With the summer holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at how your projects can continue while you are out of the office. Everybody needs a brake from work, but our projects need to speed ahead as customers are waiting for their products.

For every product or project manager the opportunities to transfer projects during holidays are different.

Some of us can transfer their projects to another colleague, who is going to take care of all the projects. Others need to divide their projects over multiple colleagues. Sometimes we do not even have a counterpart, meaning somebody with a different function and background is going to help us out.

Anyhow, to make it workable for your colleagues and also for yourself when you return from holidays, this transfer should be done in a structured way. I have 7 tips + a free downloadable checklist to help you transfer your projects in a structured way.

7 tips to successfully transfer your projects:

  1. Arrange a shared network drive where your colleagues have access to. Inform them that this is the place where you want them to update and save documents related to your project and your project only.
  2. Use a logical folder structure on this shared network drive. Do not leave it up to your colleagues to decide how your project documentation will be organised. Make sure the structure to organise your folders is self explaining. In this case it does not take much effort for others to find the info they are looking for, which increases the willingness to help you out.
  3. Provide your colleagues with clear instructions how you would like them to update and save documents and how to apply version control. When you come back in the office after your holidays and your files do not have version control or have different names, you will have absolutely no clue which document is the latest one…….It will take you a lot of time and frustration to figure everything out.
  4. Inform the project team + all relevant people in the organisation + external parties about who takes over from you during your holiday and for how long. Split up per project if you have different colleagues taking over. Add email addresses and phone numbers, to make it easy for others to get in touch with the right contact person. Also add this info to your out-of-office assistant.
  5. Invite the colleague who is going to take over from you to your last project team meeting. He or she will be present when the latest actions are decided upon. This prevents unclarity and discussion with the team members about decisions right in the first week of your absence.
  6. Schedule a transfer meeting with your colleague one week before you leave on holiday. This gives your colleague enough time to check whether he or she can find everything and ask questions before you are out for a few weeks.
  7. Schedule a de-brief meeting in the morning on the first day that you are back in the office with this same colleague. During this de-brief meeting your colleague can update you on the progress of your projects, so you will be immediately up to speed, no time lost!

Good luck in transferring your work and have a nice summer holiday!

Do not forget to download the checklist!

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