Handover Guidance and Handover Note Outline

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Cheryl Fries, Aleksandra Biskoup, Nomzana Augustin
Date Published:
January 13, 2016
Community Contribution

Handovers are a knowledge management process critical to organizational continuity. The handover process specifically emphasizes the transfer of job‐specific operational and institutional knowledge from incumbent to successor employee using a handover note. A handover note is a factual note created by a staff member who is leaving his/her position, either temporarily or permanently, to assist their successor to carry out his/her duties. It provides a successor with key knowledge and information regarding the role’s objectives, core responsibilities/tasks, organizational norms, including people, processes, and systems key to successful performance of the role. The note aims to facilitate a smooth transition of responsibilities and may also be used for cross‐functional training.

This guidance details: the benefits of handover notes; the best situations in which to use the approach; a step-by-step guide on roles and responsibilities, and a checklist for applying handovers; an outline that can be adapted to fit the needs of the departing staff member; and a list of prinicpal sources used to compile this tool.