Onboarding: How Newcomers Integrate into an Agile Project Team

Gregory, Peggy; Strode, Diane E.; AlQuaisi, Raid; Sharp, Helen and Barroca, Leonor (2020). Onboarding: How Newcomers Integrate into an Agile Project Team. In: Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming. XP 2020, Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, Springer, pp. 20–36.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-49392-9_2


Although a stable team is deemed optimal for agile project success, new team members need to join ongoing agile projects. New- comers must rapidly assimilate into the organisational and project envi- ronment while learning how to contribute effectively to the project and integrate into the team without seriously interrupting project progress. This paper addresses how newcomers integrate into an established agile project team and the challenges newcomers and the team face during this process. This paper is a single case study of a co-located agile project team in a large IT department who regularly onboard inexperienced new- comers. We found a mixture of traditional onboarding practices and spe- cific agile practices contribute to the onboarding process. Onboarding challenges include empowerment and mindset change, accommodating part-timers, conveying agile principles, and adjusting to changes in team composition.

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