The Changing Of The Guard

by: Doug Michaelides

You’ve put in the time and delivered the results.  Now you’re moving on to a new job.  Before you clear out your desk, spend the time to properly hand over the reins to the person replacing you.

How do you package up all there is to know about your job?  Here are some suggestions on what to cover:

  1. Financials (budget or P&L): Going through the budget line-by-line with your replacement is usually a great place to start.  It leads to good conversations about what’s important and how things are running in your organization.  Make sure you also familiarize your replacement with the relevant management information systems.
  2. Customers: Review recent account plans for all major customers.  Talk about the relationships and opportunities.  Go through the sales funnel and CRM system if these apply.
  3. People (staff, peers, management): Have an org chart ready so you can explain how your group fits into the bigger picture.  Go through the most recent management objectives and performance reviews for key staff.  Provide some advice on how to work effectively with the boss.  Don’t forget to introduce the new person to staff, peers, customers and partners.  Your endorsement will go a long way towards easing the transition.
  4. Management rhythm (metrics, staff meetings, business reviews, reporting): Going through the most recent operating plan together will prompt you to cover critical success factors and gives some context and history. Make sure your replacement is aware of the calendar of management reviews and staff meetings, along with his/her role in them.
  5. Burning issues (“work in process”): If you prepare a regular report, go through it, highlighting the key metrics and “hot buttons” that must be monitored.  Warn of “red flags” in operations, projects, customer service and personnel.  What key deliverables are looming?
  6. Transition timeline: Agree on a timeline for the transition during which you’ll support the new person in ramping up.  Provide your contact information so you can be reached for help.

A proper transition can be tedious, especially when you’re itching to get immersed in your new role.  But it’s the right thing for the company and your team, not to mention the decent thing to do.  It’s a fitting end to a job well done and you’ll feel good having set up the new person for success.  Hopefully you’ll be on the receiving end of similar decency when you arrive at your new office!

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