- What is a transition plan?
- Transition plan template
- Example of a transition plan
- 8 tips for facilitating a successful transition in the workplace
Transitions are a natural part of any organization, whether it's shifting roles, projects, or directions. However, they can often be bumpy, causing disruptions and productivity loss.
Luckily, with a well-crafted transition plan, your organization can glide through these changes smoothly and efficiently. And the best part? A transition plan template can make the process easy whenever you want to introduce new changes!
Whether undergoing a major overhaul or minor tweaks, a solid transition plan will inform and guide your employees, ensuring a seamless transition without disrupting business processes.
Want something even faster than a template? Scribe is an AI-powered tool that can write your transition documentation for you — and capture your unique processes in a visual step-by-step guide!
What is a transition plan?
A transition plan outlines the steps and resources needed to move from one state or phase of a project or organization to another.
It's often used in business or government to describe transitioning from one leadership team or strategy to another. But it can also be used in other contexts, such as transitioning employees from one department to another or transitioning a project from its planning to its implementation.
The plan typically includes a timeline, milestones and clear roles and responsibilities for those involved in the transition. The main objective is to ensure a smooth and successful transition with minimal disruption to operations.
Why you need a transition plan
Let's say your company has a marketing director, Brian, who has decided to leave the organization to pursue other opportunities.
Now, Brian is no ordinary employee. He had been with the company for over ten years, developed its marketing strategy from scratch, built the marketing team, and established relationships with vendors and partners.
Without a transition plan in place, you could face numerous challenges. Without their leader, the marketing team may feel uncertain about their roles and responsibilities. Even the vendors and partners may not know who to contact or how to proceed with ongoing projects, as Brian was their only point of contact.
You and your team may also struggle to fill Brian's shoes, leading to a gap in leadership that could impact the effectiveness of the marketing strategy. Additionally, the transition may take longer than expected, leading to a disruption in business operations and potential loss of revenue.
Now, imagine an alternative scenario — one where your company has a transition plan in place.
After Brian's departure, your company is better positioned to anticipate and mitigate the challenges we discussed above. The transition plan will outline clear expectations for the marketing team, including interim leadership and any changes in roles or responsibilities. It may also provide a roadmap for establishing relationships with new vendors and partners to ensure continuity in ongoing projects and include a timeline for filling the director's position, ensuring a smoother handover of responsibilities and leadership.
Do you see how a transition plan helps minimize disruptions to business operations, ultimately preserving your business's reputation and bottom line?
Steps to take
When designing a transition plan for an employee, you must take a few foundational steps to make it successful:
- Create an organizer: This helps you coordinate the employees' duties efficiently and keeps all the details of an employee's transition in an accessible document.
- Collaborate with the transitioning employee: The transitioning employee can help you prepare the documents, infrastructure, or any additional work required to smoothen the shift.
- Determine who should be notified of the transition: An employee's transition might directly impact some personnel. Be sure to communicate with them and decide what information others should know to protect the employee's privacy.
- Identify a successor: Determine who will take over the transitioning employee's role and include information on the search and interview process in the transition plan.
- Create time for analysis and feedback: Feedback data can give you insights into how to improve your company processes and the overall employee experience. And also how to help the replacement transition into the new role.
- Help the employee leave on a positive note: Remaining positive and professional during employee transitions can help the transitioning employee feel much appreciated.
Transition plan template
A transition plan template is a preformatted document that provides a structure and framework for creating a transition plan. It also helps you align the necessary changeover activities that make a smooth shift possible. You can use it to create a customized plan specific to your organization or project.
A transition plan template generally contains a few essential elements. This includes information about:
- The incumbent.
- The successor.
- When the change is taking place.
- Who oversees the transition.
- Outline of the job and expectations.
- An explanation of skills the successor should have.
With the transition plan template, you get a guideline for designing a transition plan that ensures a smooth transfer of roles and responsibilities at the employee, management, or ownership levels.
Inside a transition plan template
A good transition plan template has a list-grid style view to see all the information effortlessly at once. It also has custom fields to indicate and track the status of tasks, along with subtasks that distribute and split work into separate components.
You'll find the following sections in any effective transition plan template:
This section gives a brief overview of the transition plan and its purpose. For an employee transition plan, this introduction may be in the form of a letter written by the transitioning employee to the supervisor detailing what's inside the transition plan.
2. Regular Duties and Responsibilities
This section focuses on the primary responsibilities of the transitioning employee. It also includes routine duties, for example, managing check-ins with a consultant or updating the board of directors' dashboard every quarter.
3. Outstanding Projects
This section describes any projects yet to be completed by the transitioning employee, the progress status, the next steps and instructions for accessing relevant files. It also notes projects the employee is willing to complete before offboarding and how long the project will take.
Additionally, suppose the employee is in charge of a significant project or a big event coming up after they leave. In that case, it's best to make a different plan so someone else can follow through to ensure the project goes off without a hitch.
