The Global Deliverable Handoff: Tactics to Reduce Risk and Keep Teams Collaborating

Joe Wynne is a versatile Project Manager experienced in delivering medium-scope projects in large organizations that improve workforce performance and business processes. He has a proven track record of delivering effective, technology-savvy solutions in a variety of industries and a unique combination of strengths in both process management and workforce management.

Olympic running relay teams have the right idea. They practice the baton handoffs over and over—that is where the risk is, as they all have great running skills. It is the embarrassing failed handoff that can ruin their chances—and dreams.

Your teams across the globe are in the same situation. One team must hand off its deliverable to another—there is a “supplier” team handing off to a “customer” team. For example, a business team may hand off its requirements document on one continent to a design team on the other side of the globe.

As a project manager, you can act as coach and facilitator to make the handoffs successful. The additional complexities associated with the “global” part of the global handoff makes your attention to this role much more valuable.

Tactic 1: In your project planning meetings with team leads, add an agenda item specifically to plan handoffs. The critical success factor here is to present any deliverable handoff as part of the deliverable development process and not as a step completed after the supplier team thinks it’s done. This interpretation reduces an adversarial environment, keeps surprises (and risk) to a minimum and fosters openness later.

Tactic 2: Schedule a collaborative handoff event. Before any drop-dead date for the deliverable, put an event (such as a hand-off …

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