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Transition Plans


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A transition plan is intended to provide the vision for the proposed transition efforts toward uses to meet mission requirements (operation, application, commercialization, other uses). It is a living document to be amended with increasing detail as the project matures and will remain valid as long as the corresponding development project is completed successfully, satisfies end user-defined Line Office metrics for success and constraints, and clearly surpasses each of the associated gates or requirements for transition.

Information below is strictly informational. Please check with the Line Office Transition Managers and use established Line Office specific standards and benchmarks to determine the appropriate oversight and coordinate reporting.

For additional inquiries on transition plans or to setup at meeting with ORTA Transition Support, please contact

Transition Plan Templates

The templates below are provided solely as guides to a generic transition plan. Not all sections that are identified in the templates may be needed for all transitions. Key sections from these templates are derived from NAO 216-105B Handbook Appendix DUsers can use those sections which may be pertinent to their needs to provide the necessary information on their transition. Ultimately, each AA or their delegate can set the requirements and expectations for Transition Plans for their Line Office. Check with the Line Office Transition Managers and use established Line Office specific standards, benchmarks, and guidance to develop transition plans. 

In addition, the ultimate decision to transition the project resides with the appropriate decision maker of the receiving Line Office or external end-user. Signing a transition plan provides situational awareness of the work and approval to move forward and does not represent a binding agreement and/or funding availability.

Line Office Specific Guidance on Transition Plans

Transition Plans are living documents as are the templates and tools that have been and continue to be developed on the ORTA website.  There is no “one-size” transition plan that can fit all types of transitions, and each unique transition plan will likely require content specific to the project being transitioned. 

Transition plan authors should ensure they follow guidance provided by their funding programs and/or their line office processes. Below are templates drawn from NOAA line offices that reflect best practices and lessons learned for developing transition plans. These templates cover the transition of R&D to applications such as NOAA operations, commercialization, and applied knowledge.  While these templates are not intended as firm guidelines or mandatory requirements, they are presented as educational materials to help transition plan developers with contexts on how to approach transition plans based on their R&D outcomes.

Line Office Transition Manager Contact Information

For questions about choosing the right transition plan template for your project, reach out to ORTA at

Transition Plan Examples

Transition Plan Checklist
A transition plan is developed, now what?

Other Resources