Ramping up a new team member

2007 is here and I’m working on developing a ramp-up plan for new training-team members. The project I’m currently working on will have at least two new members starting in the next few weeks to a month.

So I’m going to start by referring back to the best ramp-up plans that I’ve experienced and think of what they all had in common.

  • One very calm and understanding team lead who was willing to spend some time with me to clearly explain the main goals of the project or tool/training project. It’s really hard no matter how resourceful and resilient you are to simply dive into a project without a decent orientation. In some cases I’ve had to orient myself because there was no one around
  • Time line – when are things due? What are our major deliverables?
  • Tour of who’s who in the project. It really helps to know who to go to for information and content. Also, it helps to understand the team dynamics and how I can best fit in with the team.   I tend to be a dunderhead or floppy-eared Labrador puppy (though I’m mellowing with age) and just lumber in trying to help or figure things out.   Sometimes it’s good to know how to lumber into a project ‘gracefully’
  • Solid overview of project resources. Team website? Design documents? Document management? Sharepoint site? Business Process flows? All good things to know when I’m trying to be an effective team member
  • Team or group practices and key meetings.   Do we have a process for sharing or documenting training content? What is it? What meetings should I attend? What is the purpose of these meetings?
  • Friendly team member introduction  and work-style assessment.  One of the best teams I worked with actually had a session in the beginning where we took time to share and understand our learning styles and Myers Briggs profiles.  I know MBTI is a little overdone or tired in some circles, but I still feel that it’s important to understand who you’re working with and how to best work with each other. Our profiles including what made us tick and what drove us crazy about working in teams was included in a team charter.  Also, this team regularly was guided by the leader to revisit the team charter when issues arose between team members. It was gentle reminder to us all: Hey, I know we all have work-style differences, but let’s try to work through them nevertheless.  Doing this clearly sent a message to me at least, that our leader was re-focusing us on our common goals as a team. 
  • Roles Responsibilities and Expectations – forgot to add this one. It was suggested by one of my peers. 

I’m still working on this ramp up list and plan.  Hopefully, I’ll have it ready for our newest team-mate by the end of the week.



2 Responses to “Ramping up a new team member”

  1. 1 Rory January 3, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Thank you for this plan – for your ideas gleaned from experience. I often find myself ramping up colleagues on a new project … and will use this definitely!
    I would add something about the client (this just might be particular to my situation … ) especially around their own preferences and experiences around learning technologies and past projects with my firm.

  2. 2 nkilkenny January 3, 2007 at 1:42 am

    Excellent suggestion. Often times it’s good to have a spot check on where the customer is when it comes to learning/training world lingo and concepts. I’ll definitely add this to my prep list.

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