Want FREE Templates on Digital Transformation? Download our FREE compilation of 50+ slides. This is an exclusive promotion being run on LinkedIn.


Translating from Japanese, 'Obeya' means 'big room' and it has become a significant management concept that companies, from lean manufacturers to digital innovators, are employing to enhance strategic alignment, communication, and decision-making. As Thomas Edison once said, “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” And indeed, in today's complex and dynamic business landscape, the impact, utility, and transformative power of Obeya is grown remarkably.

In fact, according to recent research by McKinsey & Company, companies that integrate Obeya principles into their operations have experienced a 20% improvement in project timelines and a 25% increase in overall productivity.

Simply put, Obeya is a physical space or virtual room where management and teams gather to align strategies, make decisions, and monitor and understand important data. This allows for real-time learning and optimization, greatly facilitating decision-making processes. Obeya moves away from the traditional siloed approach to a more integrated, transparent, and collaborative management style.

The Unique Advantages of Obeya

Integrating an Obeya approach into business management practices offers a host of benefits, many of which specifically address common challenges faced by businesses in today's fast-paced, digitally driven landscape.

The Essential Principles behind Successful Obeya Implementation

While the concept may seem straightforward, implementing an effective Obeya requires following a few key principles.

  1. Leadership Involvement: Successful Obeya practices require the active participation of leaders across all levels. This commitment sends a strong message about the importance of Obeya to the entire organization.
  2. Consistent Review Rhythm: Regular review meetings within the Obeya space are essential to keep the process effective. This helps foster a routine of continuous improvement and learning.
  3. Visual Management: The use of wall charts, whiteboards, and screens to visualize progress is a key aspect of Obeya. This makes information easy to understand and contributes significantly to effective decision-making.
  4. Active Engagement: Looking at charts is not enough. Participants must actively engage, ask questions, challenge assumptions, and make decisions.

Obeya, an innovative management tool originating from Japan, is now increasingly leveraged by Fortune 500 companies worldwide. Its benefits are persuasive - better strategy alignment, improved collaboration, and enhanced decision-making capabilities. Understanding its principles and learning how to effectively leverage Obeya can truly be a game-changer in enhancing overall business performance.


Since 2012, we have provided best practices to over 10,000 businesses and organizations of all sizes across the world—in over 130 countries. Below is just a very small sample of our customer base.

Did you know?
The average daily rate of a McKinsey consultant is $6,625 (not including expenses). The average price of a Flevy document is $65.

Browse our Business Toolkits
to quickly find the documents you need.
Each business toolkit is a collection of documents around a common management topic.


  Show all available toolkits.

Download our FREE Strategy & Transformation Framework Templates

Download our free compilation of 50+ Strategy & Transformation slides and templates. Frameworks include McKinsey 7-S Strategy Model, Balanced Scorecard, Disruptive Innovation, BCG Experience Curve, and many more.