New Team Member Checklist

Bring a new team member onto the project, and bring them up to full speed as quickly as possible.

Run through this checklist a week or so before a new team member - permanent, contractor or consultant - starts on the project.


These items apply more to someone coming to the project from outside the company.

  • Physical Access To Building

    The new team member has physical access to the building where they will be working.

    Ensure that your new team member can get into the building. Depending on their location, they will require front door keys, lift keys and/or security passes.

  • Payroll, Employee Serial Numbers.

    The new team member has been registered in all the necessary administration systems.

    While you can generally be sure that the new team member will be paid, check that they are on the departmental distribution lists. Some corporations also require that employees register before they can be helped by the help desk - which is important for someone just starting, as they are likely to have problems.

  • Corporate Computer Systems.

    The employee will have access to corporate systems such as email and the corporate timesheeting system.


Check that the new team member will have the equipment they need to start doing their job.

In my consulting guise, I once was placed at a site that took two weeks to allocate me a desk, five weeks to give me a computer and six weeks to get me a telephone. I spent most of that time wandering from desk to desk, pouncing on any computer that hadn't been used for more than thirty seconds and taking several messages a day from the telephone of a very understanding and only slightly annoyed DBA.

  • Desk

    A desk has been allocated to the new team member.

    Check too that the desk is in an appropriate position - in some organisations it is not unheard of for senior management to allocate a desk on a completely different floor. If necessary, shuffle your existing team members about.

  • Telephone

    The new team member will have access to a (working) telephone.

    Make sure the number is put into the corporate telephone directory.

  • Computer(s)

    Appropriate computer equipment for the new team member has been identified, and will be in place when the new team member arrives.

    When getting a computer together, also remember:

    • Any per-user or per-computer licenses for software that will be used.
    • A connection to the correct LAN, which may require a technician to wire or patch a port.
    • Mouse, monitor, keyboard - because sometimes when you order a computer, all you get is a computer (and once all I got was a motherboard, some memory and a hard disk drive).

    The usual strategy is to find any computer not being used and assign it to the new team member. A better alternative is to find out what kind of equipment the person will need, and order it if necessary.


  • Training

    A plan is in place to train the new team member in skills that they will need but do not have.

    There are many options here, including training courses and books. The important point is know whether something needs to be done and to have a plan if it does.

  • Mentor/Buddy Allocated

    A team member has been allocated to mentor or buddy the new team member.

    Most projects are too large and complicated for a new start to pick up by themselves, especially if the project is already well underway. To bring them up to speed quickly, consider allocating a team member to mentor or buddy the new start.

    The mentor will spend a proportion of their time with the new start, helping them out as appropriate. Depending on the complexity of the project, this process takes about two weeks and about half of the mentor's time. While this may seem like a lot of time in a project with immediate and immovable deadlines, it does pay back quickly.

© 2003-2006 Alan Green