Are you new to an IT Team?

New to an IT Team?

The first day of starting in a new team can be as nerve wracking as your first day of work, but it’s important to instigate great productivity quickly.

During the course of their career most IT professionals will be required to join a new team in order to support a project. This could be a temporary situation, or, a more permanent one if the project evolves beyond initial projections.

New situations are always intimidating, but in project circumstances, although this freshness could offer a new lease of life to a project, it can also restrict productivity due too.

Europe’s top eLearning provider, The Learning People, offer their top tips for building trust in a new IT project team.

Get to know your teammates

It wouldn’t be advisable to go to an interview unprepared and having done no research on the company you’re being interviewed by, so the same goes for when you start on a new team.

If you are joining a pre-existing unit then read up on their achievements and their failures – being in the know about business concerns about the team will mean you aren’t taken by surprise if you find it’s hard work when you start.

If your new team mates are from a different company altogether, research that company so you get a rough idea of what their priorities have been in the past, and the sort of environment that they are used to working in.

Being able to share experiences and understanding any technical terminologies your new team may use will mean you don’t feel alienated during initial discussions.

Maintain and encourage a teamwork mentality

If you are going to be project managing this new team, or are in any other position of seniority, it’s always a good idea to try and break the ice by setting a mutual goal everyone in the team can aspire to.

As well as this, by addressing the project short term goals and the longer objectives the team should be aiming for and their concerns and ideas for these, you’ll ensure that the team is on the same wavelength from the very outset.

They’ll also feel that they are being listened to and that they have a platform to voice anything they may wish to throughout the process – this discourages murmurings of discontent later on in the process should something go wrong.

Speaking about the team collectively using words such as “us” and “our” also fosters feelings of camaraderie, which strengthens the project team mind set.

Managing your team

We’re all made differently and this is something to be celebrated but managed efficiently within a project team.

In a work environment it quickly becomes clear what different personality traits your team exhibits, especially when working on IT projects – some will be leaders, some will be creative thinkers, and others will be quiet followers.

Assessing the different character strengths of your team and ensuring one person doesn’t dominate another is key to maintaining a balanced team – it’s not easy, but it’s very important to achieve to maintain a good pace of productivity.

Keep connected

Keeping open lines of communication throughout the project is a vital component to ensuring productivity, and, as IT professionals, communicating even when you’re not in the office should be easy.

Communication ensures no task is tackled twice, and team members feel they can voice any issues to you at any time – issues that could affect the project in a major way if not addressed.

Similarly, high performance teams thrive off feedback once the project is finished. For the vast majority of the time the original team will be laying the groundwork for longer term action to be adopted by further teams.

If you keep in contact with your team, not only does this mean you have trusted industry contacts in your address book, it also means that you can let the original team know the progress of a project after the initial stages.

If this happens, it’s more likely that a previous team member will share any innovative methods used on the project or lessons learnt that might not be in the paperwork the new team receive upon takeover – something that holds great value in the fast paced world of IT.