Building Your Team to Last: Successful Onboarding and Mentoring Practices

Slides, Notes, Videos, etc.

The latest version is 2.0 which was given at deliver:Agile 2018.

Quick Links

Slides:  Download (PDF)    Videos: Nebraska.Code() Conference (old version)

Talk notes

  1. Intro
  2. Choosing Good Team Members
    • Ask the team what they feel is missing
    • Advertise the role correctly
    • Have standard and fair rubrics for comparing candidates
    • Get team involved in interviewing
    • Ask the right questions
    • Look for diversity
    • Consider juniors or interns
      • Misconceptions of Juniors/Interns
      • Benefits of Juniors/Interns
      • Benefits for Teams
  3. Great Onboarding Experiences
    • Prep for them ahead of time
    • Get together as a team on first day or two
    • Provide a mentor who will willingly answer questions
    • Pair with them in the beginning
    • Check in with them at least once a week
  4. Effective Mentoring Practices
    1. Good Process
      • Good onboarding
      • Consistent and fair standards
      • Not relying on them to know what they need to know
      • Leaving opportunity to discover
    2. Good Communication
      • Schedule 1:1 meetings early and often
      • And ask good questions
      • Reiterate that learning company procedures takes time
      • Check on confused looks
    3. Guidance/Visioning
      • Make sure they have a project that’s doable
      • Pairing
      • Guidance on how to solve problems
      • Get juniors’ advice
      • Ensure new people actually understand the processes
  5. Iterate and Improve
    • Before you start hiring, plan your “sprint”
    • Hold a retrospective after about 3-6 months (and include the new team member)
    • Document your retrospective
    • Improve for your next “sprint”
  6. Conclusion