Here is a technique to handle what to do when an important member of your team is away for a long time. Generally you know in advance when someone is going to be away for a long period. The key is to plan. Talk about the specific period the person will be away.
Create a board with a column for each week the person will be away. Now write down all the tasks you expect or need to be done in the time period. Place each task in the week it needs to happen.
Now talk through each task. There might be things that you have never done before – in which case you will need a hand over explanation before your team mate disappears. Ensure that each task is understood by all the people involved. Rewrite them and make notes if needed.
Now prioritise each of the weeks tasks from top to bottom. This allows for a conversation and understanding of what is a “must do” and what is a “nice todo”.
And that’s it! My board definitely saved me when Karen was away for 5 weeks!