As soon as upon a time I used to attempt to plan my initiatives round dates once I knew I used to be going to be within the workplace. My colleagues joked that I deliberate the delivery date of my first youngster round a significant transformation venture go reside date (I didn’t). It turned out that we needed to transfer that go reside by three months, so I used to be on maternity depart with a brand new born once they ultimately went reside.
As skilled venture managers know, when issues change on a venture, all of your rigorously deliberate deadlines swap round too.
On this article, we’ll have a look at learn how to plan and execute a handover to a colleague. Searching for specifics on how to write a handover email to your manager? I’ve a full article on that too, with templates, so make sure to test it out!
In case your venture is closing, learn my information to how to handover a project at closure as a substitute.
Causes to handover your work
Sooner or later in your profession, you’re going to must handover your venture to another person. That would occur for quite a lot of causes:
- Maternity depart
- Paternity depart
- Deliberate medical depart
- Somebody shifting to backfill a role elsewhere within the group
- Trip time, annual depart or booked holidays
- Unpaid depart of absence
- Worker resignation or a departing worker (maybe you) means work allocations have shifted round and it’s important to do a data switch to somebody choosing up your venture completely.
As you’ll be able to see, these causes cut up between a short lived handover (when another person takes duty to your work for a short while) and a everlasting handover (if you end up leaving the venture behind).
The method is just about the identical.
In case you are leaving for good and handing over your work throughout your discover interval, then you definately’ll wish to be extra inclusive and complete. For non permanent depart, you’ll be able to focus primarily on passing over duties that should be accomplished through the time you’re unavailable.
The most typical motive for briefing another person in your work is that you’ve got a vacation deliberate. A trip handover helps you each. It means it’s important to take into consideration what may occur and plan for it. It helps your colleagues cope with stuff while you’re away.
A vacation handover tends to cowl solely the duties that you just want another person to do in your behalf. That would embrace the next gadgets:
- Briefing senior managers on the completion of a process
- Sending out a report (bonus factors for you in the event you can pre-write a few of it earlier than you go)
- Being the purpose of contact in an emergency
- Being the purpose of contact for a provider in case they want one thing
- Supervising the day-to-day actions of the venture workforce and being a degree of escalation if workforce leaders want one thing
- Being the approval level for key processes in order that modifications and many others don’t get caught within the workflow while you’re away.
Principally, initiatives can cope with out you for a fortnight. It’s good to transient somebody on what to do, but when they aren’t capable of step up as a consequence of their very own workload, it’s not the tip of the world. Attempt to preserve your expectations manageable.
The 10 suggestions under will assist you to put collectively a easy transition plan, no matter how lengthy you’re going to be away (or in case you are ever coming again).
Listed here are 10 easy methods to go away your work behind and never fear about what’s happening again at base.
1. Use your e-mail signature to inform of upcoming depart
I’ve seen increasingly folks utilizing their e-mail signature as a technique to alert folks to approaching out of the workplace time. I believe it’s a good suggestion. It reads a bit like this:
E-mail signature, contact particulars, and many others
Advance discover: I’ll be out of the workplace from Tuesday 14 July till Friday 24 July.
The textual content is generally in purple or bolded (or each) so it stands out.
I do not know how efficient that is and whether or not it simply means you get a ton of emails on the day earlier than you’re as a consequence of depart, however it looks like a smart factor to do in an atmosphere the place you have got loads of messages and other people have to know the place you’re.
2. Plan your handover to a colleague
This may sound apparent however step one is that you want to plan to handover your work and create ‘handover notes’. I do that in a pocket book as a result of I’m a pen and paper thinker. (Learn extra about how I organise a notebook.)
Ideally, if you’re going to be out of the workplace for less than a brief time frame, it’s best to handover all of your present initiatives to at least one colleague. Have a look at the resource plan for the team and think about who that may be.
Your handoveree (that’s probably not a phrase, I do know) doesn’t have to know every part concerning the venture. They merely should be briefed on the mandatory info:
- Major deliverables throughout this time, if any
- Major dangers or points which are at present on the desk and may want watching (take them by your RAID log)
- Major stakeholders and the project sponsor’s contact particulars so if something pressing does come up they know who to speak to
- The place they will discover details about the venture
- Main selections that needs to be taken throughout this time, if any, and what your advice can be and/or standards for making that call.
