Management by Walking Around

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Management by walking around is a concept that actually uses a lot of common sense. It is particularly effective for managers who are a little self-conscious about talking to people. Some of these managers are reluctant to come out of their offices and talk to their own people. Such reclusive managers don't communicate well.

It is easier to show how to do management by walking around than to explain it. The manager practicing the technique of management by walking around makes a commitment to do this for a half-hour to an hour each day. This may seem like a lot of time to the manager at first, but the benefits that are derived will save more time than the time spent doing this.

The manager leaves his or her office and starts walking around the project team office space. When a member of the project team is approached, the manager says something like, ''How was your golf game this week?'' (Of course, the prudent manager would know that the person actually plays golf.) The manager opens up the conversation with a casual statement, and the team member begins to talk about his or her latest escapade on the golf links. Human nature demands that the team member change the conversation in a short time. Because the team member will not want to excessively talk about his golf game to the project manager, he soon will switch to discussing the project. When this happens all of the anxiety that is often present disappears, and free and honest communication takes place.

If the manager had taken a different approach to this conversation, the results might have been different. If the project manager had come to this team member and said, ''Hey John, how are things going on your part of the project?'' John would have first asked himself things like, '' Why is the boss asking me this?'' ''Something is wrong and I don't even know about it.'' ''The boss wants to give me another assignment and is trying to see how busy I am.'' ''My review is due, what can I say?'' All these things go through a person's mind when he or she is put on the spot. This results in anxiety. The team member gives a minimal response to the manager, and poor communication is the result.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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