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Go to where the work gets done
Do it RIGHT!
Interact with team members
Very Powerful Tool!
The Gemba Walk is a practice of going to the actual workplace to observe processes, identify opportunities for improvement, and engage with employees to enhance overall performance.
The Gemba Walk is a key concept in Lean management, involving managers, leaders, or employees visiting the "Gemba," which is the actual place where work is done. It's a powerful way to gain firsthand insights, understand processes, and drive continuous improvement.
Select a Purpose: Determine the focus of your Gemba Walk. It could be to identify bottlenecks, observe workflow, gather employee feedback, or solve a specific problem.
Go to the Gemba:
Physically go to where the work is happening.
Observe processes, interactions, and activities without disrupting work.
Ask Open-Ended Questions: Engage with employees by asking open-ended questions to understand their experiences, challenges, and suggestions.
Take Notes: Document your observations, insights, and feedback during the walk. Use photos or sketches if helpful.
Identify Opportunities: Identify areas where improvements can be made. Look for waste, inefficiencies, or gaps in the process.
Collaborate: Discuss your findings with employees on the spot or in follow-up discussions. Encourage them to share ideas for improvement.
Plan Actions: Based on your observations and input from employees, develop an action plan to address the identified opportunities.
Follow Up: Monitor the progress of the improvements and provide necessary support. Use future Gemba Walks to check the impact of changes.
Direct insights into processes
Employee engagement and involvement
Timely identification of issues
Continuous improvement culture
The Gemba Walk is a powerful tool to observe processes, engage with employees, and drive improvements in the actual work environment. It fosters collaboration, empowers employees, and supports the pursuit of operational excellence.
Riaan is a dynamic leader, coach, facilitator, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt with over 20 years of hands-on experience driving business results. Riaan is highly skilled and has worked across diverse industries internationally. With a degree in Chemical Engineering, Riaan started in the major breweries and bakeries in South Africa and was so dedicated to his work that he was often known to take his work home with him.