I came across this post on how to onboard at a new company in 3 weeks by Dave Anderson that another fellow twitter user promoted. I have used this structure as an experiment with onboarding in my last two weeks at a new role/company and it has really worked! I’ll talk through the structure and add more notes.
Week one — Lots of hand shaking.
These are the questions suggested for the 1–1 chat with people.
- Who you are, your new role and brief background
- Who are they, and why I might need to work with them
- Who else do you think I should be meeting with
- How often should we be meeting?
- Tell me anything that might be interesting for me
I set up 1 to 1 chats that were 25 minutes long and used these questions as a guide. I found a good question as an icebreaker is to tell me about you and what you like to do outside of work. It eased the pressure of a bit and I enjoy getting to know people!
Discussing my role was very interesting. In some 1–1 chats we discussed testing and how we get involved early to reap benefits. It helped me wiggle into meetings from the start of the project, instead of having to do that later on.
How might we be working together? This was another great question that helped me understand their expectations from me and how things work at the company.
Overall, I would highly recommend these questions to get to know your team members. My manager was essentially brilliant and gave me a list of people to speak to and highlighted my key stakeholders. This was helpful as I didn’t have this to figure this out myself.
Week Two — Shoving diagrams into your head
This week was all about learning about the product more. I did start to do this in week one, however, mostly writing acronyms down and what the different things meant. In week two I had more coffee chats and could ask more probing questions. I spent time digesting an architecture diagram.
I did do an extra thing by creating a Test Strategy template and a RAID log for each of the workstreams. This way as I learnt more, I could write it down on those pages to figure things out.
After two weeks I understand who the key stakeholders are and can follow conversations. Progress! I do still have more people to meet, however, there is only so much you can do.
My plan next week is more conversations/hand shaking, drawing diagrams for myself and start to speak up in meetings/ask questions/volunteer.
Overall, this structure has given me a really good start in my new role. I’d highly recommend it!