How to Write a Transition Plan

by Kevin Johnston; Updated September 26, 2017

Transitioning your business to a new phase requires a road map in the form of a transition plan that clarifies the new direction, the resources you need and the results you expect from making the change. You can write an effective transition plan if you methodically include important topics that have worked for other businesses and then adapt the essentials of the plan to your company's needs.

Identifying Deliverables

Start writing your transition plan by making a list of deliverables you need to complete the transition. Your deliverables could include studies, analyses, a revised business plan, projected sales for after the transition, new policies and procedures, the method used to determine what new departments are needed and a succession plan for new executives. Using this list, write a paragraph or several paragraphs that include the reasons the deliverables are important to the transition.

Integration Into Operations

When you describe how the transition will blend with the way you operate currently, you generate a clear picture that can smooth the transition. This demonstrates to those who are skeptical how the business can be transformed with minimum disruption. For example, if the transition includes a less hierarchical management structure in favor of a team approach, write about the roles teams will play and describe the autonomy they will have to make decisions. The transition plan becomes a vision statement that shows people how the transition can be beneficial for the company.

Staffing and Knowledge Transfer

Include a section in the transition plan about any new staff the company will need and describe how new employees will be mentored or trained. This section can include a rundown of possible training programs, or it can describe a mentoring program in which seasoned employees work with new hires. The focus in this section should include explicit statements about how the training or mentoring relates to the transition; only discuss knowledge that is necessary to complete tasks during and after the transition.

Updating Systems

Your transition plan can discuss new or upgraded systems needed for the new approach to your business. These systems can be software or organizational charts, or they may simply be new rules for granting permissions for projects. After you give some thought to the systems that will make the transition smooth, write in detail about how the systems work.

About the Author

Kevin Johnston writes for Ameriprise Financial, the Rutgers University MBA Program and Evan Carmichael. He has written about business, marketing, finance, sales and investing for publications such as "The New York Daily News," "Business Age" and "Nation's Business." He is an instructional designer with credits for companies such as ADP, Standard and Poor's and Bank of America.