Don’t just sit there
Chances are you have heard the term “management by walking around”. Tracing its roots to Hewlett Packard in the 1970s, management by walking around is a reminder of the value of leaving the office to see what the people on your team are doing and the challenges they face.
The idea shares much with the gemba walk method developed at Toyota. The Japanese word gemba means “actual place” – don’t just sit there, go where the action is to see it with your own eyes.
The temptation all busy people face is to start tackling any problem right away, without observing the people whose problem it is. I talked about this in the hotel door example earlier – if you solve the problem without first observing its impact on your users, you may easily be making assumptions that undermine your efforts.
Your chair doesn’t have the answer
Get up and see your users interact with your product, or how they handle the circumstances your product is meant to help with.