Updated: Mar 10, 2021
Every project of length goes through some level of turnover during project execution. Some voluntary, some involuntary. As a project manager this is typically an unforeseen risk when preparing your risk profile of your project. Staffing changes mid-project are expensive and often can have farther reaching impacts such as to your schedule, budget, and quality. Not to mention the risk it exposes to your customer relationship. Here are some risks that project managers should be aware of when it comes to adding new team members.
The cost of onboarding a new team member can be quantified several different ways. When it comes to dollars and cents, one needs to look at the cost of getting the new team member up to speed – it’s going to cost time for another team member to sit with that individual (or perhaps yourself as the project manager). There is an opportunity cost that you will absorb by the time needed to be spent with the new team member.
Cohesion with Team Members
With any successful team, there is a chemistry; a way of working together in a cohesive manner that is both practiced and efficient. A good project organizational chart will have defined roles and responsibilities for every team member but in these well-oiled teams, everyone knows what they are responsible for but also what everyone else is responsible for. This helps manage expectations of task handovers between team members, setting ideas around task completion, etc. Teams that have worked together and know each other’s strengths, weaknesses and tendencies are often high-performing teams with a history of delivering great results.
Risk of Poaching
With any team members, new or otherwise, there’s always a risk that you may lose that individual to being poached by another organization. This is more common with newer team members who are settling into a new position who may find that they aren’t as comfortable as they anticipated they would be. Adding into the onboarding costs of new members is the potential cost of having to re-hire for that position should a new team member be poached or abruptly leave the team unexpectedly.
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