The key concept in walk-about management is communication. An informed team is a well-functioning team. There are no surprises in this type of management.
An e-mail announcement sent out by the project manager to each task leader every time a task is completed helps ensure that the task workgroup leaders are alerted to what is happening in the project.
The project manager must use every means of communication at his or her disposal walk-about managing, posting the current charts, e-mail, telephone calls, and interoffice memos to make sure that the team members, the sponsor, and other stakeholders of the project are fully aware of its progress.
When a task workgroup's achievement is noteworthy, the project manager should congratulate the workgroup and make sure that the congratulations are distributed. E-mail is an effective way to announce congratulations to all of the project's team members, resource managers, and other stakeholders.
The project manager pays great attention to what is happening within the project. He or she visits with the teams that have just finished their tasks and discovers and shares any helpful information that they have gained with downstream task workgroup members who use the task's output. He or she also visits with the workgroups that are currently engaged in the project's tasks. The project manager thus learns about developments that may help downstream task leaders (whose tasks will start soon), and provides them information that will help them start and perform their tasks.
By practicing walk-about management, the project manager is often able to help a workgroup uncover issues and problems and to deal with them as they occur. Often, when a workgroup member is working on an issue, a short conversation with the project manager can help this person think around the obstacle. In fact one of the authors is often heard to say, "explain it to me as if I were a five year old".