April 27, 2017

Wandering to Manage - Shop Floor and Office - Observe the Action to Plan and Control

Management by Wandering Around (MBWA) was  invented by Hewlett-Packard sometime in the 1970s. It was made famous by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman as one of the ‘Eight Basics’ in their book, In Search of Excellence,  in 1982.  It is practiced by many managers in various industries.

One of the executives in Hotel industry wrote that  MWBA is an integral part of hotel management culture - top management must have that direct informal communication line with the information source- customers and employees and it is accomplished by meeting customers and frontline employees by going to the lobby, guest rooms and dining halls. It’s part of the job. It is important for the top managers to get a feel of what’s going on out there and observe whether things are going on as per the strategies and policies approved by them.

Good article on MBWA

Management by walking around: 6 tips to make it work

Anne Fisher
Aug 23, 2012

How to manage by wandering around

In The Workplace
Reylito A. H. Elb
Posted on September 21, 2012

Management by Wandering Around (MBWA) - When Will It Succeed?

Anita L. Tucker and Sara J. Singer, in the working paper "The Effectiveness of Management-By-WalkingAround: A Randomized Field Study" [HBS Working Paper 12-113, 4 September 2013] provided the following ideas regarding the successful outcomes from management by wandering around.

MBWA-based program was associated with improved perceptions of performance under two conditions: (1) when a higher percentage of solved problems were considered “easy” to solve, enabling more problem solving, and (2) when senior managers took responsibility for ensuring that identified problems were resolved. This suggests that the action-taking that results from the program, rather than the mere physical presence of the senior managers, is what positively impacts the front line staff. 

Rather than increasing reporting, organizations might be better served by addressing known problems, which builds problem-solving capabilities, which in turn enables action-taking on more problems. This finding corroborates prior research that highlighted the importance of problem-solving capacity for successful improvement programs.

The above ideas are logical. Management which starts with planning and ends with the accomplishment of the task is concerned with action. Management by wandering around is to be done in an action oriented way. The top man must be able to observe as well as listen and become aware of the issues which need to be improved. Only when those issues are successfully resolved to the satisfaction of the customers, suppliers and employees, performance of the organization will up first in the favorable opinions of the persons involved and then in the operating and financial performance areas. 

Benefit of A to Z Blogging 2017

This time A to Z Blogging Challenge has proved useful in number of ways. It helped to me to create some new popular posts. It helped me to learn more about management especially the issues of interest to top management. There is good amount of advice on management by academics and practitioners. But still taking it to the right people who need to become aware of it and then study it in more detail is an important job. Bloggers and other online writers have to keep writing as well as try to reach such decision makers through various social media outlets that include communities with focused interests.

Top Management Challenges

This article is part of #AtoZChallenge 2017 for Blogging Posts. My Theme for the Challenge is Top Management Challenges - Full List of Articles  http://nraomtr.blogspot.com/2016/12/a-to-z-2017-blogging-challenge-top.html

To Know More About A to Z Blogging Challenge

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