June 2, 2021

Welcome Aboard! The Value Inside Onboarding

Let's review how a good (or bad) onboarding helps at the beginning of a successful (or not) project. 

At ArkusNexus we understand having a good onboarding is key for integration, be it to the company, to a project, to a team or even to a new role.

It is easy to tell the difference when we start a new journey and whether it begins with a successful onboarding or not. This will be the first experience that will drive the journey we undertake, for better or for worse.

Surely many of us have anecdotes about airports, generally memories about unpleasant experiences (these are the ones we mostly remember), where a bad onboarding to the plane made the beginning of our journey a nightmare. And although we may not remember them so easily, the orderly and punctual onboardings make for a great experience.

positive onboarding

This is how gravitant onboardings are to companies and projects.

I vividly remember my first official day at ArkusNexus, where they introduced me to the values ​​and mission of the company, benefits, organization chart, teams and projects…. And then, a tour to the offices presenting myself to each and every team in the building.

This onboarding helped me to streamline my integration with the company, to have companions of reference during my adaptation, to know where the bathrooms are and to know who prepares the delicious pot coffee in the morning (Thanks Transito!). In short, onboarding is much more than receiving a shirt and a mug.

When one arrives at a new company not only to work, but also to embark on a new project, an onboarding of the project is necessary. You need to understand the business and the product, know the client and the stakeholders, and understand how the team works. How well this onboarding is organized will impact how quickly the new collaborators adapt, integrate and start adding value to the project.

It is not strange that on your first day in the project you’ll find yourself without credentials to access the work tools or even without a desk or an assigned space. Losing days without tasks to do and having meetings with project members who (between tasks) try to explain in a disorganized way everything relevant to start working. Not to mention if one arrives in the middle of a sprint, where you can end up wasting at least a full week.

At ArkusNexus we take great care to avoid these situations, not only because of the unproductiveness but also because of the message of carelessness that is sent towards our new collaborators that has a direct impact on their motivation right at the beginning of their new challenge. Without proper onboarding new collaborators can feel like they are getting on a boat without a cabin or a lifeguard.

Onboarding should not only be a formality of integration to a company or a project. It is also very important that from day 0 a phenomenon of mimicry occurs within the team and the person joining, and this doesn’t happen as simple osmosis when you welcome the new collaborator in the company’s communications channel.

I remember my landing on the team, I literally felt like I had fallen from a parachute to the team, it was a solid team already, it felt like they had been working together for a long time and in a very good way, from the first moment I felt a very warm welcome (with my initiation activity included). They were waiting for me, eager to meet me, to integrate and be friends. And so it was, at the first lunch we went to a place with spectacular burgers and local craft beers, outings that we then repeated periodically.

From that first day I not only made co-workers, I also made friends who until this day, even after being assigned to different teams, our friendship continues.

software development onboarding
- Insurgentes Tap Room - July 2019 -

And so it is and it happens in ArkusNexus’ teams and projects. Even in times of pandemic with remote and distributed work. Welcomings on all the company’s communication channels, monthly integration activities for all new team members, etc.

And of course, this does not magically happen, it’s thanks to the work of a specialized team of colleagues who are the ones that take care of these details that create the Arkusnexus culture.

We are also constantly implementing specific onboarding sessions for the different roles, like a crossover of the different projects, that beyond the particular characteristic of each (client, product, team), those all have their specific good practices, which we try to promote through guidelines in every role regardless of the project.

This brings up several advantages:

  • Unify criteria, both with new collaborators and those who are already assigned to a project.
  • Based on customer feedback and the experience of our own collaborators, we can update these good practices constantly, with the goal of increasing the quality of service and value in each role.
  • Create a framework of referential content for training, and discussions about practices each role does on a daily basis.

In the quality assurance (QA) area (my own), we began to work and implement a specific QA onboarding, starting from certain basic activities that surely are transversal to any project and that are part of our day to day activities. The great thing about this is that we will be feeding and updating our onboarding process step-by-step together, as a community.

This allows us to not only focus on our day-to-day tasks, but to also create tools that contribute to every project within ArkusNexus, making our work processes even more effective, and to truly become Quality Engineers and not just “testers”.

software development onboarding

Some notable advantages of this type of onboarding are:

  • Consistency in the processes and quality of the work, whatever the project is.
  • Facilitate the integration of new collaborators who arrive from outside the company or from another team or project.
  • In projects that are just starting, get immediate value from sprint 0 or kick off. Contribution to the roadmap, process definition and deliverables that concern the quality area.

At the same time, we also have a monthly space where we see each other's faces, which reinforces the sense of belonging and collaboration, specially in times of remote work, it deepens the ability to get to know each other among the collaborators of the area, it also allows sharing knowledge and experiences, and encourages the projection of our careers based on our concerns.

That is why in Arkusnexus the Onboarding process is not a mere formality, on the contrary... It is the beginning of a professional journey that we try to promote with enthusiasm, joy and professionalism.

If you want to learn more about our Quality Assurance services, click here.

Case Study from Arkusnexus
Leopoldo Flanagan
Leopoldo is currently on mind teams (MT), performing as a Quality Engineer, he enjoys looking for improvements in the QA process and implementing them. He loves to spend free time brewing and tasting beer.
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