A couple of the teams I’m coaching had new people join them recently, and I was asked to be part of their onboarding. There is well-organised content covering the company and the technical aspects of the teams’ work, but what should I cover as their coach? I could explain Agile and Scrum principles, values and practices, but would that help the new team members understand what’s expected of them?

Instead, I paired with one of the experienced team members and we put together a “cheat sheet” with links to some key resources, e.g. where to find the group’s product roadmap. We covered how but also why the teams do things, for example, “how do teams know that they’re building the right thing?” – we also need to understand why it is important to get feedback on what’s being built, and why shorter feedback loops are preferable.

Given the new team members are being bombarded with lots of new information we wanted to give them an overview and some examples, but also some pointers so they can remind themselves and discover more … and the best way to learn how their team works is to ask their team! As their coach, I’m always happy to answer questions and discuss other ways of doing things, but I’m especially happy when teams learn from each other and run experiments to find improvements; I’m hopeful that having the new team members question their teammates will lead to them considering alternative approaches.