What Is a Job Handover Note?

A job handover note is a document made by an exiting employee for their replacement that explains their position’s daily chores and responsibilities. It should be utilized as a guide for the new employee on how to accomplish the job obligations. The purpose of handover is to ensure that task-relevant information is sent accurately and reliably throughout shift changes or across teams, guaranteeing the continuance of safe and effective work. This is all part of the job handover process where you will need to provide a detailed handover note to the new employee. You can check out the job handover note sample to understand further how the contents are arranged.

Things to Prepare Before Conducting a Project Handover

Preparing a job handover document may be a challenging task if you are not as familiar with the process. Though if you have written it before, then this curated article will merely serve as a reminder for you. Employees who have not experienced composing a handover letter should utilize the list below as this will provide them with sufficient information on what goes into the preparation of a project handover. Keep in mind that you may not necessarily follow them at a precise point but you can refer to them from here and there.

Take a Benefit-Oriented Approach: The emphasis is not on the work but on the results, outcomes, and advantages that programs provide to the end user. When we look at project management through this lens, we can assert unequivocally, “A project is regarded to be failed if it does not produce the anticipated advantages.” The same is true for project handover. Your team is primarily focused on completing this project and moving on to the next one without a benefits-based approach to the handover process. There is minimal attention and focus on real-life implementation in this scenario. As a result, project handover should not be regarded as a fixed date.Set Quantifiable Success Criteria: Avoid making broad, generic comments. The project’s overall success may be jeopardized if the outcomes are not clearly defined. It is important to note that the advantages should not only be determined but also conveyed to all stakeholders from the start. If the project is not completed and the success criteria are not specified from the start, both the project team and the client are to blame. It is the project manager‘s obligation to strike a balance between fulfilling project objectives on the one hand and assuring benefits realization on the other. A sensible option is to have an assigned member of the team measure the criteria and report back to the project manager on a constant schedule.Get to Know Your Client: Clients come in many forms and sizes, therefore recognizing the various client kinds is critical. Clients will expect you to hold their hand and lead them every step of the way. You will come across people who are resistant to change and unwilling to try new things. You will have to deal with know-it-all clients who have all the answers before you can advise them on what works and what to avoid. Take the time to understand more about their problems and the answers they are looking for. You must be able to answer the critical question regarding what it would take to have a good transition for the client.Plan for Similar Situations: Project handover is not a one-time event. It is a transition, not a certain day. Handover is often included in the project integration and project closing stages of most project management techniques. As a result, while working on large projects, teams frequently prepare for many handovers rather than a single delivery. Consider preparing mini-handovers during the project execution to keep anything under control. You may even schedule small festivities to keep the team spirit high. The fact is you have to be prepared for any kind of mini job handover to make the larger handover smoother in task transition.Provide a Useful Document: Place data in a common environment to allow for just-in-time access to information. Ensure that all documentation is useable and searchable. This will reduce the need to do things repeatedly and save everyone time. End-user documentation must be written. Yes, it may be inconvenient and push you to reconsider your typical method of writing documentation. However, written data must be useful, appropriate, and relevant to your target users in order to promote knowledge transfer. Look at it this way, by having a job handover note prepared, your other employees planning to depart from the company can utilize a similar format though changing the content should not be forgotten.Preserve the Knowledge: Things occur. Your member of the team may become ill or abruptly leave. Make every attempt to retain the most useful people on board, but if that isn’t a possibility, you should establish your priorities. If you can’t keep the people, keep the information. This is why it is critical to have the requirements specified in as much information as possible. The upside of producing a physical or online document is that it can be stored for future reference or utilized in the future for another person fulfilling the role in the same project.

Tips to Improve Job Handovers

Job handovers will take a significant amount of time as the transition may not immediately be completed in one sitting. Large projects will require the new recruit to learn the background of the project while also studying up on the role they will be fulfilling. With that being said, your role in the company or in the project itself can help them out to be more familiar. Learning how to successfully pass off a project might be difficult. Read on for professional advice on creating a successful job handover note and some extension, an efficient handover plan.

