Businesses must constantly find means and ways to improve operations. For managers, it is necessary to connect with workers on the floor and get real inputs. We are not talking about Management by Walking Around, but Gemba walk. To define Gemba walk, it would be enough to say that this is a management technique, where managers go to the real place of work, like a factory or production unit, and find flaws and issue, so as to improve work flow and productivity.
Knowing the ground facts
Managers need to understand that Gemba walk is not a corrective or bossy exercise. This is not a means to evaluate the performance of workers and employees. In fact, this is more of a collaborative exercise, where every person on the floor needs to know what Gemba walk is all about. Usually, Gemba walks are conducted several times in the day, and everything is scheduled. Managers need to reduce the observer’s effect, which means that there should be little or no disruption to the actual work flow when a Gemba walk is in motion.
Technology and Gemba walks
Gone are times when managers would around with a notebook and camera to take details during a Gemba walk. This is the world of automation, and there are apps that are designed specifically for the purpose. You can use an app, which will not only create a checklist, but also record data, details and images, so that serious decisions taken be taken later. With Gemba walk apps, it is also possible to go back to previous data and details, so as to improve the approach to the management technique.
Tips that can help
Managers must find a way to make the most of their time on the floor. For instance, asking the relevant questions may help in knowing why a certain process is taking more time, or employees are not performing as expected. People are important for Gemba walks, but they are not the essence or focus. You need to keep a tab on work flow, and for that, it is critical to have a purpose for the walk. Also, managers need to find means and ways to record everything, so a good app can be useful, but what should be avoided is corrective steps. You don’t want to suggest things or recommend changes during the Gemba walk.
Check online to find apps that can simplify the job for your management team!