During our career we find ourselves in different situations. Sometimes we decide that it’s time for new challenges and make a decision to take on a new and more promising position. Another time due to unfavourable circumstances we have to leave the job to which we devoted years of hard work and efforts. Anyway, job change happens almost to everyone and this is definitely one of the most stressful periods in our lives.
For project managers job transition is far more painful than for many other professions because they deal with complex systems (which are called projects) and should feel responsible for keeping these systems working, both the ones they left and the ones they are taking off.
Unfortunately, transition periods aren’t short. This is the time when you as a newcomer spend your new company`s money and their employees` time not giving much value in return. Is there anything that can be done in order to reduce this transition period? Recently while being transitioning to a new company I’ve figured out that if I had a clear knowledge transfer plan in place it would definitely help me to get onboard and to become alert more quickly.
As a consequence, I have prepared a checklist for a project knowledge transfer that may be helpful during the transition period. It can be used by both parties – the person who takes charge of a new project and the manager who hands it over in order to make sure that nothing important is missed. This checklist is the most suitable for software development projects, but I believe that it can be applied with some modifications to any project, so I`ve decided to share it with you.
Knowledge Transfer Plan for Software Development Project
1. Business overview (up to 2 hrs.)
- business domain
- company/account history
- stakeholder register
- communication plan
2. Project overview (up to 4 hrs.)
- business case
- system components and architecture
- technical stack
- environment structure
- project roadmap and milestones
- risks and constraints
3. Process overview (up to 3 hrs.)
- process framework
- iteration length
- issue life-cycle
- release and deployment processes
- documentation overview
- communication and management tools
- accounts and credentials
4. Team overview (up to 3 hrs.)
- team structure (roles, locations)
- team morale and motivation
- team ground rules
- overtime policy
- vacation plan
- individuals` peculiarities
5. Finance and Budget (up to 2 hrs.)
- SOW terms
- project budget
- invoicing process and details
6. Project manager`s routine (up to 3 hrs.)
- tasks distribution
- status tracking
You may also download Google Docs copy here. If you have any ideas on how to improve this checklist, please, don’t hesitate to propose.