Be Calm in the Face of Chaos. Have an Offboarding Checklist for your IT Project. 

Contracts ending, changing priorities, new opportunities; whatever is causing it turnover is a real and persistent issue project managers face. Oftentimes it seems teammates giving notice comes unexpectedly and at the worst time in the project lifecycle. Panic along with a mad scramble to transfer responsibilities and knowledge to another teammate ensues. If you are lucky, you have at least two weeks to figure it out and smooth it over. Sometimes you aren’t so lucky. 

If you are a project manager for a large or medium sized company, the HR department undoubtedly has a procedure for when an employee leaves. However, there probably isn’t a defined process for knowledge transfer specific to your IT project. In order to keep your project moving successfully  you need to know what this teammate was doing, how and when they were doing it, and where all their pertinent documents, artifacts and work tools are located. Here is a broad example of a checklist of questions you can use to give you piece of mind and a smooth transition when your valuable assets leave your team. 

1. Is there software or work tools needed for the project that only the person has access to?

2. Are all all project documents uploaded into a team collaboration space? What is their status?

3. Are there any regular project duties the person is performing that the rest of the team may not know about? If so is the process documented?

4. Are there any requirements changes that a customer only shared with the person leaving?

5. Are there stakeholders that the person has been interacting with regularly that the project manager could benefit from knowing about? 

6. Is all code checked in? 

These questions are meant to provide a starting point. I would love to hear what other professionals do when they offboard a teammate from their project. 

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