You know it: some time ago you joined a project as an employee or consultant and a successor has been promised for months. But it does not come and technically or from processes / relationships you may be so involved that training a new employee for the company simply takes too long. In this article I will help you get a project ready for delivery and get ready for new tasks. Because you can only grow and advance professionally if you regularly receive new projects.

Step 1: create documentation

The first step is to make your project ready for delivery at all. You should create meaningful documentation for this. Projects are often characterized by so-called “historical knowledge”. During my consulting time, I noticed that a new employee usually needed 6 months before he knew the language, vocabulary and processes in the project. It was always said: “Well, you know that with time”.

Incidentally, this is not just a technical documentation. The customer’s contact person and internal processes should also be precisely documented. Conversation protocols should also be neatly filed.

So make sure that the project can be handed over and that someone can get used to it using the documentation. In this way, you also relieve new employees of the fear of buying a pig in a poke. You can also show the management that everything is properly documented.

Step 2: Create pressure to act

You know it: we eat fast food, like to sit at the PC on the weekend or treat ourselves to a shisha. All of these things are harmful and we are rationally aware of that, but we do it anyway because we do not see it emotionally. But why do so many people still do sports or eat consciously? This happens from emotional insight, which is often based on two factors:

  • Psychological distress
  • Positive perspective (hope)

Due to the numerous discussions that you were looking for, it is clear to the management that you want to change the project. This is a rational insight (yes, I would have to exercise because my weight is too high). However, an emotional insight (yes, I really go to fitness) has to take place.

So you have to create psychological strain and ensure that your management also recognizes the perspective that you can also achieve high and large performance in other projects or even build new customers in a meaningful way. It is difficult to generate the pressure of suffering and unfortunately I often experience here that it means asking for a long time. Stay tuned!

Step 3: Handovers always hurt!

A transition is always painful. Customers have come to love you as a contact person and you know all “previously undocumented” processes. The customer realizes that you understand him without words.

The new employee will initially not meet this expectation. Despite complaints from the customer, you now have to be consistent and forward all inquiries to the new employee. Just show him what and how to do it. Also educate the customers that there is a new contact person.

Important : I often experience that many are not consistent enough in this phase. You will then have one foot in the project for years to come. Be helpful but consistent.

Conclusion

Changing an important project is not easy and it will not be easy, but it is important that you too make progress personally. Document the project clearly and create pressure to act. Then the handover must be initiated consistently. I often recognize that over time you develop a certain naturalness in the project, that you are a kind of hero. This happens unconsciously. Be aware that in the new project you are no longer that hero, but are starting from scratch. Much will be new and different, but it will take you further!

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Dr. Dominic Lindner
Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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