Why, How, and what of Gemba Walk:
Nowadays, the important lean tool of “Gemba Walk” is being used by many organizations, which are looking into improving their processes to achieve higher Productivity, Efficiency, and in-turn more Profit. So let’s discuss why it is crucial to conduct Gemba Walk, how it should be done, and what are the objectives and benefits.
Purpose: The purpose of Gemba Walk is driven from the Kaizen concept of “Genchi Genbutsu”, which encourages the management team to go to Gemba (the real place where value is created and the actual work is done) and see, hear, feel for themselves of how the work is performed. It enables leaders to ask about the practiced standards, gain knowledge about the work status, identify existing safety hazards, observe machinery and equipment conditions, and build relationships with employees.
Process: Obviously the first thing to do is taking a walk through Gemba and observing the operations. During the walk, the role of the leader is to identify any bottlenecks, sources of waste, or deficiency in the processes, and make a note of unsafe conditions. He/she needs to ask questions from the operators to gather data about the problem, thus becoming more aware of what is going on. Later on, these data should be used to solve the problems and to implement Kaizen projects.
Also, the leader has to build stronger relationships with team members through engaging them in conversation about the work processes and praising them for jobs well done. This will create a better sense of ownership in team members, due to being asked about their understanding of the work standards and how those could be improved upon and made more efficient.
Objectives & Benefits: The main objective is to move toward instilling a Lean culture throughout the organization and this is achieved by routinely utilizing Gemba Walk to:
- Become aware of any existing abnormalities
- Implement sustainable continuous improvement projects
- Verify established standardized processes
- Solve problems or correct errors
- Deal immediately with hazardous and unsafe conditions
- Create a more efficient and effective working environment
- Develop “Lean Thinking” Team Members
In conclusion, Gemba Walk is an essential tool to move forward toward becoming a Lean organization, which will deliver low cost operations, high quality product, happy workforce, satisfied customers, and more profit.
Do an hour-long “Gemba Walk” with “Get Kaizened, Inc.” expert Lean consultants at No-Charge* to you and learn how to implement this important Lean tool. Contact us today.
*This offer is valid only for San Francisco Bay Area organizations until 2/31/2013. For organizations outside this geographical area contact us to get more information about this service.