Currently my org chart is a little wonky

I manage two departments, a production department and shipping/receiving

My direct reports are

the shipping manager who will eventually have his own foreman (covid has made hiring an issue and he was previously foreman but was promoted out of the union) he has 8 operators and a clerk (My skips from production)

then in the production department I have two foremen running two shifts and 7 production operators. In my mind the foremen are the work leaders and I assign tasks as such. Currently I am doing O3's with 


Shipping Manager

Foreman 1

Foreman 2


however technically the production operators directly report to me but dotted line report to their foreman (foremen are still in the union so they are supervisors but do not have hire/fire or disciplinary authority)


Would you advise I do O3's with all production team members as well as the foreman and my shipping manager or remain the way i'm doing things? I eventually want foreman doing O3's with their operators though it's tricky due to the union and with them not being full fledged managers.


Further to this eventually I will be taking on an additional 10 person team consisting of two more foremen and 8 operators though we are delaying that change as it would be too difficult for me to run 3 departments at this time without other leadership in place.

Peter.westley's picture
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M-T has some specific recommendations around how many O3s are possible.

I would suggest, do as many as you can - 10 is doable but you have to be disciplined - you'll get the benefit now.

Then later, when it looks like having three teams, work towards delegating some. I don't know what your relationship with the unions is like but developing those leaders (even if they don't have line reporting responsibilities) and teaching them about the trinity will help them and enable you to move some of the load down IMO.

There's some good discussion at and I would recommend keep searching in the podcasts for material on this - I know it's there I just can't put my finger on it!


jrb3's picture
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2020-05-18 podcast on Manager Tools feed "Don't Do Skip Level One On Ones".

Definitely O3 with the shipping manager and whatever foremen you have, and any other direct reports.  No O3s with anyone you don't directly oversee their output (so no operators or clerks, let the foremen and shipping-manager respectively do O3s or equivalent).

My experience as a technical lead suggests to me that O3s adapted as "professional updates and mentoring" work, much like "manager feedback" gets adapted to "peer feedback".  Though part of me thinks "O3s are for supervisors too" ....