BLUF - Given the choices to -

  1. start weekly O3s with 22 directs,
  2. start biweekly O3s with 22 directs, or
  3. divide O3 burden with newly created subteam leaders within my first 90 days
  4. don't start O3s

What would you do?

I am newly installed as manager of a group of 22.  I want to start O3s but feel that 11 hours of O3s is too much… I want to divide my group but that would violate the 90 day "fit in / do nothing" guidance.



I've got 11 engineers and 11 designers.  The engineers are mostly senior (20+ year) level and generally self-sufficient with each engineer working on his/her own thing.  The designers are a good mix of experience and had naturally worked themselves into three informal teams.

I am an engineer myself and have experience managing a team of 5 engineers prior to taking this opportunity at a new company.  22 weekly O3s seems daunting to me given my prior experience of only 5.

I will relate best with the engineers and my first read is that I have more motivation & retention concerns among the engineers than I do with designers.

My initial thoughts are to keep all 11 engineer and 3 designer leads with me for O3s.  The remaining 8 designers would have O3s with the lead designers.  I will have 7 hours of O3s each week.  The subteam leaders will have 1-1.5 hours each, plus their 0.5 with me.

NLewis's picture

Hi Semper -

If it was me I'd work on fitting in during the first 90 and understanding the systems, processes, and most of all the people.  I would pre-wire the idea of O3's and let the team know it was coming.  Meanwhile I'd keep an eye on who I'd trust to lead focus teams.  I've never had to work with as many as 20 but in the past I found dividing the teams into 5 and holding one O3 a day with each of the leads to be effective.  The balance of the team were each assigned to a lead and they had their O3's as well - effectively turning at least part of the team into skips.  Some of that would depend on your work level - at the time I had a significant number of duties and there was only so much time I could devote.

I also tried taking a random sampling of directs and skips to lunch once a week.  I once had an executive do this for me and was impressed by it.  My people found it underwhelming however so I dropped it.


Godspeed out there!