Hi! I'm an L5 in a big tech company, tasked with leading a big org-level project that span multiple engineering teams, with lots of cross functional collaboration w/ UX and PM as well.
I'm new to my own team and I'm not the subject matter expert in the area of our work, which is around 8-ish people with about 2 other L5s. In order for me to successfully manage this project for our team, I am already involved in a lot of meetings and I have yet to set up recurring 1:1s. I believe I should set up some more of these 1:1s, but I can't imagine I would be setting one up w/ everyone I come across.
Which 1-on-1s / relationship should I prioritize, how frequently should they happen, and how do I ensure these meetings are good use of both my time and the other person's time?
So my general principle when it comes to setting up 1 on 1s as a project lead is to answer the following question:
Who can throw my project under the bus?
And then for all those people, I set up the recurring 1 on 1. 😂
In terms of frequency, my general playbook is to set up a biweekly first. That's the sweet spot where it doesn't feel too frequent, but it's frequent enough to catch problems and prevent alignment issues on a relatively fast time scale.
Zooming out, what's far more important than the initial cadence you set is your ability to adapt and adjust meetings as necessary:
When it comes to the common "culprits" for 1 on 1s, I generally do a mix of the following:
The PM/designer ones are much more important early on when the project isn't well defined yet. You can probably drop those over time.
I also recommend these resources: