What to Leave When You Leave

Checklist 2 min
Ensure continuity of effort between outgoing and incoming personnel by using this checklist.

Learning the ropes of a new position can feel like moving from dry ground to an icy patch. The challenge of transition can become overwhelming when the person that filled the role before you provided no guidance on current or future responsibilities. Productivity and effectiveness go out the window when you must figure out for yourself what meetings you need to attend, which tasks are in progress and all the other duties that fall on you. Important responsibilities can slip through the cracks. Keep this from happening by leaving behind all the information the next person in the job needs to continue the processes smoothly.

Continuity binder. Passdown log. Turnover file.

Different units have different names for them, but they all serve the same purpose, whether they exist in physical or digital form. The information they contain plays a critical role in supporting the unit's ability to continue providing essential services and meeting the mission under all circumstances. They help people stepping into new roles navigate their position by collecting vital information on what is being worked on, what needs to be completed and ways to accomplish tasks. Thorough continuity books ensure unit effectiveness and productivity are not hindered by steep learning curves.

Use this checklist to help ensure a smooth transition for the next person when you're transferred or promoted to a new position.

  • Mission statement (shop and unit)
  • General position description and information
    • Officer/NCO/Enlisted/Civilian/Contractor
    • Basic responsibilities
    • Recurring events
    • Recurring meetings
    • References (policies and regulations)

  • Budget information
    • Budget plan (including last year's budget list, last year's spend plan, this year's budget list, this year's spend plan, unfunded requirements (UFR))
    • Equipment lifecycle management plan

  • Shop personnel information
    • Organization chart (shop and unit)
    • Personnel list–not personnel information files (including an authorized billet list–Unit Manning Document (UMD) and Table of Organization (T/O), actual personnel roster, projected gains/losses)
    • Additional duties roster

  • Shop standard operating procedures (SOPs)

    • All relevant organizational and shop SOPs
    • Security (flight line procedures, command post)
    • Accessioning (current shop and service processes)
    • Work-order log procedures (include sensitive material)

  • Access letters (flight line, command post, etc.)
  • Training plan

    • Monthly training plan
    • Yearly training goals

  • Projects

    • Completed (current fiscal year)
    • Ongoing
    • Upcoming

  • Appointment letters (equal opportunity, vehicle control, etc.)
  • Complete equipment list
  • Website list (commonly used websites of shop's equipment)
  • Recurring reports (monthly, quarterly, annually)
  • DVIAN revalidation (POC and email of coordinator)
  • After action reports (AARs) (past exercises, air shows, etc.)
  • Visual Information glossary/terms (commonly used terms in DoD and those specific to the base/unit)
  • Social media account passwords

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