Managing the Transition to Your Successor

Variety is the spice of life, and consulting is subject to more seasoning than most professions. As just another part of the job, consultants will sometimes be replaced on a project and move on to other tasks. Part of the transition is ensuring the person coming into the old position is properly prepared. Lew Sauder discusses this in a post at his blog.

Endings and Beginnings

Sauder tries to liken a transition of consultants to the recent transition of presidents, though he concedes a swap of consultants is less significant than a swap of presidents. All the same, in both cases, an earnest effort is made by the incumbent to conduct as much knowledge transfer as possible to the incoming person. Or at least that is what a consultant should be doing, regardless of the circumstances behind the change.

At times, a consultant will be called upon to review his or her own replacement, which practically speaking seems to be ideal. The business is placing trust in the current consultant by doing this though, because in theory, there is nothing stopping a consultant from hiring a less competent new person in the hopes of making his or her own work look better in retrospect. Expectations of integrity are key.

Sauder goes on to share these tips about integrating the new person:

It is up to the outgoing consultant, regardless of the purpose of the staffing change, to make the process go smoothly. All documentation should be shared and authorized access provided to the new consultant.

Key stakeholders should be introduced in person, if that is possible. Contact information should be shared and background on each individual’s role and responsibilities. The ultimate goal should be that your replacement is never heard saying, “My predecessor never mentioned anything about that.”

You can view the original post here:

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