4. Major Upcoming Deadlines
The transitioning employee may have stand-alone deadlines not associated with outstanding projects in the previous section. For example, a quarterly deadline to file forms with the government or an upcoming deadline to email a specific person.
Such deadlines go into this section, along with the due dates and manner of the deadline. You can also include any other key milestones here.
5. Key Contacts
This section focuses on the most important contacts, like the people you need to be in touch with to execute the duties and take over the projects described in the transition plan. The critical contacts section also lists people in the organization and external people the successor can contact for more information when they take over the role.
Any relevant information required for the transition, including budget, personnel and equipment, can be listed here. You can also add relevant links to all project files and upcoming milestones or deadlines.
7. Communication Plan
This section outlines the transition's communication strategy, including the key messages, audience and communication channels.
Example of a transition template
Here's a ready-to-use transition plan template from Scribe to achieve your desired goals.
Scribe is a screenshot Chrome extension and desktop app that builds how-to guides while you work.
Just click the button, go through your process and voila! Scribe will automatically create editable guides with screenshots, instructions and clicks.
With the option to edit screenshots, redact sensitive information and add custom branding, your guides are guaranteed to look professional and personalized.
You can then share your transition documents with anyone, anywhere, with a URL link or PDF document.
Here's how our customer Lance E. sums up his Scribe experience:
"Fantastic solution for many problems." We are thrilled that we found this solution. Scribe will enable us to quickly create new (and rework old) instructions for our many products. Additionally, we can improve how we onboard internal staff with step-by-step guides for our processes. Scribe's tools can be learned in minutes."
8 tips for facilitating a successful transition in the workplace
For employees to succeed in new roles, your organization must adopt some fundamental principles to ensure a successful handover from a transitioning employee. Here's how to support your employees through an internal transition:
1. Put the right systems in place
A well-structured onboarding plan provides much-needed support for an employee transitioning smoothly into a new role. From job descriptions to training material development and even down to passwords, process documentation can help to maintain your knowledge base so that new employees can jump in quickly and effectively.
In addition, setting up an automated onboarding process can help employees grab the needed information comprehensively and begin learning roles crucial to their position.
2. Implement position-specific processes
Document all tasks and responsibilities of each position and review or revise them quarterly. This is another way to transition an employee's responsibility effectively. This strategy is known to be effective when cross-training or adding new team members, as it helps them integrate into the group faster.
3. Cross-train your employees
Cross-training your employees means teaching them how to do more than one specific job to become well-rounded professionally. Employees can learn to execute tasks by working with another employee for a set time.
Not only does this ensure you have coverage with little disruption during transition periods, but it also provides opportunities for employee growth, leading to a higher employee retention rate.
4. Maintain close communications
Communicate the purpose and expectations of the transition to the employee, including:
- The role and responsibilities of the new position.
- The timeline for the transition; and
- Any relevant policies and procedures.
You can also support the transitioning employee by taking practical action and sharing regular information that helps create efficiency when there's uncertainty. Also, use surveys, focus group discussions and other feedback tools to get the team members and stakeholders' input on how to proceed with the transition or change.
5. Have existing employees lead the transition process
If an employee is upfront about their plans to leave the Company or transition out of a role, you can ensure a smooth transition. Allow them to drive the process of finding their replacement and give them adequate resources and support. This enables you to minimize disruption during transition periods and provides external help for any questions that may arise from the new employee.
6. Provide adequate training and development
Quality training is necessary for new employees to adjust to their new roles and carry out their job functions effectively. Hence, providing employees with adequate training and development opportunities is critical to ensure they have the required skills and knowledge.
In addition to hard-skill and soft-skill training, the new employee also needs self-assurance, direction and proficiency, which are crucial in boosting job performance and ensuring the employee contributes to the organization's success.
7. Delegate tasks to various team members
Another strategy to help your employees navigate the transition and settle well into their new position is to delegate different parts of the training to various team members. This eases the pressure on the new hire since it may take some time for them to come up to speed in their new role.
Create a schedule for task transitions and get each team member to work with the new employee over a set time so the new hire can transition well into that responsibility before moving on to the next one.
8. Recognize and reward success
Recognize and reward the employee for their successes during the transition period, as this will help to motivate and encourage the employee. Also, reward the new hire for any small accomplishments in their new role to give them the confidence to keep developing in their roles.
The transition plan template is not a document that's supposed to be filed away and only reviewed occasionally. It should be created with the aim of immediate implementation, following a comprehensive and coordinated transition planning process.
It's also worth noting that the specific steps and activities you need to include in your employee transition plan template will depend on the context and requirements of your particular organization.
Furthermore, each employee's needs and concerns may vary during transition. So it's essential to be flexible and adaptable and communicate effectively with the employee throughout the transition process.
Build more powerful transition plans with Scribe — and create transition documentation in half the time!