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Key objective

Ensure the taskforce’s work is successfully implemented through early and effective engagement with the policy/BAU team. 

Common problems

  • Failing to engage with the policy/BAU/implementation team throughout the taskforce process to plan for the ongoing delivery of the taskforce's objectives – this risks missing key implementation insights, as well as losing buy-in from the BAU team for successful implementation
  • Providing a poor handover that doesn't give details on reasons for decisions, leaving taskforce work undefended and open to change or dismissal
  • Failing to plan for closure and handover – a rushed and untidy end to the taskforce risks your work not being taken forward by the BAU team, creating an unsatisfactory experience for your team as well as your stakeholders if their contributions don't lead to an outcome

Tips for success

  • Have a dedicated wrap-up plan, and set aside at least a week at the end of the taskforce to tie up all loose ends and provide a comprehensive handover
  • Keep comprehensive records throughout the taskforce, especially for decisions made – this will streamline the handover process
  • Have an implementation focus from the very beginning – build early relationships with the implementation team to bring them along on the journey and facilitate a smooth handover at the end of the taskforce.

Handy tools

Engage with the implementation/BAU team early and often

Because they're established for a finite period of time, when taskforces deliver their final product – whether it's a report, advice, or resolution to a crisis – there's usually a body of work that follows that will fall to another team to progress and implement. A significant challenge can present for both parties if the taskforce hasn't engaged with the implementation team during its work – the taskforce's recommendations may be difficult to implement in reality, and the implementation team may be left to implement a piece of work they don't agree with. Too often the taskforce treats its final report as an outcome, when in fact, it's an output – the outcome is the actual impact the work will have, which comes down to successful implementation.

For this reason, it's best to engage with the implementation or BAU team from the very beginning of the taskforce as part of your stakeholder engagement strategy – even from the scoping phase. This will ensure the taskforce has an implementation focus in its work. As research is done and recommendations are developed, these should be tested with the team to assess their efficacy and discuss any implementation barriers. Bringing the implementation team along the taskforce journey will help with buy-in to the final recommendations or proposals, ensuring there is a plan in place and resources available to ensure follow through for the taskforce's objective.

Develop a comprehensive handover plan

The end of a taskforce is often very busy. With the rush to deliver final products and manage staff departures and administrative processes, handover is commonly an afterthought, and the amount of work required is underestimated. Setting aside time at the end of the taskforce (at least a week to wrap things up) and develop a comprehensive handover plan will ensure this crucial part of the taskforce process is given adequate priority.

The handover checklist, along with regular engagement, will assist you in developing a useful handover for the implementation team. A good handover starts from the beginning of the taskforce, with clear record-keeping maintained throughout. It's especially important to keep comprehensive records of decisions made, so that the implementation team has a reference for any future questions as they take work forwards.

Last reviewed: 
14 December 2020