The Project Handover Checklist

Here’s a brief checklist of what could be included in the project handover plan:

  • Identifying and managing key stakeholders including the group who will receive the handover
  • A clear date for handover of the project
  • A communication plan that starts early in the life of the project and includes the target group
  • Change management issues and how they will be handled
  • Getting the target group involved as early as possible including someone being on the project team who also acts as a change agent
  • Developing appropriate training for this group or ensuring it is included in the handover plan
  • Clear risk management
  • Having clear roles for the recipients in the department taking on the new work e.g. it may not be your responsibility for organizing the training, it could be their responsibility

Your project handover checklist will no doubt be different having more project specific items. It does however reflect the need to develop a plan that works for your project and for the group taking on this new piece of work.

Some Project Managers may take a different approach: They see handover as one of the stages of the project, and have someone manage that particular aspect. They involve stakeholders and staff from the appropriate areas. In this case, the stage is seen as part of the overall project.

So next time you are working on a project; is a handover plan appropriate? If yes, have you taken key stakeholders along with you and are you managing all the change management requirements?

Project Hand-over Essentials

For each project you are about to hand over, make sure you cover the following things for the new PM.

  • get the project charter if you have one or collect the project initiation documentation
  • gather all business case information
  • collect the documents involved in the initial offer, make sure to indicate clearly which one is the signed copy (important in order to understand initial, often commercial expectations)
  • gather all change requests (amount, description and timing for each instance), this can be short but the key is to make a complete list
  • write down what the roles are at the client’s office (who’s the sponsor, who will check the quality of the deliverable, etc.) if you have a RACI chart this can help
  • list your contacts and their coordinates, write down how frequently you communicate with them and what topics to cover
  • introduce the new PM to the client (very important if you are the single point of contact)
  • introduce the new PM to the delivery team(s)
  • suggest next steps for the new PM
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