Project On-boarding Processes : Information provision and knowledge transfer to new project team members

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för datavetenskap, fysik och matematik, DFM

Abstract: Abstract Project work is very common in today’s organizations. For various tasks projects are even the dominant organizational form in practice. Compared to the work in the line organization projects are for example cross-functional and temporarily. Due to this aspect, the staffing process occurs more regularly than in the standard line organization. However, the on-boarding process of new project team members – in this work understood as the practices to integrate the newcomers into the existing project team – is not covered by a lot of research results. Research projects focus rather on other aspects of knowledge management in project contexts. In addition, related fields do only provide limited insights into the process of new team member project on-boarding. Thus, a gap in existing research result remains. This research project aims to close this gap and to provide insights into the process of project on-boarding. To provide practical guidance concrete aspects of the on-boarding like useful information sources and successful methods are investigated. More specifically the following research questions guide the project: Which methods & tools are used to provide employees project-related information during the introduction phase, how are they used in practice and how effective are these methods? Which information sources do new project team members search actively to get the information required to fulfill their new tasks, how are they used and how effective are these information sources? How are the various on-boarding processes structured, coordinated and monitored in practice and how effective are the on-boarding processes? To investigate the subject the research project is structured as follows: Based on a literature review a quantitative survey (web-based questionnaire) is designed. The responses are analyzed and a quantitative overview of the applied methods, the used information sources and the on-boarding results is given. In a qualitative research step, additional interviews are performed to cover more complex aspects of the on-boarding process and to complement the quantitative results. The interviews with the project managers and project team members are analyzed to develop detailed descriptions. Based on the analysis of the overall responses, the following can be summarized: Successful project managers do carefully analyze the project context to structure the on-boarding process accordingly. The curiosity and openness of team members is emphasized on and is often increased by an active communication of the project goals, the development of the project and the specific role and expected contribution of the newcomers. Project managers need to be highly available for the new team members because they are appreciated as the number one source of information during the project encounter.

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