You’re transferring a project from one manager to another. Or maybe you’re welcoming a new employee to the team. How do you ensure the shift from before to after happens seamlessly?
Simple—with a well-structured handover document template.
A handover document is a written record of daily tasks, details of ongoing projects, work schedules, deadlines, upcoming events and other crucial work information. It's a comprehensive report of responsibilities that an outgoing employee transfers to an incoming one.
Are you wondering which handover documents are important for your team? This ultimate checklist of handover document templates with samples will cover all bases for you.
5 essential elements of successful handoff documentation
When employees leave, their knowledge of the role and responsibilities goes with them. This leaves the new employee (and everyone else) clueless about filling their shoes, inevitably leading to confusion and inefficiency.
Sounds familiar? You’re not alone.
The proper handoff documents can help you onboard new employees without friction and maintain project continuity. Here are five essential elements you must remember while creating a work handover template like this one.
1. Complete responsibility set
Mention the details of the day-to-day tasks that an employee takes up. Make sure these duties are explained in detail, including:
- Task description.
- Project strategy/plan.
- Performance expectations.
- Feedback and observations.
- Current and previous approaches.
- Tips and strategies that helped the outgoing employee.
- Names of the senior executives the new employee must be accountable to.
- Any other vital information.
When written well, this document will allow new employees to start following their duties without any struggles or confusion. Similarly, comprehensive project responsibilities can simplify the transition from one team to another.
2. List of ongoing tasks
Project/task status updates are among the most vital information an incoming employee must have.
Along with each ongoing task title, the leaving employee must include details like the progress report, research conducted and results. Key success factors and main procedures related to the ongoing tasks are also crucial.
If this feels like too much work—which it can be, use a time-saving tool like Scribe to document all the tasks step-by-step.
You need to record your screen while performing a task and Scribe will automatically convert the process into a stepwise guide, complete with annotated screenshots, textual guidance, embedded links, GIFs, videos and more!
The best part? You can use these documents every time a new hire joins.
3. Upcoming deadlines
The new employees or managers should be aware of the upcoming deadlines for every project. Record all project timelines systematically using the handover document format below to avoid errors.
Create a visual flow of the timelines to simplify tracking all the start and finish dates. You can also color code these timelines for every team or milestone, like in this example.
4. Learning resources
Developing a proper set of training and guidance for the new employee(s) will help them understand the responsibilities at a deeper level. Provide them with the relevant learning resources you may have used so far.
Outgoing employees can also document their approach and what they’ve achieved so far to help their successors.
Scribe top tip: Create step-by-step guides for newcomers on any task or process with Scribe. Record the task in a few minutes and get a perfect step-by-step guide ready in seconds.
5. Key stakeholders
Every individual associated with a role or a project holds immense value for the completion of the project.
Introduce the prime points of contact to the older group and the new group. Make sure you mention the delivery channels for accountability and a smooth flow of information.
Add all the team members' contact information and their positions in the handover document.
Check out this operational manual template for a clear understanding:
6 handoff document templates that work
Depending on the scope of the work, you may require different types of transfer documentation. We’ve prepared a list of six handoff document templates every organization needs.
1. Project handover plan
A project handover plan is comprehensive, particularly when one or a group of employees hands over the project to another. To make sure the incoming team understands the nitty-gritty of the project, this template includes:
- Project title and description: For a brief overview.
- Project summary: To specify the project's goals, risks and assumptions.
- Roles and tasks: To describe each role and task in detail, along with the people responsible and the deadlines.
This is what a well-structured project handover plan template looks like.
2. Project handover checklist
When handing over a project, the number of steps you need to remember is rather lengthy.
- Identifying the stakeholders involved in the document handover process.
- Setting deadlines.
- Giving a project progress report.
- Communicating essential guidelines.
- Sharing credentials and access to essential resources.
That's when a project handover checklist comes in handy. Use it to ensure you don't forget any vital steps.
Here’s a work handover template with a column each for activities, assigned owner, due date, and the status of the activity. While this template includes the most important questions, remember to add any project-specific activities here.
3. Job handoff document
Though the job handoff document will largely depend on the nature of the job, the template attached below serves as the foundation for the purpose.
The document will help the incoming employee understand the job responsibilities, ongoing projects, deadlines and other job-related details. In a nutshell, it will speed up the employee onboarding process, enhancing efficiency.
It’ll let you include:
- Job overview and details.
- Stakeholders’ contacts and information.
- Filing systems and educational resources.
- Routine activities and set of responsibilities.
- Ideas, vision, and long-term plan associated with the job.
Here's what a typical job handoff template looks like.
4. Sales to service handoff document
According to 86 percent of customers, good customer service can convert a one-time client into a long-term customer. You need a smooth sales-to-service handoff to deliver a frictionless customer experience and maximize satisfaction from the start.
This document covers the basic details of the:
- Account executive.
- Account manager.
- Tools used by the customer.
- Problems faced by the client.
- Goals and success.
Use this sales-to-service handoff template to coordinate your client acquisition and servicing teams better.
5. Knowledge handover plan
When an existing employee is leaving or you are onboarding a new employee, the transfer of knowledge plays a key role during personnel changes. One of the best ways to do this effectively is by using a well-structured knowledge handover plan.
This document includes:
- A blueprint of the knowledge being shared.
- The owner and the recipient.
- Date, methods and objectives.
Use this knowledge handover plan template to edit and use on the go.
6. Design handoff document
Product teams working with designers and developers need clarity on every piece of design—what it means, what it conveys and how to execute it.
When designers transfer their ideas to developers, many details can be lost in translation. But a design handoff template makes communicating all the information and producing solid outputs easy.
This template includes sections like:
- Design anatomy.
- Specs and assets.
Here’s a design handoff template to streamline communication between the design and development teams.
Make handovers a breeze with these handoff document templates
Transferring a project or a role comes with inevitable challenges like loss of knowledge, communication gap, problems in tracking changes and insufficient information, among others. In such scenarios, employees will take longer than usual to get started.
That's where work handover documents come in. They are critical for every organization to ensure a smooth handoff of knowledge, documentation and responsibilities.
A work handover template is a life-saver for every manager looking to transfer tasks or onboard employees. Use this set of handoff document templates to create your handover documentation.
Additionally, record the handover documents with Scribe to make handovers a breeze for your team.