the ceo magazine, business management,
Anton MItchell, President, Quviant 

We all have a war story about the boss who just couldn’t help themselves and needed to touch every process and nook and cranny of the project.  This behavior puts employees in CYA mode and crushes creativity and calculated risk taking.  Whether micro-managing is a control issue, delegation gone wrong or just a lack of operations training, fear not, the remedy is close at hand.  Management by Exception (MBE) is a practice that uses preemptive techniques to pin-point which areas of the project or product development needs attention.  Imagine your best workers free to soar, unimpeded by time-consuming, myopic oversight, as long as they hit their quality indicators and target dates.  All in favor – say “Aye!”  Separation of duties is a solid approach which rewards steady, high performers while identifying and supporting people or projects in need of direction.  MBE is not for every company, culture or project.  It works best when the following conditions exist:

  • Experienced and trusted employees are assigned to the task
  • Bi-directional expectations (individually and the team as a whole), and plans are communicated and documented for the assignment
  • The project scope is captured with proper planning with any unclear or ‘TBD’ items documented to counter scope creep
  • Weekly check points are established to stay on top of cost, schedule and development data and there is an established method on how to address and respond to variances

Adopt MBE and spend quality time building your business… (and going to your kid’s soccer game)!

Execution must occur at every level in the organization.  Leaders, who provide their team the mechanisms and methods to succeed, foster the ability to take on more and larger endeavors as the team gains skill and confidence.  When achievement is the rule, time is best spent on managing the exceptions while keeping a watchful eye on possible pitfalls.  So Micro-Managers – it’s time to manage by exception, and if all the above boxes are checked, stand back and let your CEOs execute. 



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