Onboarding is the process of introducing new team members to a project or a company. You probably knew that part. You probably also know that onboarding is an important part of growing a team, which itself is crucial to any software development process. Bringing on new team members can be a major challenge for any company, and that can be especially true when a team is remote or outsourced.
How do you bring people up to speed efficiently? How do you identify who should go on what team? Who should be in charge? How do you get all the moving parts in a complex situation to integrate smoothly?
There are many different approaches to software development team onboarding, but one of the most innovative and effective methods is team spawning. What’s that, you ask? It’s a relatively old concept that’s being adapted in a new setting. So, let’s discuss what team spawning is and how it can revolutionize the software development onboarding process.
Introduction to Onboarding in Outsourcing
Building an efficient team for a software development project can be tricky. It’s especially tricky if the project in question relies on cutting-edge tools, is a relatively niche project, or requires very specific skill sets. Finding the right team members for a project like that is no easy task, so there are many possible approaches to get it right.
Team spawning is quickly growing in popularity, and for good reason. It’s likely to be one of the major trends in software development over the next few years. Let’s take a look at just what it is.
What is Team Spawning?
Team spawning is a type of software onboarding process that is gaining popularity among developers. It involves creating a group of leaders who are tasked with helping to onboard new developers. These leaders are already experienced with the tools at hand and/or the project itself, and should have first-hand knowledge of just what’s going on.
Once these leaders have been identified, the team spawning process assigns a leader to each team. This leader is responsible for guiding the team through the onboarding process. The leader will provide information and resources to the team, as well as answer any questions they may have.
The team spawning process has been proven to be an effective method of onboarding new developers or other team members. It helps to ensure that the new people are able to quickly and easily understand the project, as well as how to get the most out of their time.
This is actually a very old system, but it’s being used in a very new environment. The team spawning process very much resembles the guild structures of medieval Europe, or simply apprenticeships. The leaders in the project or company pass along their knowledge to their team members organically and naturally. It’s just people learning from each other — but with a slightly fancier name and more complex structure.
Benefits of Team Spawning for Software Onboarding
Team spawning is an effective way to onboard new team members and has several benefits over traditional onboarding methods. Here are some of the key benefits of team spawning for software development:
- Faster onboarding: Team spawning helps to speed up the onboarding process. By having experienced users helping to onboard new users, the process is streamlined and users can be up and running much faster.
- More personalized onboarding: Team spawning helps to make the onboarding process more personalized. The experienced users who are helping to onboard new users can provide tailored advice and answer any specific questions that new users may have.
- Increased engagement: Team spawning helps to increase engagement. By having experienced users helping to onboard new users, the process is more engaging and team members are more likely to produce better results.
- Reduced costs: Team spawning can help to reduce onboarding costs. By having experienced users helping to onboard new users, there is less need for expensive and time-consuming training services as well as other onboarding costs.
How to Implement Team Spawning
Implementing team spawning for onboarding is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps:
- Identify team members: The first step is to identify the team members who will be helping to onboard new users. This should include experienced users who are familiar with the project or work at hand and can help to explain how it works as well as the new person’s role.
- Set up a team environment: Once the team has been identified, it is important to set up an environment where team members can work together. This could include a dedicated Slack channel, an office, or any place — physical or digital — to collaborate. .
- Assign roles: Leaders must assign clear roles to each team member. This involves the leader themselves, who is responsible for guiding the team through the onboarding process.
- Monitor and adjust: Once the team is up and running, it is important to monitor the process and make adjustments as necessary. This could include changing the roles of team members or providing additional resources to help them onboard new users.
By following these steps, developers can easily set up a team spawning process for software development onboarding.
Challenges of Software Onboarding
Although team spawning can be an effective way to onboard new team members, there are still some challenges that developers need to be aware of. Here are some of the key challenges of software onboarding:
- Finding experienced employees: One of the biggest challenges of team spawning is finding experienced employees who are willing and able to help onboard new users. It can be difficult to find users who have the time and knowledge to help out, especially when using new or niche tools. Consider adding financial incentives if you anticipate these employees will have a heavier workload due to their mentorship.
- Keeping team members engaged: Another challenge is keeping team members engaged. It can be difficult to keep team members motivated and invested in the onboarding process. Providing incentives, financial and otherwise, can help ensure everyone stays interested.
- Managing workloads: Naturally, with different assignments on spawned teams, workloads can look quite different. New members have lots of learning to do and leaders have lots of, well, leading to do. This can lead to uneven workloads, which is especially true if team members are working remotely or on different schedules. If you’re managing a spawned team or set of teams, help make sure no workload gets too uneven, and compensate employees for taking on more than their fair share.
These are just a few of the challenges that developers need to be aware of when onboarding new users.
Team Spawning in Software Onboarding
So far, we’ve discussed how to properly manage team spawning in the software development process itself. But what about when a developer needs to educate or train their clients in using their software?
In that case, team spawning can work very well, too. This is simply called software onboarding, for example when one company begins using a B2B service from another. There’s a learning curve, of course, and those who are higher on the curve can help others catch up.
Software development companies can offer help to clients via team spawning by assigning an employee to work with their client. This will work the same as an internally-spawned team, except the leader in this case is leading members from another organization.
In order to ensure a successful software onboarding process, leaders need to follow certain best practices. Here are some of the key best practices for software onboarding:
- Provide clear instructions: Make sure to provide clear instructions for new users. This should include detailed tutorials, walkthroughs, and other resources that can help users understand the goals of the project and how to use the tools involved..
- Offer support: Developers should also offer support to new users. This could include one-on-one customer support, webinars, and other forms of assistance.
- Test the onboarding process: Before launching the software, developers should test the onboarding process to ensure that it is working properly. This can help to identify any problems before the software is released.
- Follow up with users: After the onboarding process is complete, developers should follow up with users to ensure that they are using the software effectively. This can help to identify any issues and make sure that users are getting the most out of the software.
Following these steps can help improve customer satisfaction as well as catch any potential problems in software before they get out of hand. Customer feedback is crucial to improving user experience and user interface.
Team Spawning Is a Smart Choice
For those looking to pass on information quickly in a high-context environment, team spawning is an excellent way forward. It’s becoming increasingly popular among software development companies because it improves efficiency, helps team members create natural relationships through which information is passed, and overall strengthens a team. Team spawning can also be used to help customers get used to software via a software onboarding process.
All in all, this is just another example of people learning from others. Those with a creative mind could see how team spawning resembles schools in many ways — with a teacher, students, and a dedicated space like a classroom to work in. That’s an age-old and robust system, and it’s used everywhere because it works.
We love systems that work just as much as we love making software that works. We also realize that everything we make is for people — software is simply another tool in the hands of an increasingly complex species. That’s us.
If you want to know more about how we work or are curious to talk to us about a project, reach out to us today. We love passing on knowledge and helping clients reach their goals — since helping each other out is what we’re all here for.