This is our flow for taking charge of a project:
We activate a shared tracker or ticketing system so all can clearly see anything to do / doing / done.
We identify the production instance and ensure we have all the access needed to manage it.
We activate a system to monitor metrics and URLs so that we get quickly notified if something goes wrong.
We verify that we have full access to the source code and that the code is versioned.
We check and optimize the process to setup a new development instance from scratch.
We study, test and document the procedure for releasing new changes.
We make sure there’s a stage instance to test changes and corrections before release into production.
We define and share a roadmap for long-term cleaning / optimization interventions.