When your project ends is there no handover to BAU?
Do you dump and run?
When project delivery is complete do you think the project ends? You forget about the handover to BAU. Let’s talk about why it’s not good to dump and run!
The Reason For a Project
When a business wants to make a change in the way it operates it creates a project to do that. That could mean any and all sorts of things; removing a manual process by introducing a system, changing a process so that customers can ‘do it themselves’ for instance.
It may be that the business wants to introduce something new. This often happens when there are a merger and acquisition. The business takes up the opportunity to introduce a new product or new service to its list.
No matter what the reason, any project has a desired outcome; the change the business wants to make, successfully implemented.
Confused About BAU?
There is confusion in the project world full stop regarding the difference between project work and BAU activities.
A project has a finite start and finish date whereas BAU activities are on-going. Project work has a separate budget that is allocated. BAU activities are funded out of the businesses operating budget.
These are just a couple of differences. Here though we are talking about ending a project and returning the finished outcome back to the Business As Usual activities.
It is a Project Managers responsibility to ensure that this occurs. If you don’t then the benefits identified in the business case may not be realised.
What Does Handing Over to BAU Look Like?
A proper handover to BAU means operationalizing the tasks or systems that you’ve created out of your project. Its probably confusing because handing over will differ depending on the type of project you have been managing.
Bottom line, it is putting things back the way they were before you started.
Where there was a manual process used by the staff to do their work, it would mean ensuring that the system put in place of that process is understood and now used by those staff.
Don’t Be a Dump and Run PM
It’s not easy to finish up the handover process. Often you are not given the time, money or resources to complete this process fully. Senior Managers usually want the project finished and you moving onto the next one.
They don’t understand the importance of successful handover and how that will impact benefits realization if not done successfully.
Be the Project Manager that educates your Senior Leadership at the start of the project. Suitable time for handover should be factored into your Business Case. Making sure that happens IS your job.