Learning a New Team

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

It’s great to start something new, whether you are on a new project or in a completely new organization with a new job. Before you get started down the road of changing everything and making all the process improvements that you want, you need to learn your new team.

You might be an individual contributor on the team, a team leader or the project manager. But before you can accomplish anything, you need to take the time to get to know the team you’ll be working with. You might even be able to have some input as to who is (and is not) on the team.

Making the Rounds
The first order of business may be to simply make the rounds around the office. Who are the people on your team, and who are the other people in the office? If team members are remote, you can still reach out to them virtually and spend some time trying to get to know them as well.

Sometimes, just taking the time out of your day to speak to people can make a huge difference in the atmosphere and culture of a team. This is not a magic potion, but over time it can increase the level of camaraderie and teamwork a great deal. At the end of the day, people you work with are going to be more impressed by how you treat them than by the work you do.

Understanding Individuals
While the team can operate as a whole, you need to keep in mind that individual people make up that team. They have different …

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"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

- Orson Welles, The Third Man