IAF Methods

Handover Workshop

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To share the wisdom of a departing colleague with those who will be assuming the role in future.

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Additional info


Improved understanding by all stakeholders of the role of the individual leaving; agreed steps for moving into the future; improved clarity of their role by the newcomer to the role being discussed


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  • Celebration materials for the end of the session, such as food, drinks, parting gifts, etc.
  • flipchart, or computer and projector to capture the points identified for handover and next steps



Number of participants: 2-25, The size of the group depends on the number of stakeholders involved with the individual who is leaving

This session should include the individual who is about to leave and both those team members who have worked closely with them up to now as well as the new team members who will take over from the departing colleague.

Time needed: 4 hours plus time for preparation and for the celebration

Pre-Work Required:

1. Ask the person leaving to create a diagram of their formal and informal relationships. This can take any familiar form, be it an organization chart or a mind map, but it is important to include both formal and informal contacts, and to include not only clients, but also suppliers and internal contacts. In a large organization it is especially important to ask the person departing for their informal relationships, such as the IT person who knows their new program, who books their transportation, last-minute printing, etc. The facilitator can help the departing individual by asking clarifying questions to ensure as much information as possible is captured.

2. Arrange for a note-taker who understands the details being discussed well enough to capture them.

3. Inform participants that this is their opportunity to ask questions of the person leaving, and that they should come prepared to ask them.

Facilitator personality fit: Both the facilitator and the scribe need to have a good understanding of the political and organizational dynamics being discussed


  1. Opening: Make sure that everyone is acquainted and understands where the person leaving is going to and who is taking over what from them.
  2. Network Presentation: Ask the person departing to walk through their network. Provide the opportunity for questions and comments from the group, so that all are clear on future lines of communication.
  3. Questions and Answers: Lead a round robin of questions from the group to the person departing. Record the list on the flipchart or virtually. Have the person departing answer each question in turn, and give space for co-workers to add their thoughts as well.
  4. Closing:  Ask the person departing for a sum up of the contribution to the team or organization that their function/role can make with a question such as, "What would you say is the challenge of this role in the team?"or "How would you describe the contribution of this role in the organization?"
  5. Ask the group for a list of the follow up steps they are taking away with a question such as, "What are your next steps to take over this function?" or "What do we need to take away from this session?"

This session obviously leads naturally into a celebration for the individual leaving!


Usual or Expected Outcomes: Improved understanding by all stakeholders of the role of the individual leaving; agreed steps for moving into the future; improved clarity of their role by the newcomer to the role being discussed


Source: Maureen Jenkins

Comments (1) ( 5.0  avg / 1 ratings)

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  • Very comprehensive and respectful way of passing on the role from one person to the next. Don't forget the celebration at the end!

    over 3 years ago