21 July, 2022

How to Transition to Business as Usual – BAU | Video

Once your project is complete, you need to hand it over to the Business as Usual team, and document a BAU Transition model or BAU Support Model, to define how the project deliverables will be supported in BAU.

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Transition to BAU

Details of the transition to Business as Usual depend on what you are transitioning, for example:

  • Mission-critical IT
    (hard cut-over after extensive testing with parallel running for rapid safe fallback)
  • Operational customer service process
    (incremental introduction with regular feedback and modifications)

However, there are some basics…

Need for a Transition Manager or Integration Manager

  • Two sides to the development process: project and operations
  • Two sides to the transition: before and after
  • So, need a project manager on the project/before side and an operational ‘Integration Manager’ on the business/after side
  • Communication

Planning the Transition to BAU

  • Can you phase it?
  • How else can you de-risk it
  • Look for risk triggers
  • Create contingency plans
  • Allocate roles

Preparing Your Stakeholders for the Transition to BAU

  • Briefing user group and other stakeholders – need to identify who they are and what their individual needs are
  • Communication


  • Conduct a Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) and create a training program 
  • And ready reference materials 
  • Use multi-modes to appeal to all your users
  • Communication

Handover Documentation

  • Operational use memo
  • Snagging
  • Communication

Testing before Transition to BAU

  • Are you sure you are ready?
  • Communication

Confirm Transition Readiness

  • Is the project ready
  • Is the business ready
  • Need a clear Go/No-go decision, supported by a robust, accountable decision process
  • Communication

Cut-over Process 

  • With contingency plans and fallbacks
  • Maybe rehearsals (without simulated major problems), war-gaming (with simulated major problems), or scenario planning
  • Put in place robust support processes and make sure procedures for accessing them are easy and well-understood by everyone
  • Create a rota for emergency support, with call escalation lists
  • Assign responsibilities
  • Communication

After the Transition to BAU

  • Benefits realization
  • Project review
  • Lessons learned

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What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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