Keynote at DDIM in Hamburg: The market for further qualification offers for executive interim managers is vast, prompting the question - what added value do certification courses bring and for whom?

By York von Massenbach

York von Massenbach, Partner, Boyden Interim Management
Source / Quelle: Foto: Arne Wölper

As part of the kitchen talk event series by DDIM.lokal - an initiative of the umbrella organization Deutsches Interim Management - a meeting with local interim managers took place on April 25, 2024, at the Hay Loft in Hamburg's Schanzenviertel. Interest in the perennial topic of "Certification Courses for Interim Managers" remained strong, with the event fully booked weeks in advance.

As the guest speaker for the presentation titled "Certification Courses for Interim Managers - Adding Value for the Customer," I sparked a lively discussion on the actual benefits of these often costly training programs. A question that resonated particularly with the managerial group was: How can the significance of certification courses be evaluated for one's own professional development on one hand, and as a competitive advantage in client pitches on the other?

For all participants, especially those unable to secure a spot at the event, here is a summary of the 7 TOP takeaways on certification courses:

  1. Fundamentals: relevant reference projects and a proven “Interim muscle” = real project experience are much more important than certificates.
  2. New to interim management: certificate courses make sense for those managers who are getting to grips with interim management for the first time. Especially when it comes to building networks.
  3. No guarantee: an interim restructuring course is not a guaranteed ticket to the next interim CRO/CTO project.
  4. New project trends: in the absence of proven project experience, e.g. for AI or ESG, a certificate can increase the probability of project entry.
  5. Sales funnel perspective: the importance of certifications for interim managers decreases successively from approach to assignment, i.e. “from front to back”. Their added value (= their effectiveness) is highest directly during project acquisition
  6. Must-have for project management: Project management certifications from one of the three leading project management certification providers worldwide are mandatory, especially for interim project managers:
    - Prince2
    - PMP from PMI
    - Level A-D from IPMA (GPM)
    This applies regardless of which functional focus an interim manager covers. Renewal of the practitioner certificates is not mandatory. There is no general customer preference for one of the above-mentioned project management certificates: the decisive factor in each individual case is the method used by the commissioning customer company to manage its projects.
  7. Restructuring certification courses: Of the many courses on the market, interim managers give the restructuring consultant certification course from the IfUS Institute for Corporate Restructuring in Heidelberg the highest marks.

These findings are in line with the results of our survey of around 4,000 interim managers in the DACH region on their assessment of the importance of certification courses, which we had conducted in advance as an initial study. More than 10% of the manager group took part in the survey and came to the same conclusion by a wide margin:

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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