Management by Walking Around
Posted on July 18, 2007 Comments (3)
Management by walking around (MBWA) is based on the concept that a manager needs to actually understand what is really going on – not just view reports in an office. By seeing the actual state of affairs they can better understand what management improvements are actually doing where work is being done. Lean thinking includes a great deal on the importance of going to the gemba to make decisions. Anyone interested in MBWA should look at some of that material (as often MBWA is too superficial to do much good). Knowing what is to be accomplished by MBWA is important and I think often those that say they do MBWA are not clear on what that is.
In a similar way a manager needs to see how their web site works, if the web is of importance to their organizations (true for most organization but…). Just visiting it and trying to accomplish tasks (purchase an item, find information) would be a good step. In Is Management by Walking Around still relevant for retail furniture stores in a cyber-based culture? by Larry Mullins he discusses this idea (and the idea that yes MBWA is still important):