Gemba walk is a management technique, which involves taking walk around work units to find possible issues with operations and scope for improvement. Gemba walk is not the same as Management By Walking Around. It is a part of lean management philosophy and helps businesses in improving their work processes, without being harsh on the employees. Unfortunately, many businesses are doing it all wrong, which is why we have come up with a list of dos and don’ts that can be followed during a Gemba walk.
- Get an app. Believe it or not, you can improve Gemba walks considerably with app, such as the one from Tervene. These apps help you with real checklists, and the managers can add notes, text and images, which can be used later to take real decisions.
- Have an agenda. While Gemba walks don’t need specific agendas, you need to know what you are doing, and it’s best to focus on one aspect at a time. The agenda can vary for each walk, but knowing the objective helps in achieving more.
- Inform everyone. Gemba walks require participation of everyone involved, including employees working on the actual processes. Make sure that every person knows that it’s a Gemba walk and not an inspection.
- Follow up. You cannot just do this exercise and forget about it. That’s not how it works. After a Gemba walk, it is necessary to follow up with a meeting, where all relevant points and notes are discussed.
- Respect opinions. Gemba walks require people to share their views, and those views and inputs should be respected. One of the many benefits of such walks is the improvement in relationships within the workplace, and that comes from a place of respect.
- Don’t intimidate your employees. Gemba walks should focus on processes and not people. Do not use this exercise as a means to evaluate the performance of your employees.
- Don’t implement changes during the process. While on a Gemba walk, the whole idea is to observe. You don’t want to implement any changes during this time.
- Don’t rush. Take your time and train your managers to follow the same rule. Such an exercise is often about finding and considering minute aspects, and therefore, rushing doesn’t help.
Do your homework and check online now for Gemba walk apps that may work best for your business.