Picture this scenario: A new project begins and you and your team are off to a good start. Resources have been planned, assignments have been assigned, deadlines have been set, and everyone’s ready to work. All of the sudden, the project changes and you find yourself reorganizing everything. With efficient teamwork, most obstacles can be pulled through. But what happens when you need to bring more people in for the project to work out?

One of the most common obstacles organizations face is that they often need to introduce new project members in the middle of the project. Changes in requirements, customer demands, and staff turnover are only some of the unexpected factors that call for this.

How to Integrate New Team Members

Be prepared for staff turnover
At the project’s kick off, keep the following in mind:
– If team members need to be replaced, who could you replace them with?
– Ask yourself which parts of the projects would be at risk if team members were to leave.

Compile a list of the most important parts of the project
If team members were to jump in, what are the things they should absolutely know in order to carry it on effectively?

Review project plans and try to anticipate any changes
Try to foresee places in the project plans where the project team might need to change. Transitions usually occur at a particular lifecycle or milestone, in which case, you could prepare some team members ahead of time.

Leave room in your schedule
Staff replacements may be needed at any time, so it’s a good idea to have some room in your schedule in case you need to step in yourself. Introducing new team members almost always requires going over the project with them

Make new team members comfortable
Joining a new team in the middle of a project is never easy. Help the new team member by taking the time to walk them through the current and past projects. Be available to them and start building a god relationship with them.

Have a plan in case project or task redistribution is needed
How quickly can you reassign project tasks in order to not overwhelm certain team members? Some teams may even find it useful to invest in software that can help with assignment scheduling.

Keep encouraging teamwork
When new people are brought on, ensure they feel like they are part of the team. Keep bringing the whole team together by encouraging everyone to collaborate and holding frequent meetings. This will keep everyone in the know and on the same page.

Any advice on integrating new team members? Share them with us!

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