Accessible Former Information: Keep prior project information close at hand. Handovers should be done in a systematic manner. Bring your prior experience expertise and lessons to the table. Keep the information handy and go through it thoroughly before starting a new project. Whether you are a newcomer or a seasoned veteran in the sector, look at each handover as an opportunity to gather useful knowledge for your future attempts. Don’t throw away documents that may have been completed projects as the information contained within them can still serve to be purposeful or useful for other situations. Create handover documents from the perspective of the end-user and organize knowledge transfer from the start of the project. Documents should provide further detail and act as a road map for making educated decisions and avoiding traps.Include a User Representative on the Project Team: Those who will use the project outcomes should be represented on the project team at all stages of the project’s lifespan. This ensures that all parties understand and are willing to support the handover. The client’s contribution is critical. Instead of being a last-minute concept, their depiction should be coded into the project. So prepare for such representation and incorporate it into your project. Bring in the customer and use their feedback to ensure the project’s success. Learn how to boost meeting participation to make the most of your regular sessions.Provide Person to Contact: Have a project team member on-site or as a point of contact. Continue to communicate with the end users after you’ve given over the deliverables. The more transfer you can keep, the better. Handle any potential changes and verify that deliverables meet the agreed-upon specifications. Bring in a smaller project group to support the live scenario rather than all of your team members. This usually takes at least two weeks but can take up to six months depending on the intricacy of the finished project.Training Until the End Stage: Include end-user training throughout the completion step. Utilize the time leading up to the handover as effectively as feasible. Make a plan for delivering the information. Before the project handover, training sessions will ensure that all parties involved are on the exact same page and agree on the deliverables. Some businesses will choose to hold targeted training sessions immediately before the handover, but others would choose lengthier and more extensive discussions. Make every effort to meet those unique business requirements.

How to Write a Job Handover Note

To begin the handover process, discuss it with the outgoing employee, as they will be expected to outline their usual daily work tasks as well as any other vital information the new employee will need to know. The specific contents and duration of your job handover notes will be determined by the nature of your job and duties, as well as whether you are leaving the organization permanently or temporarily. Include information on what is needed to be known, details that can ensure a smooth transition, and relevant points in fulfilling the role. This will help to formulate the letter format.

1. Prepare a Timetable of Actions and Deadlines

The first thing that you will need to do is to write out a description of the daily tasks and processes of the former or departing employee. That way, the future reader will be aware of what they will be fulfilling or carrying out in the future. You can assign your resigning employee to detail their day-to-day activities in a daily operation report to provide a more fleshed-out description of their actions. Additionally, you can include the project deadlines and status updates with each task so the reader will be aware of what to prioritize and what can be compromised. Any upcoming meetings should also be stated in a meeting notice so that the new employee can attend each and every one of them.

2. A Summary of Current Concerns and Useful Contacts

The next section will require you to come up with a list of any ongoing issues that can heavily impact the project if they were not acted upon. The provision of a list of key contacts is also relevant for this step. List out the customers, clients, stakeholders, and managers that play a significant role in the project. You can also input additional notes for the reader to be aware of what purpose they act in the project and how they can help to further the progress of the project.

3. Giving Access to Relevant Files

There may be company-specific programs that other people are not familiar with. This is where you will give them initial information on what to do for specific computer files or data. Insert in this section is a tutorial to access the computer system’s files and directories. It is important after all that they are able to access the important spreadsheets and files relating to the project. Unable to access these files can pose a threat to the completion of the project because certain data may be only found within these confidential files and are not open to anyone outside of the company.

4. Providing and Revoking Passwords and Login Information

Lastly, in connection to the former point, is to give out login information for the newer employee to have smoother access to the documents limited to those involved in the project. Oftentimes, files are password locked so make sure you have that added in the job handover note.


Why have a good handover?

Like a knowledge transfer plan, a proper handover will assist new team members in settling in fast and feeling more comfortable and confident with the processes of the new job. A thorough handover may also be highly useful to other employees and the organization as a whole since there will be considerably less interruption to team operations and productivity rates. Furthermore, when long-term team members leave an organization, there is always the danger of knowledge and expertise being lost. Handovers lessen that risk by assisting in the transfer of knowledge from the departing team member to the incoming recruit.

What problems can occur during handover?

A job or project handover will take a significant amount of time, especially if it is a large task that will be transferred from one departing employee to another newer one. In order to be prepared for the worst, the common problems you can encounter while performing a job handover are identified as follows. Insufficient system knowledge, a lack of disciplined knowledge, insufficient mode of communication, an inadequate provision of documentation, and complications in tracking changes are mere examples but not limited to them. Upon knowing these kinds of challenges, you can then plot ahead and prepare a handover checklist to combat them.

What is a handover report?

A handover report is a summary of activity that is frequently used in job sharing or temporary work assignments. It may also be handy when someone is leaving a position and turning over the reins to a new employee. In summary, a handover report allows one person to summarize their work for another employee who is taking over the position or project. When two employees change responsibilities, a handover report ensures that nothing crucial is neglected. Whether you’re stepping in for someone who is on vacation or taking over a new role entirely, there are major and little concerns that must be communicated to ensure a seamless transition.

Writing out a handover plan will require the inclusion of a short handover note so that relevant reminders can be placed in a succinct way. Keep in mind that a note may not be as long as a plan but it will contain what the new employee will be needing to successfully complete the project they are joining mid-way.