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Transition plan/phase-in plan

If you are going to be taking over from another contractor, if you are going to need some time to prepare, or if you will not be able to perform at full speed immediately, then it is a good idea to include a Transition Plan or Phase-In Plan

Ingredients

  • What steps will you take to get ready to start the project?  
  • Will you take steps to prepare before the contract is even awarded?
  • What is the schedule for implementing the plan and its duration?
  • What hardware, software, equipment, purchases, procedures, and staffing that you will put into place during the Transition Period?
  • What staff that you will use to implement the Transition Plan?
  • What will you require from the outgoing contractor (if any) or from the client?
  • What transition risks do you anticipate?
  • What certifications, sign-offs, or acknowledgements will be required to recognize when the transition period is over and performance at full specifications begins?

Approaches

An important goal for most Transition Plans is to minimize the disruption for the customer. Another important goal is to minimize the length of the Transition Period.  The customer, after all, wants the proposed offering, and typically wants it right away.  

When you are taking over from another contractor, you may need to make assumptions regarding the transition of documents, equipment, etc.  It can be difficult to account for knowledge transfer and getting up to speed, especially if you are counting on an outgoing contractor.  Nonetheless, this is what you have to do if you want to beat the current contractor.

If your project involves a large number of staff, you may need time to recruit and hire them.  If there is an outgoing contractor, you may be able to hire some or all of their project staff.  Sometimes the customer will want to retain the existing staff and sometimes they won’t.  You should work closely with your customer to determine which staff you will try to retain and which you will replace.  You may or may not be able to achieve the outgoing contractor’s cooperation when hiring project staff.

Strategies

The best way to minimize disruption and the length of the transition period is to do as much of it as possible before the office contract start.  Some of the things you may be able to do before the contract start:

  • Speak with the customer regarding transfer of documents and other information.
  • Create draft written procedures.
  • Identify all staff by name.
  • Hire staff (at risk) or at least execute contingency hire letters or letters of understanding with prospective employees.
  • Purchase equipment (at risk) or at least source equipment providers.

If you really want to win, it is a good idea to do as many of these things as possible before the proposal is even submitted.  This way your proposal shows that you are ready to start with little or no disruption.

If you are the incumbent contractor, then you should point out that you will not need a Transition Period.  If the RFP provides for one anyway, point out that you will be able to take advantage of it to make improvements, while ensuring no disruption or break in continuity of service.
 


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