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Is not when you joined, before you joined. From the first time, in your first interview, you have to perform elicitation activities. The same each project manager has to do when it is assigned to a new initiative. Elictation can start from the moment you arrive to the place way watching the environment for example
Regardless of your role, it is a good idea to actively observe (with all senses) what is going on for your first few days or weeks. Ask questions, show interest and gain not only explicit knowledge of your new role & team but also the tacit knowledge of "how things really work".
Ideally, as Sergio said, you'd have had a chance to gain useful intel before you joined through online sources, your network and the interview process, but always remember that the product is often different than the demo!
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing
First, collect information about:
-Technology (management and processes)
Objectives of the role I will play
People I'm going to work with and their roles
Resources that I have available to reach the objectives of my function
Of course, "turn on all antennas and radars" to be in tune with the environment
Getting to know people and, as Kiron pointed, learning the ropes and understanding how this particular organization works is important. Who are informal leaders? What is team's chemistry? What are pain points and what is done about it?
What do you bring to the mix? What should new colleagues know about you and what benefit you provide to them?
Starting with a new organization is never easy. New and high expectations, new relationships, new culture, new everything.
What isn't new is yourself and the drive and determination it took to get to where you are. There is also a level of confidence, excitement, knowledge, and experience that you bring to this new organization that others would love to hear and gain new insights from.
It's a bit of give and take. As a general rule, I lead the effort to affect the culture in a positive way. On the other hand, I've turned down jobs because the culture was too negative.
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