New Leads Need to Prep for Staffing Conversations
One of the things I did terribly as a new lead was participate in staffing conversations for my team. Mainly, I was just unprepared in realizing the scope of what adding or removing a person meant on the distribution of responsibilities that a single team has to balance. In this blog post, you’ll find a few things I’d like to keep in mind the next time I have to provide input on a team change. I’ve categorized them by type of staffing change.
Initializing a New Team
- What role do you need me to fill on the team?
- Who do we need to add for the Product responsibilities?
- Who do we need to add for the Process responsibilities?
- Who do we need to add for the Technical responsibilities?
- Who will be able to support me in teaching and guiding each team member?
And when you have a roster assembled…
- Who has prior experience with facilitating meetings?
- Who has prior experience with Technical Leadership?
- Who has prior experience with the tech stack of this project?
- Who has prior experience with communicating with clients?
- Do we know of any existing personality incompatibilities that we might have to watch out for?
Adding A New Teammate (when it wasn’t the team’s idea)
- Can the team say no to this change or is it happening anyway?
- Why is this person being added?
- What training will they need?
- Who do I have on the team who can help with that training?
- What roles does this person have experience with?
- And can we lean on them for support/feedback in those areas?
Removing a Teammate
When it was the team’s idea…
- Is this person needing to leave because of a team issue?
- Can that issue be resolved in another way?
- What external support do I have available to help mitigate this issue?
When the teammate wanted a new team…
- Is this person needing to leave because of a team issue? (if so we need to triage and make sure we understand what happened)
- Is this person leaving because they have a new professional development opportunity? (if so we should celebrate with them!)
- What do we need to do to make sure our team is getting what they need?
When the client needs to scale down the project…
- Why are they scaling down?
- Do we have any influence in this decision?
- What responsibilities does the team have?
- Will we still have the support we need to handle all of those responsibilities?
👋 Hope you find this list useful! Feel free to reach out and let me know what you’d add or remove from the list.