Onboarding a New Team Member

Our Writing Team at DH Leonard Consulting (the parent company to Agile in Nonprofits) recently brought on two new employees. It was an exciting time for our team, but also one that brought up a lot of questions about how to help make the new team members feel welcome, contribute to our work in a valuable way as early as possible, and as both were brand new to Agile and Scrum – how to help them learn the Agile values and basics of the Scrum framework.


Without intending to, we tested two different ways to bring new team members. 

  1. Due to the timing of the team member joining and also their availability to participate in some training in advance of their official start date (to be clear – for pay!), one team member was able to participate in both our Scrum Basics for Nonprofits course AND one of our public Registered Scrum Master course.
  2. The other team member was not able to participate in any training in advance of their official start date, and so instead, participated in Scrum Basics for Nonprofits within their first three days of starting, and has to wait to participate in a public Registered Scrum Master course until later in the quarter.


Both new team members had exactly the same orientation agenda on their first day with the same team members supporting the same spots of the agenda for each team member. In the retrospective we held with each new team member after their first day, the difference in pre-training was apparent in both the “what went well” and the “what could be improved” conversations. We recognized that the first scenario is unlikely to be possible for most individuals who are not only new to a team/organization but also new to a role. What our team began to brainstorm was how to provide as much Agile and Scrum orientation as possible on the first day of work with a new team before digging in on participation in Scrum events. Our solution? A work in progress for how we can strengthen the first day, and we recognize that as a small organization, our solution won’t look the same as what other organizations might have in place for their initial training and orientation.


You can hear a few more of my thoughts about creating a plan for onboarding a new team member to an Agile or Scrum team in this video:




What are other ways that you have helped bring new team members into your Agile or Scrum teams?

I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments below.