Bridget Gray's Blog

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Bridget Gray

Managing Director
Harvey Nash

Adding interim drivers to the innovation race

IT spending in Australia is up this year (expected to top $77 billion, according to Gartner), and I've had some great conversations recently with bright and energetic "disruptors." No doubt it's an exciting time to be working in this field! The great outlook is driving a lot of focus on growth and innovation... and IT interim or contract resources can do some of that driving.

R&D used to be considered an isolated function open to only a select few, until advances in technology literally unlocked the innovation labs. It's not only the high tech, digital and startup scene in Australia that is creating exciting products and projects. Now creativity flourishes in every nook and cranny inside and outside of even the most traditional of companies. The big challenge today is not where to find the next great idea, but how to get it developed and out the door to drive growth. IT interim and contract resources can help.

A study released late last year by the Australian Institute of Management and the University of Melbourne reported that business innovation is lagging due to lengthy development times. IT interim and contract resources can be a great way to hit deadlines without burning out your full-time employees. So not only will you get more done, you will increase retention rates!

IT interim and contract resources can contribute more than extra arms and legs. They can deliver an innovation edge. They bring in fresh skills and expertise that you can use to cross-train existing staff on new principles, techniques and practices. They can help support and champion your initiatives with unique insights, niche experience and knowledge.

Project work is a great way for interim resources to pick up a range of best practices from different organisations. They are exposed to alternate approaches and often learn trending techniques in lean and agile methodologies at an accelerated rate. You gain the benefit of that exposure.

In my experience, interim resources bring to each new assignment a breadth and depth of expertise that internal resources are often hard-pressed to match. Given the economic woes of recent years that pinched permanent hiring of new talent and frequently put a stop to internal learning initiatives, businesses are hungry for new sources of expertise.

Harness the best value from interim resources! I call it the essential "C"s:

  • Connect. Make the right introductions on the very first day. Position your interim resource to the rest of your team as an investment in their success. Ensure your newest staff member connects with the people who can get the best leverage from their knowledge.
  • Culturise. How should this person adapt their style or approach to succeed in your organisation? Be up front about this--an interim professional is able to quickly adapt their engagement style to fit into a variety of different organisations.
  • Collaborate. Integrate--never isolate--your interim professional. Putting great minds together is the quickest way to uncover great solutions!
  • Communicate. Include your interim professional in all relevant communications. Discuss the project regularly so that any issues are dealt with immediately.
  • Celebrate. Every project milestone gives you an excellent reason to congratulate all of the members of your project team--both perm and interim. Look for opportunities to bring everyone together in fun and relaxed ways. Positivity breeds positivity!

With innovation and speed to market so important today, an infusion of the right IT interim and contract resources can accelerate the speed of innovation through fresh thinking and new knowledge. Their focus, commitment and dedication can really help you achieve aggressive delivery timelines and beat the competition!