The Ultimate List of Handover Document Templates You Need 

Shreelekha Singh
November 9, 2022
September 26, 2023
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The last thing you want is to have to start from scratch. Here are some winning handover document templates to make sure that no project is left unsupported!
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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. 

71 percent of organizations without an effective employee offboarding and handover process face such consequences. 

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:

  • Tools.
  • Format.
  • 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. 

handover document template: marketing project timeline


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. Use the screenshot Chrome extension to auto-generate how-to guides 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.

6 Handoff document templates that work 

Depending on the scope of the work, you might have different needs for your handover template.
We’ve prepared a list of six handoff document templates to match different organizational efforts!

1.‎ Project handover template

project handover document template — Scribe


‎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.

Claim this free project handover template

2.‎ Change management template


‎This change management template provides a structured approach to assess and plan changes, ensure approvals are obtained, implement changes, and conduct post-implementation reviews.

This template includes a(n):

  • Intro
  • Change management process
  • Role and responsibilities
  • Communication plan
  • Training plan
  • Risk management plan

Claim this free change management template ➜

3.‎ Transition plan template


A transition plan template is designed to help you support offboarding one individual and transitioning their responsibilities to another.

This template helps you ensure that nothing is overlooked, everyone involved is aware of their responsibilities the transition is completed on time and with minimal disruption.

This template has a(n):

  • Intro
  • Regular duties and responsibilities (broken down by year, month, week and day)
  • Outstanding projects
  • Upcoming deadlines
  • Contacts
  • Communication plan

Claim this free transition plan template ➜

4.‎ Sales to service handoff document

Handover documentation template


‎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.
  • Customer.
  • Deal.
  • Tools used by the customer.
  • Problems faced by the client.
  • Goals and success.

Use this sales-to-service handoff template to better coordinate your client acquisition and servicing teams. 

Claim this free sales to service handoff template ➜

5.‎ Knowledge transfer template


‎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 or SOP template.

This document includes:

‍6‎. Employee offboarding template


‎An employee offboarding template outlines the process and procedures for when an employee leaves a company.

It's designed to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for both the departing employee and the company, and to help mitigate any potential risks or issues that may arise during the offboarding process.‍ It includes a:

  • Detailed exit letter.
  • Details regarding final paycheck, benefits information and the exit interview.
  • Process breakdown.
  • Project handover instruction list.

Claim this free employee offboarding template

Handovers — faster than ever

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. 

Or, let Scribe build handover documents for you — in half the time!

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