3. Project Manager Onboarding – The PM Toolkit


Welcome back to The Project Management Toolkit series. So far we’ve explored Employee Recognition! and Collaborating with Clients. This series breaks down the essential components of how Project Managers can take their leadership to the next level. Up next, we’ll take a look at an overlooked aspect of good Project Management, Project Manager Onboarding.

Ensuring a smooth onboarding process for a new project manager involves providing them with a comprehensive checklist. This checklist serves as a guide to acquaint the new PM with internal procedures and ways of working. It is advisable to review or develop a PM onboarding pack aligning with the following checklist:

1. Methodology Definition

Initiate the onboarding journey by defining expectations regarding the utilization of project management methodologies. Determine whether the organization leans towards Agile, heavily employs Sprints or Scrum, or follows Lean or Waterfall approaches. Consider creating specific onboarding checklists for each core methodology to facilitate the PM’s focus on the relevant project management checklist.

2. Tool Proficiency

Ensure the new project manager is proficient in the tools your company employs for task management. Whether it’s Excel, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Teams Planner boards, Jira, or others, document how these tools are used. Include templates and examples, and outline expectations for storing documentation in accordance with the project management methodology standards.

3. Reporting Standards

Establish clear reporting standards to maintain alignment among clients, the team, and management. Clearly define how project status updates should be reported, specifying frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly), format (written reports, presentations, or meetings), and the key performance indicators (KPIs) to focus on. This clarity ensures a consistent flow of information for effective project progress evaluation.

4. Auditing Procedures

Outline procedures for project audits, emphasizing transparency and accountability. Specify what aspects will be audited, such as budget adherence, timeline compliance, and risk management. Develop a structured approach for documenting and storing audit findings, considering the audience and their specific monitoring requirements on a per-project basis.

5. Risk Management Protocols

Equip the new project manager with robust risk management protocols. Clearly articulate how risks should be identified, assessed, and mitigated across projects. Emphasize proactive risk management to anticipate challenges and devise contingency plans. Ensure alignment with the audit process and other existing tools in documenting the risk management process.

6. Documentation Best Practices

Underscore the importance of thorough documentation across all project lifecycle aspects. Guide the new project manager in creating detailed project plans, documenting key decisions, and maintaining comprehensive records. Effective documentation not only aids in project audits but also serves as a valuable resource for future projects, capturing lessons learned and reusable artifacts that expedite future deliveries.

7. Continuous Improvement Mindset

Instill a continuous improvement mindset in the new project manager. Encourage regular retrospectives to evaluate project performance, identify improvement areas, and implement lessons learned in future projects. Emphasize that retrospectives are valuable tools applicable to any project methodology, fostering adaptability and ensuring ongoing project optimization.


In conclusion, mastering project onboarding involves more than introducing a new team member to the company culture. It’s about equipping them with the practical tools and strategies needed for effective project management. By focusing on tool proficiency, reporting standards, auditing procedures, risk management, collaborative decision-making, documentation best practices, and a continuous improvement mindset, you set the stage for a successful onboarding experience.

The journey doesn’t end with onboarding; it’s a continuous process of learning and refining strategies. By investing in the practical skills and knowledge needed for project management success, you empower your new project manager to navigate challenges and contribute to the achievement of project goals.

What practical steps does your organization prioritize during project onboarding? Share your insights and experiences with us!

Infotechtion are experts in Microsoft 365 (M365), Information Governance, Information Protection (MIP) and Data Protection, Data Security and Cyber Security.

Contact the author at Alex.V@infotechtion.com or via contact@infotechtion.com. Find us at https://infotechtion.com/ !

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