Project Management

Mitigation Plan: Preparation Tips for Time-off

Have you ever suddenly found that a person you depend on for a project is out on vacation? No matter your role on a team, a mitigation plan can be an ideal way to capture your expectations when it is your turn to take vacation. 

Your plan can provide guidance for how to handle certain scenarios, to keep work progressing, and to prevent your team from doing something incorrectly. Not to mention, a mitigation plan can help to make sure things are mostly in order upon your return to work. 

Consider following some simple tips that can help you to better prepare a mitigation plan that will guide others in your absence.

Mitigation Plan Tips

  1. Communicate early and often

    As soon as you have confirmed days off, start informing both your project manager and fellow team members. As your coming leave nears, send occasional reminders to those impacted by your leave. 

  2. Think ahead

    When you document your mitigation plan, think about: the activities occurring, meetings that may be held, or deliverables that may be due. Make sure these items are included in your plan.  

  3. Be specific

    For someone to understand what is expected of them, provide details on what or how something needs to be done. Consider these examples:

    • “Attend the weekly accessibility meeting and capture meeting notes in Confluence and action items in JIRA. Assign the action item tickets to the appropriate action owner.” 
    • “Follow-up on a decision needed from Client by Monday EOD (End of Day). If a decision is shared, please communicate with the team, and update the Decision Log in Confluence. If no decision is made, please escalate to John Smith for assistance.”
    • “Lead the Sprint Planning meeting on Monday. Please ensure all prepared Stories are estimated with Story Points, have an Assignee, and that each team member agrees to a commitment for the Sprint by way of a confidence vote.” 
    • “Prepare the weekly testing reports using the Test Plan Charts. Prepare the report in Confluence on page x and share with the Project Manager by Friday EOD.” 
    • “Review and approve or reject pull requests, in accordance with our project coding standards. Please provide comments as to why a PR (Pull Request) was rejected.” 
  1. Keep it organized

    Altogether, having your mitigation plan written, and in a logical way, can be helpful to both you and others. Consider formatting your mitigation plan into a table with columns for Responsibility, Assignee, Due Date, and Additional Details. This will help to keep it clear and easy to reference. Some tools to consider for documenting your plan:

    • Excel
    • Word
    • Confluence
    • OneNote
    • Email
  2. Set clear ownership

    Lastly, assign your specific responsibilities to specific persons. Communicate directly with these assignee to make sure they understand what is expected and to clarify any questions before your leave.

Conclusion

Overall, you can use these mitigation plan tips all year-round. Generally, you may not need a mitigation plan for a single day off, but you can consider these tips for critical timings or lengthier leaves.

Follow these tips, and encourage others to as well, and you may find that your time off may be more restful by knowing that you’ve prepared a plan based on your expectations to keep your responsibilities covered on your much-deserved break.  

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Katie Sanford

Katie Sanford is a senior project manager in the Sitecore Business Unit. Her focus and passion is with helping both her fellow Perficient team members and clients to smoothly and efficiently deliver quality projects and solutions.

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