Project team member breaks leg – what next?

During a recent project management training course (a refresher day) someone asked what would others do when a project team member breaks a leg and is likely to be off for at least 4 months? The person who asked the question had the luxury of bringing in a new team member and wanted advice how best to do this. 

The project was one month old with 7 months to go and the full time team were functioning well. The course members developed a check list for bringing this new person on board. 

  • each team member to brief the new team member with their view of the project 
  • preparing files, project paperwork etc for reading by the new team member (including anything you can extract from the team member who has the broken leg)
  • project manager to brief the new team member including: 

project management roles – who is doing what in the project (the group agreed that the new team member should be given a specific documented role)
the background to the project – including the ‘political’ dimensions
all plans that exist including risk and stakeholder issues, budgets, draft plans and ideas

  • meet key stakeholders introduced by one of the team members 
  • attend any planned meetings that other team members have arranged  
  • hold a special welcoming meeting with all team members present  
  • getting then involved as soon as possible with a specific task/activity – taking over the ill peron’s activities
  • review with the new team member after weeks 1 and 2 issues they face  

One person commented that she entered an existing project and had problems that the above list would have helped overcome. 

Then came the comment that quite a few of the group agreed with; they would like to go through this process now! Most of the group felt that their own briefing on the project was poor, with a couple not having anything formal. A damming indictment! 

What would you like to add to the list? 

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