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Submitted by SHP on


How would you recommend approaching O3s and Feedback for a team of 22 that is divided among 4 team leads?


Currently I am doing O3s and starting feedback with my 4 team leads.  They are doing O3s with their ~4 quasi-directs.  The team leads are not managers or supervisors.  But they've been very helpful since I don't have the discipline to do 22 meaningful O3s in a week.


The catch I think will be in rolling out feedback to the larger group.  For 18 of them, I don't have the same relationship level I have with 4 leads.  However, the 4 leads are not managers and not responsible for the sub-team's results (this org structure is dictated from above.).  They have expressed concern and hesitation about providing feedback on anything other than technical items (e.g. code or calculations they'll give feedback on, but they won't touch maintaining positive relationships.).


I see 3 obvious options, but see significant downsides to all three.  What other options do you see?

1) do 22 O3s each week, then deliver feedback to 22.

2) continue with delegated O3s, but give all feedback myself

3) continue with delegated O3s and allow both team lead and myself to give feedback

jrb3's picture
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I'm extrapolating here from my time as team-lead in a couple of good environments.

Since a team-lead acts as not-a-manager, then they give peer-style feedback.  Being higher up in the hierarchy, you give manager-style feedback, of course.

You need solid info for writing and giving the annual review for 22 people.  Ouch.  Man, it'd be great if you could get even one team-lead to take on some of that.  Hmmm ...

That leads me to think you get to do 22 O3s, perhaps hitting each non-tech-lead of yours every-other-week, focusing more on "soft skills" and overall results than on pure-technical aspects.  Team-leads continue their weekly O3s and feedback, focused on technical nitty-gritty.  So 15 O3s per week for you (and 4-5 for each team-lead).  Still heavy but your primary activity anyway.

I suggest you get comfortable and facile with both positive and negative feedback with your team-leads.  Coach them as they roll-out peer-style feedback.  Go explore how the org can turn one or two turn into supervisors, both to spread your load and to train up a number-two and successor.  New or incipient supervisors get extra coaching and delegation to prepare them for doing and feedbacking (that sounds weird but whatever) non-technical aspects.

jrb3's picture
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Or 13 O3s per week for you:  4 team-leads plus alternating halves of the remaining 18.

Key is figuring out how to let the organization let your team-leads act a bit more like managers, such that they learn for later promotion and for present load-sharing.

SHP's picture
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Thanks JRB3.  13 sounds a lot better than 15, somehow.

I had expiremented with alternating-week O3s with my team of 14 before we re-orged to 22 with 4 leads.  I don't think I got as much out of thosee bi-weekly O3s as I did from weekly O3s, but I certainly knew each of them and their work better than now.  Sometimes I go a week or even two without speaking with few of my directs.

I need to get some input from the directs I suppose.