is unnecessary to have them linger after the consequential contributions have been made.