Key Success Factors for the Perfect Handover

Bringing awareness of the criticality

If you're a senior professional, I would say you must have gone through the handover process at least once in your life. 

When executing a handover process we can find different scenarios:

  • You may be receiving the handover or giving it.
  • You may be giving the handover because you've been assigned to a new role within the same company.
  • You may be giving the handover because you're leaving the company.
The absence of this process, or just don't executing it properly, will be leading in really difficult situations within your company. Let me give you some examples:
  • Questions no one can answer.
  • Problems finding required information.
  • Responsibilities undefined or not well communicated.
  • Feeling of lack of transparency within your team.
So, on this post I will be sharing with you the template I always use for my project handovers, which have been fine tuned during the last years. 
During the last two years I completed a total of three handovers, all of them using this same template and I received really good feedback.
Key Success Factors for the Perfect Handover

Key success factors for the process

In this section, we'll go together through the different parts of the template and I will be sharing with you my highlights for each of them. By the way, you can download the template from this link.

Let's go with the first one!

1. Timeline and Sign-off

When facing a handover process we usually have a hard deadline, which is by when the colleague leading the Handover needs to be already starting on the new position. 

So, having a clear timeline it's a key factor to assess where we are and have an overall picture of the plan. In the timeline we will want to check the most important activities, like:

  • Handover sessions already done
  • Weekly Q&A sessions
  • Meeting shadowing plan (colleague who is leading the Handover leads the meetings)
  • Reverse shadowing plan (colleague who is taking over the role leads the meetings)
  • Sing-off date
  • Holidays or Bank holidays during the handover period
Covering these points is the objective of the first tab of our template, called "Timeline and Sign-off".

Key Success Factors for the Perfect Handover

2. Meeting map

Handing over all the meetings of your project is also a really important point to avoid losing communication with your stakeholders. You're leaving the project but you still want it to succeed, so you need to keep them engaged

We focus to covering this point in the tab called: "Handover Meetings". Here we will register not only project meetings, but also all the meeting which are taking place during the handover process.

Key Success Factors for the Perfect Handover 

3. Key links

We need to be sure the colleague who will take the lead has access to all the applications and tools. 

Handing over a tool where the access is still not granted to the new Project Manager is not recommended, as there'll probably be unanswered questions.

The tab called "Key Links" covers this point.

Key Success Factors for the Perfect Handover

4. Key documents

We will keep track of all the documentation storage and handover in the tab called "Key Documents". This time we will focus on the document name, storage location, description and access.

You can check the detail below.

Key Success Factors for the Perfect Handover

5. Project Stakeholders

Last but not least, we go with the Stakeholder Management. Project stakeholders are key players for the success of your project, so you need to know them and what is their role. It's important also to specify who is attending the Steerco meetings as well. 

Key Success Factors for the Perfect Handover

At this point, we have reviewed all the sections of the template. As I shared at the beginning, this has worked really well for me, and I hope will work as well for you. You can download the template by following this link.

So, what about you? Did you have to go through a handover process recently? Are you using any template? Would you add any additional point to the ones mentioned above? Please, feel free to share with me your thoughts about this topic by adding a comment to this post.

Knowledge sharing
July 19, 2022


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