Congratulations, You’re On A New Project! Now what?

ArgonDigital - enterprise automation experts

Share This Post

Sometimes we have a problem with staffing: we just sold a new project, everyone is currently staffed on a current project, so who do we put on the new one? Although a dilemma, it’s a good one that we like to have. At times like these, we like to move only those necessary,  getting the employees with the appropriate experience on the new project. During this shuffle, it is possible that someone on an existing project is moved to the new one and another person will then need to support both his own project and the project the other person is leaving in order to keep them both sufficiently staffed.

The person who now has the new project follows the documented processes of on-boarding a new project. Assuming that the client accepts the change in personnel, the person who essentially now has to fill the roles of 2 people has a different plan. He needs to split his time between the 2 projects while keeping both clients happy.  The first obstacle this person faces is learning what the second project is about. Important, basic, questions are, “what are the business objectives?”, “who are the stakeholders?”, “what is the project time frame?”, and “what’s the budget?”

The person backfilling the role absolutely needs to follow the minimum criteria set forth below:

  • Set up time with the person whose project you are beginning to support. At a minimum, set up two hours a day, even if an hour is spent shadowing the other person for as long as possible, and use 2 weeks as a minimum.
  • Take notes from the person leaving the project, and try to be as thorough as possible. Fortunately, the person is leaving the project and not the company, so if questions come up, they can always be asked.  However, do NOT rely on that fact.

Note: As you take notes, be sure to get plenty of screenshots and links to important artifacts.

  • Imbibe as much information as possible. You need to quickly become an expert in the problem at hand.

Note: You can use the strategy of pretending this person is your subject matter expert (SME)  and you need to elicit as much information as possible before they move on.

  • In the first initial weeks, be aware that you don’t know anything about the project. Even if you think you do, your minimal experience on the project, however vast your life experience, cannot trump the knowledge and experience that others who have been on the project for a year or more have gained.
  • While you gain confidence in the subject area , as time passes, and as trust with the client increases, you can start to become more vocal. However, always remain courteous and never arrogant, as a rule.

Look for Part II of this post next month where we will discuss suggestions to other challenges of replacing another person on an ongoing project.

Do you have new project questions? Let us know. Working on agile or waterfall projects? Be sure to check out our posts.

More To Explore