How to Transition People Off a Project


The project isn’t done until you’ve transitioned your team, says Jennifer Bridges, PMP.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!
employee offboarding process

In Review: How to Offboard an Employee

Before you even start a project, Jennifer said, you have to know how it’ll end. That includes offboarding the people on your team.

Let’s say the project is delayed or someone is transferred or even terminated, you have to have a process in place. Those steps include:

  • Acknowledging with a circumstantial exit interview
  • Announcing through the proper communication channels
  • Closing out agreements, contracts and timesheets
  • Accounting for invoicing and payments
  • Handing off tools, access, equipment and documentation
  • Transitioning project tasks

By following this protocol you manage both the project and the people in your team. Offboarding is made more efficient and employee offboarding is less problematic. So, use this offboarding checklist the next time you need to offboard an employee.

Pro-Tip: Regardless of what you’re doing throughout the life cycle of your project, shelving your project plan is a mistake. Consider your plan a living document. Things are always changing and your plan has to have the flexibility to pivot with those changes.

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Today, we’re talking about how to transition people off a project. And this is so important, we wanted to include it in the project plan series so that you can plan for upfront what may or might happen on your project.

So you wanna plan for if a project gets delayed, or it may even get terminated, and those people get transitioned either to another project, or they may even get terminated. So let’s look at how or what the process is to transition the people off, and what you need to include in the plan.

First of all, we want to acknowledge the person when they leave. It’s a little tricky because depending upon the situation that occurred and why they’re leaving, there are human resources procedures that have to be followed in some companies, but if it’s on a good note, then you wanna be sure to acknowledge the person for the work that they did on the project.

You also want to announce that the person is leaving to the other team members, make the announcements, and be sure to include communications not only to the team members, but also your stakeholders, and any other partners that may be working on your project.

You also wanna make sure that you plan to close out different things like, are there agreements or contracts that they need to sign before they leave? Are there time sheets that they need to complete and submit so that you can account for different invoice as in payments that need to be made?

You also want to be sure to hand off different tools that they may be using for the project, even shut down or close out their access to systems. You wanna be sure to get equipment back. It may be a computer. It may be a phone or other pieces of equipment they need to do their job, and you wanna get project documentation back because in most companies, there is confidentiality for the project, and intellectual property that you wanna be sure that you get.

Then you wanna transition their work or their tasks to other people on the project, or maybe even somebody you’re bringing in to transition that work.

So again, these are different pieces of the project that you wanna be sure to include and plan for. So if you need a tool that can help you transition people off your project, then sign up for our software now at projectmanager.