Earlier I read a question called How to mentor a Junior Developer and thought about this question.
I worked as a support engineer at a smaller startup in one of my previous employments where I was the second member of our team. It was a stressful job as a lot of stuff was new and we had multiple responsibilities. It was a rewarding experience to be able to help new members to get up to speed. Getting them up to speed mostly meant to bring them to a comfortable level for all day to day operational tasks. Further product related knowledge was imparted to them by relevant teams.
Since this process was being repetitive, we proposed a kind of mutual mentoring system where recent hires who got up to speed with one area would help other recent members come up to speed with other area. This did not work well after some time as the management was not too keen on having new members waste time training others instead of working on tickets right away. Then we adapted to a hands-on working sessions method with seniors having the new members shadow them while they worked on tickets. Once new members understood the nuances of handling the issues, they were assigned tickets with the ticket priority being increased each week or so. This was successful in terms of the knowledge exchange, but proved difficult for the senior members as they were being additionally burdened with their own work loads.
This was viewed as a failure on our part by the management. We wished to have an effective mentoring system to counter the work loads and facilitate better knowledge exchange for the new comers, but we were not able to create a better system.
What approaches would you recommend for setting up mentoring systems for fast paced environments?