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A Pattern Language for Handovers

Kei Ito (Waseda University), Joseph W. Yoder (Hillside Inc.), Hironori Washizaki, and Yoshiaki Fukazawa (Waseda University)


What is handover?

A handover is a process of transforming responsibilities and knowledge from the predecessor to the successor. Handover is a necessary activity for saving superior knowledge and skills to the organizations.

What is a pattern language for handover?

A pattern languages for handover is used to provide desirable solutions based upon known best practices. They help guide a solution for a given context and problem domain.
We originally held a handover workshop to collect data about handover experiences. Most participant recollected failures, which helped us identify concrete handover problems. By analyzing the problems, we noted their root causes and outlined them as problems and solutions.
To describe the problems and solution easily, we use Scenario.

What is the purpose of this wiki site?

This wiki site introduces 25 handover solution patterns. Moreover, we introduce 24 new patterns find in a workshop for our pattern language.
Through this wiki site, we share ideas and experiences with readers with participants, actively discuss and take the opportunity to get hints of "appropriate inheritance to leave good know-how to the company".

25 handover solution patterns

Intention for responsible handover
Handover is not a temporary thing. The predecessor must consider the handover to as a project.

Spread of knowledge
Share knowledge with related third parties.

Professional writer
Ask a good writer to create handover documents.

Understandable contents
Make a list to arrange it what is written in the document.

Update history
Confirm the revision status by the update history.

Quick correspondence for the review
Deal with the review immediately.

Check by other similar documents
Utilize other similar documents as a framework when verifying knowledge is not omitted.

Review for the documents of handover
Have third parties verify documents objectively.

Timing of appointment
Allow sufficient time for the handover by indicating the transfer.

Successor as capable as the predecessor
Appoint successor just as capable as the predecessor.

Mercenary
Appoint an external person if a proper person does not exist in the department.

Preparations for lessons of the handover
Study the duties of the predecessor before the handover and make an effort to understand the responsibilities.

Apprentice
Have the successor to imitate the predecessor's action.

Firewall for handover
Protect the successor from sudden work to support the handover.

Immediate questions on the unclear spot
Immediately ask questions for clarity.

Extra-inning for completion of the handover
Contact the successor to communicate information not conveyed during the handover.

Reunion for old members
Gather with the predecessor to maintain a relationship.

Supporting developing successor
Support the successor as they learn the post.

Neighboring excavation
If there were no data in the handed over document, survey other data.

Witness for the knowledge
Ask the person who seems to have neighboring knowledge.

Secure an emergency contact
Exchange contact information with the predecesssor to keep in touch.

Questions checking the successor's understanding
Check the successor's knowledge by asking questions.

Handover in a different room
Move to a different room while communicating with the successor.

Incremental handover
Handover little by little, and enhance the handover content while working with the successor.

Mentor for successor
Support the successor during the handover.


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