Joining a new team – Where to start?

It is always difficult when you start working with a new team; you come from somewhere where you know everyone, what they do, the products, customers and processes and have to learn all about the new team, products, processes, customers, suppliers and resist the initial temptation to try and change things. I joined the team here at PXtech as the QA and Release manager, a new role for the company, and I’ve spent a few months on a journey of discovery consisting of lots of questions, usually repeated, as my head tries to fill with all of this new information.

Joining the team at PXtech was like a breath of fresh air to me; the team is successful, dynamic and has a desire to improve. My previous experience working in large corporations felt like wading uphill through treacle in comparison when you wanted to do anything which could not be isolated to your own direct team, but it did help me understand how to sell and achieve improvement.

Everyone can improve and even when I have spent many years working with a team I’ve always found that I’ve had to resist trying too much at once. Sometimes trying to introduce change in a well-established team can be hard because it’s scary moving away from what is known and what has always worked (well or not so well) in the past. In these situations I have found that it is always best to get sponsorship for the change at a senior / influential level. The book “Our Iceberg is Melting” by John Kotter which was recommended to me by a previous manager is very insightful and I recommend it as a good read for anyone struggling to implement any kind of change. This is why we started with a vision for quality.

We’ve now created our vision; we’ve obtained approval and we’re going to start breaking it down into small manageable tasks. We will trial each small improvement and evaluate its effectiveness. For the improvements which turn out well, we will then aim to embed them into normal daily process. We have also started promoting the vision throughout the company to ensure that team members beyond the QA and development team are engaged.



  • Pro-actively seek feedback from our Customers, Partners, Users and each other to drive continuous improvement
  • Collaborative business wide approach that fosters an environment within the workplace that encourages quality
  • Building on customer understanding to create high quality products and solutions


  • Customer at the heart of our business. We get it right first time
  • Expand on our teams skills to ensure the best possible delivery
  • Discover issues sooner in the quality lifecycle to reduce the cost of delivery


  • Clear measures of progress to easily identify our successes and failures
  • Delivery of our Products and Solutions on budget and on time
  • Ensure best practice is used for release, environment and test data management

Steve Playford
QA and Release Manager

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