You could have different issues so as to add to that record relying in your venture and scenario.
In case you are getting ready handover info as a part of the recruitment course of – to offer to a brand new starter as a result of your individual obligations have modified or you’re leaving – then you’ll want to embrace a complete handover report.
That ought to cowl all of the essential info, an inventory of key recordsdata, key processes, key contacts for every of the completely different groups concerned, particular actions which are in progress or excellent, present points and the way a lot time they need to count on to be spending on holding the work shifting ahead.
Tip: Lengthy earlier than you go, be sure your workforce has folks in it able to delegating to while you’re away. This book has some suggestions to assist help your workforce and handle your individual workload.
3. Meet your colleague to handover
Arrange a gathering with the one that will probably be choosing up your work. I discover that it helps to create a doc with all the important thing factors. They’ll then use this as a reference and replace it with something that modifications. In case you are coming again, they can provide it to you. Should you’re gone for good, they will adapt your notes into one thing that’s related for his or her job description.
They may even be ready (hopefully) to obtain the handover, they usually’ll have questions for you. They may even be utilizing my record of what to do whenever you take over a project — maybe it’s best to learn that too so you’ll be able to try the sorts of issues they’ll be searching for!
For non permanent handovers, ensure you are clear on what the priorities are (or needs to be) so that they solely must give attention to the actually essential stuff. Bear in mind they’ve their very own job to do too!
In case you have an automatic approvals course of or a venture administration workflow, such because the
For tips about learn how to discuss to somebody about
choosing up your work, learn my guide
to delegating tasks.
It is best to remind your supervisor and project sponsor) that you’re going away or leaving. They may have authorised your break day or realize it’s coming, however they won’t keep in mind precisely when it’s taking place.
Give them a lot of discover and introduce them to the brand new one who will probably be their non permanent/everlasting contact.
In case you are on vacation and it’s that type of venture, allow them to understand how they will contact you throughout your trip, in case you are ready to take their calls.
Bear in mind: you don’t must take calls or test your emails on vacation. You don’t must be accessible, even when they ask.
5. Inform your purchasers/different stakeholders
It’s a courtesy to let clients, suppliers or key venture stakeholders that you just gained’t be accessible throughout your trip time. I believe it’s higher to allow them to know on the telephone or at a daily assembly, however it’s all the time helpful to remind them in an e-mail.
In my expertise, they gained’t keep in mind, and having a reminder in writing offers them one thing to refer again to.
Use the pattern textual content under as an e-mail template for letting purchasers know that you can be out of the workplace for a time frame.
Vacation handover e-mail template to make use of with purchasers
Hi there [name]
I believed I’d remind you that I’m out of the workplace from [date] to [date]. I can guarantee that I’ve handed off the essential subjects to [colleague] who is out there that will help you throughout this time. You may attain him/her on [contact details] if you want to get in contact whereas I’m away.
If it’s not pressing, be happy to e-mail me and I’ll reply to your message on my return.
In order for you, you’ll be able to embrace an announcement concerning the newest progress, what subsequent steps are, what they are often doing while you’re off, or one thing like that.
Personalize as a lot as you’ll be able to, particularly in case you are out of the workplace for greater than every week.
Giving a last-minute-before-you-leave
replace goes to cut back the emails you get in your return as a result of they
(hopefully) gained’t be chasing for routine status
6. Set your out of workplace autoresponder message
Arrange an out of workplace e-mail response message letting folks know that you’re away out of your desk. You may automate it to go to inside recipients after which set a unique one for exterior senders as effectively, in the event you’d wish to tailor your responses.
Right here’s an instance of a foul out of workplace
on annual depart till Friday. I’ll choose up your e-mail on my return.
This doesn’t give the recipient any helpful info as a result of they can’t be positive which Friday you’re speaking about. Have you ever by chance left your out of workplace message on from a earlier absence?
And if they’ve an pressing question, they’ve now drawn a clean as you’ve given them no different contacts.
