Benefits of The Gemba Walk
Gemba is a Japanese term meaning “the actual place”. Not a bad place to start getting leaders to go out and about and have a look.
No matter how many company policies you have if you as a manager don’t go out and about on the shop floor and have a look you will not achieve the results you desire.
- LOOK BUT DON’T CORRECT
- WHAT WORKS?
- WHY IS IT THIS WAY?
- IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Beneﬁts and Advantages
Regular Gemba walks ensure managers observe their shop ﬂoor’s ways of working. Gemba walks highlight how processes on the ﬂoor differ from standard operating procedures (SOPs). With focus, this exercise can generate ideas on how to improve these processes.
NOTE: This isn’t meant to be a corrective exercise
Instead, it should help the observer to find out why practices differ. Participants should focus on how the actual process is working or not.
While walking on the shop ﬂoor, Gemba participants gain additional context into their SOPs. Then leaders can apply this insight towards improving the conditions, tools, and procedures that are not helping production.
The Power of the Gemba
If management do it regularly enough
it makes a difference
SEEING PROCESSING UNDERSTANDING
Aligning Perception with Reality
If Leaders do not practice Gemba Walks and do not go and have a look, they must rely on 2nd hand information sometimes from people who don’t know the shop floor practices themselves.
By Knowing the intended target results, it will guide the managers in their observations and help identify opportunities.
It will Help Leaders define their Goals
Ask the operators, from my experience 99% of the time they know What Good Looks Like (WGL2)
If the operators know and they know that the managers know, then – NO BULLSHIT
Using a framework
Try combining lean and design a framework to make your thinking visible
Structure and collect data on the Gemba walk, using paper or digital tools
Look at the production process and incorporate 6M’S
- Mother Nature aka “Environmental”
Another lean framework to consider is the 8 Wastes.
- Inappropriate Processing
- Excess Inventory
- Excess Motion
- Underutilized Talent
First of all
If you have Standard Operation Policies (SOP’S)
A – Do people know them -are they appropriate
B – Focus on the process not the person
C – Record observations and who was there with you
D – Share next steps & who owns them
Bottom Line of the Gemba Walk
Building Buy-in and Accountability
If shop floor knows no-one is looking or more importantly not interested, then what happens today will happen tomorrow and we all know the 7 most expensive words in business are
WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT THIS WAY