Before we come to discuss Gemba walk, let’s discuss what Gemba is. Gemba is a term of a Japanese language that means “real place” The Japanese term, real place refers to the place where all the real actions and the working of the organization take place. This place can be the warehouse of the company or the factory area where the products are made, the place can be anything but the concern of the Gemba is where the real work is happening, and value is being created for the customers. It is known as Gemba.
What Is a Gemba Walk
Now let’s look at what a Gemba walk is. A Gemba walk is when the managers and the group of leaders walk to where the “action is” or the area where the actual work is taking place. The managers and the leaders leave their offices and meeting rooms and direct the group to the place where the products are being made, or the merchandising is taking place. Mostly the leaders and the managers supervise the work through reports and performances, but the Gemba walk suggests that these leaders need to go out of their rooms and see what’s happening in the actual working area. The famous entrepreneur says that Gemba is the heart of the organization and if the heart works well the whole organization works well and maintains the performance to increase profits for the company.
How to Get Prepared for a Gemba Walk
While getting ready for a Gemba walk, there are certain considerations one must keep in mind to ensure the Gemba walk is successful. The points are:
- Specify your goals and what you want to know or achieve by the Gemba walk.
- No self-assumptions about the working place.
- Take something to write down the important points of the working place during the walk.
- Be focused in the real place and observe every step to conclude the results perfectly.
How to execute the Gemba walk
Once you have an understanding of the Gemba walk and have prepared yourself for it, you need to conduct it properly for effective results. So how is the actual Gemba walk performed efficiently? Let’s review some points for performing a proper Gemba walk.
- Let people know why you are in the working area and ask questions regarding the work or the manufacturing of products. Respectfully ask them and gain their trust so they can tell you everything related to the workspace. Even if any mistakes or problems are present they will consult you.
- Don’t make quick assumptions or judge people. Take some time and look at the working of the employees.
- Be focused and keen towards the area, look everything deeply to derive better conclusions. In case there is a problem, look for the origin of the problem and try to solve it.
- Act as one of them and ask them every detail about the work. Ask the workers how the whole process takes place, what the output is and how they make the production effective.
- Every problem is different from another, but if you have a solution that can solve the problem at the time, step forward and get the issue eliminated. Make sure to gather all the information you require for data analysis.
After the Gemba walk is complete, the leader of the group must gather the full team of employees and evaluate the information he/she has collected from the work area. The information must be processed so that it can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the work. The information can also be used to make progress in solving problems related to the Gemba.
Take actions for improvement
The leader or the manager will subsequently take specific actions related to the areas of improvement in the Gemba. The actions should be properly monitored with focus and care.
The Gemba walk is being very famous all around the globe because of the various benefits it is providing to the organizations. New employees are getting trained as part of the Gemba walk and are learning how to perform the tasks around the working area. The Gemba walk ensures a thriving business environment and profits for the company by increasing the effectiveness of the working area or the Gemba.