I'd appreciate some advice on working a senior employee within your functional area but not within your reporting structure.

I'm starting a new job later this month managing the IT & MI team. This includes management of a small team, projects and budget for this part of the business. There is a very experienced contractor who worked with the firm for 18 years, and has implemented a number of bespoke software systems and large chunks of their infrastructure. This contractor is not part of my team, but obviously it is important for the company and for us both as individuals that we have an effective relationship and can work together effectively.

I'm not concerned that I need to 'assert my authority' or anything like that, I'm not going into it assuming there will be major issues around authority. What I'd appreciate is advice on how to manage this type of relationship effectively. I think it's important that he is involved in the weekly team meeting (and likely daily stand up if I still want to implement that after a few months); I'd also like to have a 121esque meeting weekly but am concerned this may come across wrong as he doesn't report to me. I think something else to take a 121s place, which may well be very similar would be beneficial.

Svet.'s picture

Hi John,

I cannot elaborate more at the moment as this is a very interesting question for me too.

I would like to second the question and I want to also check what others think before shaping and expressing my view (as I need some more input to form it better - more experience and opinions shared leads to better ideas and approaches).

Thanks again for posting such an important and interesting question and thanks in advance for any responses.

Kind regards,


JohnG's picture

As seems to usually be the case with MT there seems to be a cast for this. I had vague recollections of something of this ilk and after some searching found a two part series from 2011 on peer one to ones which seem appropriate for my situation.

JohnG's picture

Sorry I haven't been back to update this sooner; and thanks Tim I'll definitely take a look at the matrix organisation casts. The peer 121 casts are good advice but didn't fit the relationship in this case (the person in this case is working in my department but doesn't report into me; don't ask...). I've been having regular 'catch ups' while I get a better understanding of how this is expected to work and it has been going well thus far.

Ironically it's actually one of my DR's that is most resistant to 121s and is trying not to engage etc; I probably didn't help myself by not making it clear that they were a permanent fixture early on, which may have made them believe they would stop if they resisted them. I have since clarified that they aren't stopping. I'm not concerned at the moment, but may be back asking for guidance in a month or two if I'm getting nowhere.