Leaving your job? How to draft a Business Transition Plan or Handover Note
If you're changing jobs, it's good form to leave behind a clear document outlining your standard duties, processes, and activities so your successor is set up for success.
In this article, we will go through why creating a transition plan (or if you're in the United Kingdom or Commonwealth, a handover note) is essential, what yours should include, and how you can use this opportunity to reflect on your own development.
Want to skip straight to the template? Here's our free AI handover generator.
What is a transition plan?
You already know what a transition plan is but for some reason Google loves articles that start with a description. I'll make it quick:
A transition plan is a document that includes all the relevant information related to your work. Employees typically draft a transition plan for a supervisor or successor when they are about to leave a position.
Transition plans include all the key details involved in someone's daily responsibilities (such as current and outstanding projects, contracts, and tasks) so they can be assigned to someone else to take over. The goal of such a plan is to prepare your supervisor for your departure and make the transition process smooth.
Writing a transition plan for a smooth handover
Your transition plan is less of a story and more of a way to inform your successors how they should continue your work and uphold your hard-earned legacy.
It's important to take into consideration how your leaving will affect the work of those staying in the business - not just your team members but also wider stakeholders such as customers and partners.
The task of writing a transition plan can be divided into four main steps:
Step 1: Explain your duties and responsibilities
This is perhaps the most important part of your job transition plan: the duties behind your salary and often beyond your official job description. Outlining them will help your supervisor determine which to reassign and to whom.
- Start by defining any teams and where they fit in the company's structure. Include people's names and specific documents that describe structures and objectives (for example, an organizational chart). It can also be helpful to mention hints and risks, such as current issues or particular ways of doing things that are specific to a team.
- Then, explain the different roles you hold within a team. Each description should mention people involved at all levels, documents that define overarching responsibilities, a few pointers or hints, and any recommended training required for the role.
- Mention your typical activities and any people, assets, documents, actions, deliverables, and events relevant to them. Include any future submissions, upcoming meetings, and again training and risks specific to them.
- Lastly, don't forget to include your standard processes or the steps a team needs to take to achieve an end.
Step 2: Include your current and recently completed projects
All transition plans should also include all the projects you've been working on, how much progress you've made on them, deadlines and recommended next steps. Don't forget to point staff to relevant resources and shared folders for the project.
Step 3: List your existing tasks
Next, make sure you include a list of tasks you plan on finishing before you leave the company. This bit will help both you as you plan your last few weeks and your supervisor as they determine which ones might need to be delegated later on, if you run out of time.
Step 4: Include key contact details
Lastly, it's beneficial to add any relevant contacts who might come in handy to your successor, both internal and external.
Tips for a good transition
Because templates encourage repeatability, there are more benefits to using them as an organization. A transition plan template can improve productivity by maintaining asset ownership and streamlining the process of transferring responsibilities.
Your note should be written in simple, informative language that is both concise (does not use more words than it's necessary) and precise (has accuracy and specificity).
However, there's more you can do to ensure a smooth transition. You could identify a possible successor or include information about the best ways to select an appropriate candidate, outlining training requirements. In addition, it's always helpful to provide feedback on your experience and any difficulties with existing processes.
Using our free AI handover generator
We've gone through the different components of a transition plan and why each of them is important for a smooth handover.
If you're balking at the idea of covering all of this detail in a Word document, an alternative solution is to use our free handover generator. After being interviewed by our AI, you'll have captured the context behind your work activities and presented them in an interactive diagram for seamless knowledge transfer.
Try imprend today and be the first person in company history to make the next guy say "Wow. This is the greatest handover of all time."