Free Project Transition Templates with How To

By Kate Eby | May 30, 2023

We've compiled the most useful project transition templates to effectively manage your project handovers, ensuring a smooth, successful transfer. Whether you're transitioning a small or large project, you can customize our templates for your needs.

In this article, you’ll find a project management transition template with room to add more project plans and an IT project management transition template to cover schedule and budget details. Plus, learn what to include in your project transition plan and how to write a project transition plan.

Project Transition Template

Project Transition Template

Download a Project Transition Template for 
Excel | Microsoft Word | Google Sheets

By using a project transition template, project managers and teams can ensure a smooth and seamless transition of a project from one phase or one team to another. Use this template to create a project transition plan. Start by developing a list of project goals, risks, and assumptions, then assign specific transitional roles and tasks to team members. Thus, you create a clear and concise overview and plan for a successful transition. The template includes starting and ending dates for each task, which provides accountability and assists in planning. 

For more templates and information about project transitions, see our comprehensive collection of project transition plan templates.

Project Management Transition Plan Template

Project Management Transition Plan Template

Download a Project Management Transition Plan Template for 
Excel | Microsoft Word | Google Sheets

The project management transition plan outlines the handover process, the responsibilities and roles of the new project manager or team, and the timeline for the transition. Use this project management transition plan when your project encounters such changes as a new project manager or a new team taking over the project. You’ll find space to add details about the plans for communication, resources, risk management, quality assurance, and training. This project management transition plan template focuses on the handover of project management responsibilities from one project manager or team to another.

If you're looking for helpful tips on all aspects of your project, check out our expert guide to project execution. Whether you're in the planning phase or your project is already underway, our guide covers everything you need to know, from defining project goals and objectives to managing project risks and communicating effectively with stakeholders. This guide is an essential resource for anyone looking to successfully execute a project.

IT Project Management Transition Plan Template

IT Project Management Transition Plan Template

Download an IT Project Management Transition Plan Template for 
Excel | Microsoft Word | Google Sheets

Use this template to provide a clear and comprehensive plan for how you will transition your IT project to a new team or organization. This template tracks all the necessary steps, resources, stakeholders, and technical and maintenance requirements. The template also has space to address potential risks and issues to ensure that the new team has the necessary training and documentation to continue supporting the IT system.

Check out our page of project handover templates for more tools to manage a variety of project transitions.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Project Transition Plan?

Using a project transition plan helps ensure a smooth transfer of project responsibilities. By providing a structured framework for the handover process, you help minimize disruptions, reduce risks, and promote effective communication and collaboration. 

Here are some key benefits of utilizing a project transition plan:

  • Ensures a Smooth Handover: A project transition plan helps facilitate a seamless transfer of project responsibilities from one team or phase to another.
  • Reduces Risk: Teams that have a plan in place can proactively identify and address potential risks and uncertainties associated with the transfer of project ownership or responsibilities.
  • Improves Communication: Enhances collaboration and knowledge sharing among stakeholders.
  • Maintains Project Continuity: Sustains momentum and progress during the transition, and ensures objectives, timelines, and deliverables are clearly communicated and understood by all relevant parties.
  • Ensures Knowledge Transfer: Facilitates the transfer of expertise to the incoming team.
  • Improves Stakeholder Satisfaction: Increases confidence and satisfaction among stakeholders.
  • Enables Resource Efficiency: By knowing what is needed for a project transfer, teams can better manage resources efficiently during the handover.
  • Provides a Structured Approach: When you create a plan, you outline a systematic and organized transition process.
  • Ensures Project Success and Sustainability: Smooth transitions contribute to achieving project objectives and long-term sustainability. A project transition plan helps ensure that project objectives are achieved, stakeholders are satisfied, and the project's legacy continues beyond the transition phase.

What to Include in Your Project Transition Plan

A project transition plan template is a useful tool with the details necessary to ensure a smooth transition from the project team to the operational team or client. Typical elements include scope, transition team, communication plan, risks, issues, and more. 

A general project transition plan template typically includes the following elements:

  • Introduction: Provide an explanation of the project and its objectives, along with an overview of the transition plan.
  • Scope: Outline the scope of the transition plan, including the specific activities in the transition process.
  • Transition Team: Identify the team members who will be responsible for managing the transition process.
  • Transition Activities: Share the specific activities that need to occur during the transition process, including timelines, roles and responsibilities, and any dependencies.
  • Risks and Issues: Identify potential risks and issues that might arise during the transition process, and outline plans to mitigate them.
  • Communication Plan: Explain the communication plan for the transition process, including how and when stakeholders will be informed of the progress and any issues.
  • Sign-off and Acceptance: Provide a section for final sign-off and acceptance of the project by the client or operational team. Once you go over the transition plan in detail and make any changes necessary, both parties should sign the document.

What Is a Project Transition Plan Template?

A project transition plan template is a document with the steps and procedures for successfully transitioning a completed project. It guides the handover from the project team to those responsible for maintaining and running the project once it’s complete.

It helps ensure that everyone involved in the project is aware of the transition process and their roles and responsibilities. This helps minimize any potential risks or issues that may arise during the transition process.

How to Write a Project Transition Plan

When you write a project transition plan, you provide a clear path of handing the project over to another team. Start by creating an overview and timeline of the handoff. Add stakeholder roles and tasks and a timeline to complete them.

  1. Provide an Overview of the Project Transition
    Identify goals, risks, and assumptions. Keep in mind which tasks need to be completed and by when. Mention the communication plan for sharing details of the transition and any project knowledge.
  2. Add Roles and Tasks for Stakeholders and the Transition Team 
    1. Define transition roles, and assign each with start and end dates to the appropriate team or individual. Include contact information for the incumbent, successor, and supervisor.
    2. Define specific tasks, assign each to the appropriate person, and include any necessary training.
  3. Create a Timeline for the Transition
    Talk to the outgoing and incoming team members who will be working on the project to find out how long they’ll need to transfer their work. Use that information to create the start and end dates for each task and build a timeline. Some project transition plans use the timeline to create a checklist to help ensure the project transfer is completed on schedule. 
  4. Add Clarifying Notes
    Use this section to add any extra details for the plan. Highlight the key activities that need to be completed and whether you need to pass on any knowledge or skills.
  5. Download a Project Transition Template
    After you gather the information you need to complete a project transition plan, download a basic project transition plan template to get started and create your plan.

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