I'm nearing the end of my days at Raytheon. I have known since December 2015 that I would be leaving Raytheon to start my MBA at MIT Sloan so I have been preparing to transition my role and responsibilities to someone else for a few months now. Given the circumstances, I find myself in a situation I wasn't expecting. As of today, we still do not have a replacement for me lined up and I only have a few working days left.
I have been documenting the processes I follow at work so from the shear logistics standpoint I think the job will transition well whenever that person joins the team. However, I am left puzzled at how I should transition information that is not as easily conveyed in writing (or maybe shouldn't be written down). I'm thinking about topics such as customer relations or how to manage people. In an ideal world, the person back-filling my role would have been on-boarded at least a month before I left Raytheon. During this transition time, I could have had many conversations about how I tackled a problem from a selling strategy or how I was able to persaude others and rally them around a certain cause. This really boils down to how do you not just transfer your work products and processes but how do you transfer "your experience" to someone else when that person is not around?
I have been thinking about this problem for a few days now and the only thing I can think of is to try to write as much I can and provide this prose to the new person once they start. To do this though, I feel like I have to write with "kid gloves on" in case my writing gets out into the wild. I could be overthinking this way too much though. I have thought about that possibility.
I'm moving forward with this plan to write as much as I can. It will be kind of like recording what I would tell my replacement in person if I had the opportunity. I'm approaching it like a speech almost. I'm even calling it "The State of the Program". (I've been binge watching too much West Wing recently).
Earlier today, I had a great conversation about this topic with a colleague whose opinion I highly respect. He alluded to the possibility that maybe the best case scenario for the program and for this new person may not be for me to try to transfer all of my knowledge and experience. Maybe if I provided everything to this person I would be doing a disservice to them. They should have the opportunity to learn through their own experience how to solve a problem. This person will have his or her own management style and what worked for me might not work for him or her. I came away from this conversation with much more perspective. I feel much more at ease with not being able to transition to the my replacement in person.