Gemba walk is a part of lean management philosophy. On paper, it basically means to go around the place where the actual work is happening to identify possible wasteful activities and find ways to improve business processes and functions. In practice, there are many aspects that matter. Managers need to keep up with the dos and don’ts to ensure that the purpose of a Gemba walk is achieved. In this post, we are discussing some of these in detail.
- Follow the basic protocols. Managers must follow the basic safety and other requirements required for visiting the actual workplace. Make sure that your work doesn’t affect others working on the tasks.
- Make use of an app. Apps like the one designed by Tervene can make Gemba walks more effective. Recording details, adding evidence and photos gets easier, which further helps in strategizing required aspects later.
- Engage with people. It is important to understand that Gemba walk is a collaborative procedure. Employees and workers need to be a part of the process, and they must know what it is to be a part of such an exercise.
- Ask questions. Why? How? When? What? – Be ready to ask a lot of questions on a Gemba walk. It is a part of the process and offers answers to many aspects of the work processes and functions.
- Make it a regular thing. Gemba walk is not a onetime process. It has to be a regular part of management exercise, typically at least four to five times a month.
- Don’t intimidate people. Never ever think or use Gemba walk as a means to evaluate the performance of people. It is about processes and not your employees.
- Do not rush. The exercise needs to be done in detail, and it can take time. Schedule a walk whenever you have enough time in hand.
- Don’t be a superior. You can only ask questions and be a part of the work process when you don’t act bossy. Ask questions, be a patient listener and allow people to take part.
- Do not suggest changes. Gemba walk is not Management by Walking Around. You cannot suggest changes or strategies while the exercise is on. This has to be just about seeing things.
Done right, Gemba walks may help your business in getting the most out of production process. Check online now for apps that can be useful.