Project Management Central

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Topics: Career Development, Talent Management
How Do You Quit Your Job as a Project Manager?

Recently, a colleague who held the position of a Sales person within a company quit her job for another opportunity. However, she quit in style. She made sure that every detail was handed off to the team, she attended final meetings the company was having and remained engaged and contributed, she fought to the last day for the “right thing” to be done on behalf of one of her clients, and left the company with respect and admiration of all who worked with her. Very professional and very impressive.

It got me to thinking about how do we act as Project Managers when we leave a company. Do we act like that? What are some of the things you do to professionally and effectively hand over the reins to someone who is taking your place when you leave? Or, do you have the feeling that you’ve done your time and it’s up to the company to figure it out themselves? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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There should be a proper handing over to the next project manager. At the minimum, there should be knowledge transfer, documents handover, introducing the new project manager to all the stakeholders and team members,and a minimum 2 weeks of hand-holding period (new project manager took over all the tasks and work on them while the old project manager act as a back up and guidance). Also, there should be an official handover checklist that will be signed and acknowledged by both new and old project managers that will be filed as an official document in the project document repository.

Every project handover is different but if you have ensure that correct governance and control has been maintained throughout the project a new project manager should be able to take up the rains easily. The one thing that I definitely do is to ensure that the last status report, minutes etc is accurately recorded to show the PM exactly where we are with the project and how to move forward.

Interesting question

Indepedent on the situation you leave the project you should act like the lady in the example. You are a professional and asked to perform a job.

The hand-over to the next pm is as Cliona is saying every time different. A minimum is the latest status report, a read me with linnks to all relevant documentation and all contact details however it would be better if a hand-over period is taken into account


Same as any other job, really: through the door.

Remember to have a little farewell party before you go though, unless you absolutely hated everyone you worked with.

I know a project manager who changed jobs recently and he acted like the woman in Jennifer's story. I think it is really important to leave on good terms and to act professionally right up to the last moment. Many of the industry verticals we work in are quite small and you never know who you will bump into again!

As Cliona's said depand on each project, but as PM we need to have a proper handover as least the person who take over know what was happen before that.

Supporting Wai Mon Koo, the PM need to make sure project history & tracking records are accurate so the subsequent project manager can easily taking over. Documenting all critical project aspects before handover is a good practice and very professional: top five risks for mitigation, top 5 issues to resolve, etc. Exhibit top commitment to the last minute and simply left the front door opened for future returns.
I can provide "live" input if you like - I resigned from my current contract two days ago... I already had yesterday booked as leave (to celebrate my wife's birthday).

So far I have created a basic document and inserted headlines that cover each of my main duties and interactions. As I complete my daily tasks (which I log meticulously in a paper note pad anyway) I type up comments and expand on the detail when time allows.


Remember "what goes around comes around".
Leaving a job is always a difficult and sometimes emotional time, however don't forget that this is a small world and 6 degrees of separation is not very much. So treat your old employer as you would want to be treated by your new employer.
Do you want to walk into an undocumented minefield? No? Then consider the person taking over from you. You never know, you might end up working with them in some future role and you don't want them to have a tarnished preconception of you because you did not do the right thing..

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"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."

- George Bernard Shaw