How to Successfully Take Over a Project

Adriana Girdler

Proven steps to take over a project and lead it to success! Are you taking over a project that’s already in motion? It may feel …

Proven steps to take over a project and lead it to success!

Are you taking over a project that’s already in motion? It may feel really daunting when you’re taking over someone else’s project…but I have good news for you:

It’s 100% possible to take it over seamlessly and lead it to success, even if you weren’t there from the beginning.

But how exactly do you do that?

Let’s talk about it.

Meet With the Sponsor

When you’re handed over a project, one of the most critical first steps you can take is to meet with the project sponsor or PMO, if you have one.

The project sponsor is the one championing this project, and the PMO (if you have one) is overseeing it. You will want to get as much high-level detailed information about the project from them as you can.

What are the issues? Where is it in the process? What insights do you need?

This isn’t about what you have to do practically, it’s about all that other information that you won’t find written down anywhere but you still really need to know.

A huge piece of valuable info you’ll want to find out is WHY the project is being handed over to someone else. This will give you a lot of the insight you need to take on the project successfully.

Meet the Previous PM

Not all project takeovers are hostile takeovers. Some projects that get handed over are for very simple and good reasons.

For example, maybe the previous project manager has to be taken off that project in order to do another, more complex project. But whatever the case may be, if it’s possible to connect with a past project manager, you’ll want to make this a priority.

The previous project manager has all the nitty gritty details that you’ll want to get into. They’ll be able to give you more information about the team members, what they recommend, the struggles they were experiencing, what’s going well, and any recommendations they have. It will also give you the opportunity to ask them any questions you may have.

More Tips on Project Takeover

There are several other steps you should take when you’re taking over a project. To find all about those, make sure you head over to YouTube with me and watch the video that I just posted on my channel!

If you want to go above and beyond to make your project management career successful, take a look at my SLAY Project Management course where I give you all the templates, tips, and techniques to implement to make every project successful.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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