I've been wondering about O3s in my odd situation. I am a project manager with no direct reports. When a project is created, I have to 'recruit' team members from the functional managers. These are usually very technical projects. We do most of the thinking work in regularly scheduled team meetings. Team members do about half of the analysis, and I pull it all together for the next meeting.
[list]Projects last 6-12 months
Team members report to their functional managers, not me
Functional managers formally approve some % of their report's time (usually 10-15%)
Teams have 3-7 members (plus me)
I usually manage 2 or 3 teams simultaneously working very different projects
Teams are usually sponsored two or three levels up the heirarch (functional managers supervisor or his/her supervisor)[/list:u]
Once a week I meet informally with each team member, or at least the members that are actively working on part of the project. Usually it is just a 5-10 minute check-in at their convenience. We talk about personal stuff, weather, family, and then the project. (BTW, I'm somewhat high D and C so the personal stuff is deliberate, and it depends on the person.) I give feedback (usually thanks for getting that done, or I need that done so we can move on to such-and-such). Sometimes we discuss general project direction. We don't really discuss development since that is not my role.
Since discovering MT, I've wondered if a formal weekly meeding would be helpful. My main deterrent is that I am completely at the will of their other work. I have a heck of a time scheduling meetings with any one member. Great example: Last week I scheduled a 1 hr data-mining meeting with a member who really wanted to get involved with it... we've rescheduled twice because of his other obligations.
On a positive note... I really love this position. It is a great way for me to develop my leadership skills. I have learned a lot about motivating people when I have no authority over them. This really is a great learning environment.