What is meant by Management by Exception?

What is Management by Exception?

Management by exception (MBE) is a management tactic is where managers will only take a step in when there are significant deviations from strategic results. These would be operational or financial outcomes.



Brian Tracy 


Manage by exception. Only require reporting when there is a deviation from the plan.

 Let Assume that that an organization recruit skilled people, they are quite capable of their jobs without the involvement of management.

By concentrating on strategic business plans and honestly working on them, managers can improve the value of their contribution to the organization.

However, when performance is not up to the mark, managers should become in this picture. These are the “exceptions” where organization action is needed to safeguard the company meets its targets.

How Management by Exception works

Management by exception has four steps:

1.     Setting the Objectives and define that what would be the norms.

2.     Assessing performance to understand whether performance is on track

3.     Analyzing work or records to understand where performance deviates from objectives

4.     Investigating and resolving the exceptions to the norm


 It sounds good? The reality is not easy, let me explain as following in details.

1.Setting objectives


The first step in the process of management by exception is to set realistic targets to use as a target. The Key areas may be include sales, production, and expenses.

Unfortunately, you cannot just say that you want to sell a million dollars value of product this month,”

If you are the owner of a small business, the goal could be met. If your business is large, you could miscalculate its potential.

If you want to the small percentage of growth in your business, move forward, but be realistic.

Budgets represent a starting point. If you are setting limits on costs and targets for turnover and decided the percentage of profits, you can use these calculations to monitor and its progress.

2.Assessing Performance

When you assessing the performance so you should be need be to following points before you assess performance:-

  • You need accurate
  • You need to have real-time performance records.
  • What data will you have a collection?
  • How will you get those data?
  • How will you assess this collection of data?

The first two of these questions be subject to you and your business, but the last question has a general answer: the more frequently you can assess the performance data, the faster you will pick up deviations, investigate them, and address them.

3.Analyzing your deviations

Now, let’s come to this point analyzing your deviations you will very rarely get outcomes that match your targets down to the last detail.

But there has no point in exploring irrelevant deviations, so we should base the analysis on significance. When you are analyzing reports, you will go through one of two conclusions:

  • There was no important deviation. In that case, there does not need to move forward with further action.
  • One or more deviations are important. If you reach this conclusion, it’s time to take action. If the data is analyzed by an employee or a junior manager, they must know who will take the required action and what it should give the report to their superiors.


If you are working on a deviation, the first step is you should have to see why it happened. Maybe it could simply be a mistake while analyzing data.

Alternatively, there may be an excellent reason for the deviation. For example, if you are selling ice cream, a chilly day will cause your sales to drop.

Deviations can also be a good thing. Maybe your staff is trying a more well-organized process out, or there has been an important saving on an expected cost.

4.Resolving Exceptions

Now you have to know that resolving exceptions by following questions:-

  1. What would be they have not met the performance standards?
  2. Why it happened, it is up to you as a manager; Decide what I should take corrective action.
  3. In addition, you need to have to decide whether we expect the exception to return and whether it affects other business targets. The variable nature of the business environment, which may internal and external, means that you will need to keep change and reviewing your standards.



We take an, for example, the business expenses have risen by three percent you need to have to ask the following question by yourself:-

  • Do you need to revise your sales targets?
  • Would it is realistic to do so? 
  • What areas where you could save costs to reduce the effects of increased prices?
  • How will these changes affect your targets?
Now, That is all from my side, if you like this post please share it with your Friends on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Telegram or just forward it as it is. 

Happy Readings!!

Nadeem Khan
M.Com, M.B.A.
E-mail - ndmk1338@gmail.com

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