25 July 2011

New job

Today I started the second of two new jobs. (Do I have a focus problem?)

The job I started last week is as an 'Agile trainer' at Telstra.

I signed up because I want to see what this ambitious change program looks like from the inside, and because it will be an amazing win for the community of web and phone users in Australia if it comes off.  My part in the process is small, but it's a great initiative and exciting to be a part of it.

The job I started today is as the 'head of project management and assurance' at Swinburne University.

I signed on there because I wanted to test my mettle against portfolio and line management.  I also wanted to work in an industry that is contributing to the community is a positive way.  Education fits that criteria pretty well for me.  Again, an exciting opportunity.

This is on the back of a very very busy 9 months as a consultant where I did everything from practice consulting, product visioning and enterprise architecture.  I'm glad I did the consulting work, but I'll also be glad to leave the hectic pace behind me for a while. (Not that the new job will be a walk in the park.)

As I start this new role I am trying to discipline myself to shut up and pay attention to what's going on rather than jump in screaming "let's get lean! Let's get agile!" from the rafters.  There is nothing worse in the new guy than a problem looking for a solution, right?

What you might do for me is point me to any good posts on being the new guy on the team and how to identify and implement the right approach to changes.


  1. I usually recommend "The First 90 Days" by Michael Watkins to folks in a new role. http://www.amazon.com/First-90-Days-Critical-Strategies/dp/1591391105

    Good luck.

  2. Thanks Andrew. I'm taking your recommendation.

  3. Being a contractor/consultant. I am often the 'new guy' at work. Here's a number of techniques I use.

    1 - Ask questions. No one hates being asked questions and it's a good way to learn. Also, not everything is written down. Being told stuff is often the only way you will find it out.

    2 - If you don't know what you're doing, fake it 'till you make it. This is often the case for me :(

    3 - Be yourself, but remain appropriate. I never change my attitude or personality when I am at work. I find it difficult to, so I remain how I am. If I am working somewhere that doesn't want my personality around, then it's best I don't work there anymore.

    4 - remember, being the new guys sometimes sucks - http://imgur.com/jAkpI.jpg

  4. At 60% of the way through 'the first 90 days' I can say it is a useful book. Many of the ideas are known, but it's packaged in a really useful and actionable way that helps ensure a systematic approach.

    A warning: the kinder (app) version misses several images and tables in the book, so if you are going to buy it get the paper version.