Lesson 6: Project Transition and Implementation

This lesson focuses on project transition and implementation. The transition and implementation period of a project is the time-frame between when the contract is signed and the actual work begins. This stage is often overlooked once the contract has been signed. However, it’s important the client and service provider representatives are properly briefed on the contract requirements and obligations. 

In fact, the contract transition should ideally be managed as a distinct project in its own right. The better it’s managed, the fewer the chances of a dispute during implementation, which is good for both the client and service provider.  

Before developing your Implementation Plan, reflect on some of the key questions your plan will have to address: 

  • What are the expected benefits to stakeholders? 
  • What are the risks? 
  • Do you need to implement any technical solutions? 
  • What cooperative services are covered? 
  • Which personnel will be involved in the process? 
  • Do you need to hire any new personnel? 
  • Do you need to establish a new office or purchase plant or equipment? 
  • What involvement will the client have? 

Project Implementation 

This section is critical as it gives your client an understanding of how you will successfully meet the timeline in order to commence the contract. It should demonstrate how you will work with the client to begin the contract on time.  

It’s also important your Implementation Plan tells the client when they can expect to start seeing results. This allows the client to directly compare your company to your competitors. For example, if your employees take a significantly less amount of time to perform a function than your competitors do, the client will ask themselves whether you are more efficient or think perhaps you’re cutting corners.  

You should also detail how you’ll work with the existing service provider. In your Implementation Plan, include the tasks you’ll need to complete in order for the contract to be successful. 

Implementation Plan 

The Implementation Plan can also be called a ‘Transition-In’ Plan. 

The aim of the plan is to highlight the tasks and responsibilities of the project team and individual roles. The plan should outline the timing of tasks that need to be finished before the real project can commence. The plan can also include any milestones (key dates) and personnel responsible for specific tasks.  

When putting together your plan, make sure you include ‘slippage’ to allow for times when the client doesn’t get back to you as quickly as you’d hoped, or when signing off takes longer than expected.  

Remember, the more time you spend on planning the implementation period, the smoother and easier the transition period will be. This is advantageous to both you and the client, so there’s no reason not to do it!  

Disengagement 

On the opposite side, we have the Disengagement Plan. The Disengagement Plan is often referred to as a ‘Transition-Out’ Plan. It’s a schedule of tasks and responsibilities for achieving a smooth handover to the new service provider once your contract ends. This plan can also include any milestones (key dates) and personnel responsible for specific tasks. 

From your own jobs list, break down each task into sub-jobs and estimate how long each one will take. If you have access to a project management tool, then including a Gantt chart will help the client easily understand your plan. You can then include milestones, the date of the task and the personnel responsible for the task.