How to Do a Gemba Walk

WHAT IS A GEMBA WALK

  • From the Japanese term gembutsu which means “real thing” or “real place”
  • A personal observation of work
  • Observation occurs where the work is happening
  • Interaction with the people doing the work where the work is happening
  • It’s often an actual walk
  • Comes from Lean Six Sigma

WHEN IS IT NOT?

  • Not an opportunity for finding fault with others
  • Not a time to solve problems or make changes
  • Not an opportunity to enforce policy requirements
  • Note complaints but do not act… yet

STEPS TO TAKE

  • Consider the Four Ws Where?
  • Where shall I walk?
  • Who?
  • To whom shall I talk?
  • When?
  • When will I go?
  • What?
  • What do I want to know?

EVALUATION SHEET: TAKING NOTES

  • Possible prompts for you
  • Process being examined
  • Description of process
  • Team and individuals responsible
  • Average time to completion (if applicable
  • Average time to whatever comes next
  • Quality of process or product that comes out of process
  • Value added by process
  • Individual feedback and frustrations

LOOK FOR MUDA

  • Japanese term for ”waste”
  • Extra steps
  • Duplicative work
  • Obstacles to producing product
  • Think broadly about “product”
  • Obstacles to an uncomplicated work environment
  • Operationally
  • Socially

CONCLUSION

  • Talk with your mentors
  • Go with the flow
  • Use this outside the course
  • Looking forward to your findings