Before you can get promoted you will need to do a few things. First and foremost … you need a plan. Part of that plan should include defining, describing and delineating what you do. This post is focused on one of the most important things you will need to get promoted. Specifically … your transition plan.

Knowing what you do and how you do it is important. Knowing how you will hand off your role to your successor is equally important.

A plan that can be used to transition someone new into your old role so that you can get started on your new role. This is what I call the One Folder Transition Plan or the OFTP.

Note: This same principle applies if you are self-employed or even in a small startup. You need to plan to grow the business. Promotions may come in the form of hiring (or partnering with) new people.

Do you have an OFTP?

I first heard about this from a friend that was a helicopter pilot in Gulf War I. She had a single folder with all of her information that she left at the base. Not to be too morbid, but there was a chance that she might not come back. She wanted to make sure the next person to fill her role was ready to step right in.

In a more traditional role an OFTP can serve to smooth the process of transferring to another team. It can make it easier for the inbound person to ramp up. It can also provide peace of mind to the outgoing person … knowing that the new person can start smoothly.

Your Plan Defines Where You Spend Time

As you write your plan take the time to think it through. Define the critical elements to be successful. Describe the people, processes and technologies you use to successfully execute your role. You can use three simple steps to insure you get the essence of your role and commitments.

  • Distill
  • Digest
  • Disambiguate

Repeat these steps as often as needed. Once you have the core elements of your role defined then you can move onto the transition plan. Which will be all that much easier because you have defined what you do and how you do it. These become the core elements of your OFTP.

Documenting your role defines how you manage your time. Your documented plan becomes your plan of action. Anything NOT in your plan of action is, by default, not part of your plan and should not take up any of your time.

As Danielle Morrill wrote about here … where she talks about I Don’t Do That Job Anymore

What if you have everything you need right now?

Even if you are happy in your current role it’s nice to have a document that you wrote that describes what you do. That defines what you value (at least at work). And describes what you have committed to in order to successfully fill your role. Possibly MOST important … it also defines what you CAN say NO to.

The point is: Have a plan. Even if you don’t need to use it right away.

Do you have a One Folder Transition Plan? 


Jeff  is a veteran in the Enterprise Content Management industry. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop and deploy solutions around the world. Jeff is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances at Winshuttle. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet (IBM), K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax and Kodak. He speaks and blogs about ECM and the Intersection between Social, Mobile and Cloud Computing.