Microsoft Workplace/Groups/Outlook makes it straightforward to set autoresponders and out of workplace messages, and I’ve observed that it prompts me to take action if I sort one thing that appears like ‘I’ll be out of the workplace subsequent week’ in an e-mail to somebody. There’s no excuse!
Autoresponder e-mail template
This can be a higher e-mail template:
I’m on annual depart till Friday 24 July. I gained’t be accessing my e-mail throughout this time. In case your query is pressing, please contact:
Mission Alpha: John Smith (phone quantity xxx, e-mail email@example.com)
Queries about invoices: Accounts Payable workforce (name xxx and select possibility 3)
Different queries: Emma Jones (phone quantity xxx, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
I’ll reply on my return.
Record the contacts for every of your initiatives or main areas of duty in case you have them (in the event you don’t, simply stick your deputy on the record).
Verify with every individual that you just title that they’re completely happy to cowl for you while you’re away.
These are prone to be the folks which are in your project workbook’s Contacts tab.
Take into consideration whether or not you need this record of inside contacts to go to exterior senders. The quantity of spam emails I get, I wouldn’t need my colleagues’ names to finish up on gross sales folks’s mailing lists. So think about having a unique message for exterior senders.
It’s difficult responding to queries when somebody you have got by no means heard of earlier than calls you up with a query a few venture you understand nothing about (that has occurred to me).
If doubtful, put your supervisor as your out of workplace contact as she or he ought to be capable of direct enquirers to the suitable individual in your behalf.
Groups Tip: Your out of workplace Outlook e-mail will present up in your Groups standing alert, so colleagues utilizing Groups will see that you’re absent.
7. Replace your voicemail message
Bear in mind to replace your voicemail message
In case you are out of the workplace for a day or so then it most likely isn’t value it until you get loads of calls a day. In case you are away for every week then it’s well mannered to let callers know that you just gained’t be returning their requires some time.
Should you’re going to be out for some time, or maybe you’re leaving the enterprise fully, you may wish to think about redirecting your telephone. I have a tendency not to do that however it might be just right for you.
8. Tie up free ends
Don’t depart your colleagues with admin to
end off. The purpose of a handover is to not get another person to do your boring
Spend a little bit of time finding out your inbox,
delivering in your guarantees and tidying up your workload so that you aren’t leaving
(or coming again to) an enormous mess.
Write a to do record of issues which are
important for whenever you come again, so that you don’t spend your first day again within the
workplace questioning what on earth you have been engaged on earlier than you left.
9. Plan for a handover again whenever you return
The very last thing to do is to schedule time in your diary to your return with the intention to choose the venture up from the one that was taking care of it for you. Don’t assume nothing has occurred. You by no means know what they could have handled or completed whilst you have been away.
In case you are leaving for good, draw confidence from the actual fact you ready the very best handover paperwork attainable for the incoming worker. By all means keep involved along with your ex-colleagues, however don’t lose sleep over the work you left behind.
- Flip off your autoresponder e-mail in the event you haven’t set it to auto-expire whenever you get again
- Replace your voicemail to your normal message
- E book time along with your workforce members so you’ll be able to make amends for their work progress.
Personally I’m not notably good at switching off on vacation so I might have checked all my emails anyway and saved updated in a passive method by that.
However I don’t advocate that: I believe vacation time needs to be for holidays and whenever you come again you’ll usually have an enormous pile of messages to undergo.
Just be sure you discuss to your cowl
individual as quickly as you’ll be able to so that you just get the context for any of these messages
that relate to the venture.
10. Go on vacation and don’t look again!
In case you are taking a trip, don’t take into consideration work. You’ll be extra refreshed. Issues are in good arms. And even when they aren’t, I promise you’ll be able to kind all of it out whenever you get again. The world is not going to finish.
And in case you are staying again whereas others are off, listed here are 7 ways to stay motivated and productive at work through the holidays.
If you wish to take into consideration work folks, do it within the context of shopping for vacation treats for the workforce and convey again some native sweets or one thing. It’s all the time good to thank the those who helped you whilst you have been off.