Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

Will You Take Over My Project? - Part 2

~ By Brad Egeland

Business people passing a manilla file relay style

In part 1 of this two part series on how to go about off-loading that troublesome project, customer or team, I discussed the reasons why you would want or need to do so as well and the three step process for making your case internally.

In part 2, I'll look at what must happen next to make the change a reality now that you've taken the leap of faith that this is the best thing for your current project workload and overall success, and not a huge negative mark on your project management career.

Done right, done for the right reasons, and accomplished with the proper amount of proactive justification, you can make this switch look like it's absolutely the best thing that ever happened to the project and the organisation while casting you in a great light. If you do it wrong, you'll look like you're just trying to run from trouble or something you can't handle and you certainly don't want to do that.

So, you've mapped out a plan, the status of all your projects and your reasons for needing to do this, you've talked to your team about the problems with the project and you still feel this is the right move, and you've gone to your PMO director and made your case. Now it's time to move forward with the change. Here's how:

Meet With Your Team Again

You've made your case to the PMO director and received agreement and approval that you can offload the project. Now is the time to meet with your team and explain what is about to happen…and how it is going to happen. Let them know the reasons for the offload - it's basically so you can focus on the projects that you have on your plate and hand this project off to a new project manager who has the available time to spend on something like this that is taking too much of your time and focus due to problems, issues or whatever is ailing it. If the PM comes from a current pool of PMs in the PMO, then it's likely that some or all of the team already knows this individual, but take the time to introduce them anyway.

Work With the New PM on Knowledge Transfer

You and your team will be fully responsible for getting the new project manager up to speed as quickly as possible. Provide the new PM with the statement of work (SOW), the latest budget and resource planning info, all issue and risk management lists, the current project schedule, and the last few (or all, if relevant) status reports so that the incoming project manager can educate themselves on how the project got to where it is today. Of course, do as much verbal knowledge transfer as well because that's where the swiftest - and likely the most informative - transfer of project knowledge will happen.

Take It to the Customer

Finally, go to the customer and explain that a new PM will be taking over the project. I would hesitate to dwell on why or they may feel as though they are a less important client than your other project customers. Focus more on the future, the availability of the new project manager to help drive the project through all the current issues and explain that you'll still be available as needed - however accurate that may be - to assist with issues or to mentor the incoming PM.


Letting go of a project is never easy. Especially if it's one that you've put your heart and soul into and you've reached this point of utter frustration. You know it's for the best, but it's still hard. Plus, it's difficult to admit you need help…that you need someone to take this load from you. But make the transition smooth by documenting it well and everyone should see that it's best for you and for the project to make this move.


Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment

(never displayed)

Enter the fifth word of this sentence.
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Top Three Causes of Project Failure

Businessman in a black suit holding up a white sign reading failed

The top three causes of project failure, which if addressed will greatly increase the chances of project success.

Project Planning a Step by Step Guide

Businessman finding the solution to a maze

The key to a successful project is in the planning. Creating a project plan is the first thing you should do when undertaking any kind of project.

10 Steps to Finding a Project Manager

Blond female job applicant handing over her CV to a smiling businessman

Hiring a good project manager means you can sit back and relax knowing that the project tasks are being taken care of in a professional, productive and profitable manner.

Project Management Process Groups Explained

Project management process group icons on a curved line

Project management processes consist of five process groups and a control system used to apply knowledge and skills to a project. This article provides a breakdown of what's involved.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.

Latest Comments

Alick Nyangulu commented on…
The Role of the Project Manager
- Thu 20 October 8:14pm

Duncan commented on…
Project Planning a Step by Step Guide
- Thu 20 October 5:04pm

Karim commented on…
Project Planning a Step by Step Guide
- Thu 20 October 12:48pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: What do you think about instinctive managers? about 21 hours ago

RT @LeanneM_INV: Eternally grateful for the existence of @ProjectSmart getting me through my MSc #speakinginplainenglish about 5 days ago

General Project Management • Re: What is a main priority when looking for PM Software? #pm #projectsmart about 6 days ago