Hiring a new IT project manager is a tremendous opportunity for your business and an undertaking for your onboarding department!
The onboarding for this role can be challenging because of the nature of the role. The IT project manager is customer-facing and internal facing, which makes for challenging work, but they must also learn about your product and what processes develop it. Onboarding for IT project managers requires intentional effort to get your new hire up to speed. If any part of the process is remote, including the IT project manager’s job, you must pay close attention to your onboarding strategy.
Early Onboarding Makes A Difference
Your new IT project manager must get engaged before the first day on the job. Consider:
- Sending a welcome basket full of company swag
- Emailing a short itinerary regarding the first day, including information about parking, snacks and coffee, nearby restaurants, and other pertinent information
- Sending a company-wide email welcoming the new IT project manager
You must also develop a plan that involves more than just the IT project manager. Get supervisors and co-workers involved in the transition to turn a challenge into a development opportunity.
Key Strategies of Onboarding for IT Project Managers
Of course, the real work begins on the first day your new IT project arrives. Corporate culture is one of the most significant factors influencing an employee’s work. Learning why specific processes are in place is as critical to job success as learning the procedures.
No one can learn everything they need to know in a day, so implement an onboarding plan that includes these strategies:
- Communicate. Provide access to the company procedures and policies manual, emphasizing face-to-face time. Encourage conversations with supervisors and employees.
- Transition. If your new IT project manager is taking over a leaving project manager’s position, arrange for a hand-over. Give them time to meet, discuss the timeline and budget, and review the progress made.
- Practice. The best way to learn the work is to do it. A recently hired project manager can begin with smaller projects or assist with larger ones.
- Digitize. While it’s possible to manage projects manually, project management software can make a huge difference in the success of a project. If you have PM software, ask your new IT project manager to evaluate it. If you don’t have one, the project manager can recommend one.
Nearly half of all project management offices have no formalized IT project manager onboarding process, meaning the IT project manager misses the first chance to start building those key skills.
Developing a formal onboarding process that incorporates some of the key points included in this post is one of the best ways to bring new project managers up to speed.