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I work in a very large matrix organization. I've always struggled with how to handle O3s. I know the rule is weekly O3s with everyone in my group. But in the matrix, I don't have direct responsibilities over my direct's tasking or progress. So weekly meetings seems like overkill. The project leads should be doing weekly. For me, I've settled for monthly (with lots of other face to face time). What are your thoughts?

Tom

mfculbert's picture

Tom,

Step back to the original purpose of the o3. It is to develop relationship that allows your to improve productivity  of an employee. If you are responsible for your direct's productivity then you need that productivity and therefore the relationship.  The project manager is hopefully doing mpo3s as well but is not responsible for the long term success of your direct.

Is there any information I am missing this the matrix structure that would invalidate this?

fchalif's picture

Tom, I recommend you do weekly O3s with your Directs. You also need to do peer one on ones with the managers at your level in the organization that will influence your teams success. You are responsible for your Directs behaviors and work product. Even if the bulk of their interactions deal with other areas of the organization, you are responsible for your team members delivering for the organization. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are completing their work accurately, on time and contributing to their project teams. Your meeting with your peer O3s is for you to be very aware of what your team members are accountable for relative to the project teams they are on. It will make you better at understanding what they must deliver on, and will allow you to guide your directs better.

Frankie

tplummer's picture

I like the concept of peer O3s. That's something I hadn't considered. As managers we are "assigned" certain projects to help assist as needed. Again,we're not directly responsible nor are we responsible for our direct's tasking. But talking to my peers about their oversight projects and how my people are performing on them would be very beneficial. That would give me more ways to assist them if needed. Thanks, Frankie.

I still hesitate for weekly O3s for my directs. I manage my relationships through a lot of walking around, email, IM, etc. And my directs contact me frequently as well for assistance and advice. So I'm not worried about building better relationships through O3s. I think the relationship part is covered amply.  The O3s are more, "what have you been working on and how can I help you." For example, I ping one of my directs regularly and it's usually "everything's fine". Then last week it was "OMG, 5 things hit all at once and I don't know what to do." In that case, the MT delegation podcasts came in real handy on how to get her team to pitch in and take some of her lower priority, but still important tasks completed.

So I do know that monthly O3s is not the right answer. But I really don't think weekly O3s are it either. I did bi-weekly for a year once. Perhaps I should try that again and make the 15 minutes instead of 30. Things to think about.

Tom

fchalif's picture

Tom,

 

i suggest you do them every two weeks then, i am convinced you will see improved results and that you will eventually get to once per week. i do not believe that you can be effective with all of your Directs with the management by walking around. it may work with one or two, if this still allows for frank conversations about their performance.

the key to the O3 is having a regular opportunity to discuss performance, and not just the work, or tasks, or issues.

the O3 provides the privacy required to be frank with your direct.

 

Good luck.

Frankie

marcbots's picture

Tom,

My situation is exactly the same as yours: large matrix organization, no input on direct's tasking or progress. As you, I've settled for monthly O3's, and this seems to be good for my situation. I should add that the field I work in has project turn around timelines that may be longer than two weeks, so weekly O3's seems too much.

In my opinion the monthly 03's are still effective, and this way I don't get in the way of the project managers.

Good luck,

Marc