Licensee BadgeTraining Badge
Submitted by RichRuh on


Just curious- how long does everyone take preparing for your O3 meetings?

I have 11 directs, and I spent about 2.5 hours preparing for them. This includes the time to read their status reports, gather some data from our bug-tracking system (we're in a "bug fix" phase of our projeect) and to come up with some coaching ideas for a handful of them.

This feels like a lot of time to me, but I'm curious what everyone else thinks.


trandell's picture

2.5 hours total or 2.5 hours for each person? If total, that breaks down to just under 15 minutes per person. If you could automate the delivery of bug report stats/summary for each person, that would shave a few minutes off for the manual process you do now.

I spend between 10 and 15 minutes per person, so in my experience you seem in the norm.

sholden's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

My range is between 5-10 minutes per person just before a 1on1.


drinkcoffee's picture

I have 4 directs and it usually takes me about 30 minutes to prepare all my forms before my block of O3s.

madamos's picture
Licensee Badge


What data are you gathering from the bug report system? Why don't you make it each team members responsibility to gather this data and review during the O3?


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

2-5 minutes.


cwatine's picture
Training Badge

[quote="sholden"]My range is between 5-10 minutes per person just before a 1on1.


About 5 minutes just before O3, too ...

But I have a little tip here : during the week, I use my outlook task system. I put my notes on feedback or anyting that comes to my mind that I may need to talk during the O3 (on my lap top or PDA).
I use a task system with a category "O3 - Bob".

So before I meet Bob, I just go through my Outlook-notes about him and write them down on my paper template for this O3 ... I also keep with me the template of the previous O3.

AManagerTool's picture

I usually put 30 min between each O3. I found that while I only need 5 or so minutes to prepare for the O3, I need more time to write my notes from the previous meeting and take a bathroom break, get coffee etc. My goal during the O3 is to be relaxed and focused on the interaction not on my full bladder or wildly scribbling notes. During the meeting I only put small reminders on the O3 forms and then flesh it out after the meeting.

cwatine's picture
Training Badge

I think i'd be the best way. But it means 1 hour total per O3. Very difficult to achieve for me personnally.

juliahhavener's picture
Licensee Badge

I also put a 30 minute window after each O3. Working in a call center environment, having some cushion is important so that I'm not rescheduling every other metting! With the size of my team and the time commitments I have to them, they receive bi-weekly O3s (with the exception of my lead, who is scheduled weekly) and every other week is reserved for job-specific coaching.

I did manage to get all of my scheduling in to two days each week. With the startup, I simply did not have the hours in the week to do them regularly until now. I had an initial O3 with each member of the team when we started, advised them that once the startup phase was completed they would see them scheduled regularly, and simply made myself available to each of them (with outreach to all members) in the interim.

My team is excited about having their time scheduled finally! I find that a couple of minutes is all I need to prepare for each one. I review the last O3 and any recent conversations/situations that I may owe them something on or that needs feedback, and make a few quick notes of items I want to cover specifically with them. So far so good!

LouFlorence's picture
Training Badge

Still catching up on the boards . . . .

It's very interesting to read all the comments. I have thought about devoting more time to O3 prep, but not wanting to cut other stuff. I run O3s on Tuesday through Thursday, back to back for 90-120 minutes each day.

I've been bad about preparing much for the O3s. I have a very simple task tracking tool (a spreadsheet) with one tab for each DR. I am pretty religious about keeping the tasks updated (at least once a week), so I print out the spreadsheet a minute before the meeting and review the last few O3 notes (everybody has their own manila folder). Sometimes I do this as people are coming in (yes, bad, I know.) I don't think I ever take over 5 minutes -- it's usually more like 2.

The good news is that it does not seem to affect the quality of the O3s. People are really warming up to them after 4 months of doing it.


gc3rhodes's picture

I usually spend 5 minutes preping for each 1on1.
throughout the week, I make notes of the things I want to discuss. And I'm also aware of the things my directs are working on, so it doesn't take that much time to prepare. [u]I ALWAYS read the follow up/future box on my 1on1 forms b/f my meetings. [/u]
Also, i go back to back on 1on1 meetings.

nathanbeaudry's picture

It varies week-to-week but I generally would say 5-10 minutes. I normally jot down notes on their forms in the Manager Update section throughout the week at things occur to me or I think of things that I'd like to talk about or projects that I'd like to assign. But for the most part I let the direct guide the direction of the one-on-one with their beginning.

RichRuh's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Thanks everyone for your answers and ideas. Next week I'm going to time myself as I prep, and try to be more efficient in my prep. At this point I'm spending more than 10 minutes per, and that is just too much!

bpeters's picture

From David Allen's Getting Things Done, I learned to create a manilla folder for each direct, labelled "Agenda;" and the initials of the direct. This gives me a place to place any miscellaneous bits of hardcopy coming across my desk that might relate to the direct. I grab this folder and the prior O3 notes in the 10 minutes I spend preparing for the meeting.

jeffh's picture
Training Badge

[quote="bpeters"]From David Allen's Getting Things Done, I learned to create a manilla folder for each direct, labelled "Agenda;" and the initials of the direct. This gives me a place to place any miscellaneous bits of hardcopy coming across my desk that might relate to the direct. I grab this folder and the prior O3 notes in the 10 minutes I spend preparing for the meeting.[/quote]

I do the same thing only I use the O3 folder for both. When something comes up, I put it in the O3 folder on either a piece of paper, a stickey note, or I write on last week's O3 form in the followup section. I try to write the date as well as the item description.

Good luck,

jeffh's picture
Training Badge

I just timed myself. Currently I have 10 team members. It took 18 minutes to prep all of the forms so that makes about 2 minutes per person.

BTW: I am finding that it is best to do all of them at once. Typically I have a theme that I want to communicate to each team member. By doing all the forms together I can focus on each individual's issues and still remember the higher-level issue.

LouFlorence's picture
Training Badge


I was, like yourself, doing similar and themed items for each O3. At some point, I found I was repeating myself so I took those and did them at the weekly staff meeting. Now I try to keep O3 topics completely individual. 30 minutes is short enough.


jeffh's picture
Training Badge

Hey Lou,

Good point. I'm a project manager, so my O3 meetings are usually related to the current project deliverable. The theme is not really a 'communication theme' but rather a larger task. For example one deliverable is "estimate cost of ownership (COO) for each piece of equipment in the project". So at the previous team meeting, I tell them that we'll be working on COO at the next team meeting. They get action items to collect information. During the O3s, we discuss their action items and talk about their specific perspective on the deliverable. Some people are interested in repair and maintenance. Some people are interested in quality vs. cost. Some people are interested in labor productivity. So we discuss their individual issues and still stay focused on the immediate deliverable.

In the past, it frequently took 3-4 weeks to gather that kind of information. With the mid-week O3, I'm finding we get the information in 1-2 weeks with less wasted effort.