What Is A Gemba Walk?
In any work environment, a Gemba Walk is when a leader goes out into their workplace for a specific purpose. Gemba (sometimes Genba) is a Japanese word that means “the real place.” The Gemba is where we create value for customers. It’s where the work is actually done.
A Gemba Walk has 3 purposes:
- Building relationships – having a brief personal discussion about the health and well-being of the team member; showing respect (particularly by asking a question about something they have been working on or something they have done recently)
- Checking the work system – discussing key priorities of the day and asking if there are any anticipated problems for which the team member may need help
- Asking for feedback – Is there anything you as the leader can do to help them succeed in this changing environment?
Benefits of A Gemba Walk
A Gemba Walk can have tremendous benefits for your company such as:
- Gain first-hand knowledge of what’s actually happening in the workplace
- Take time to interact with your employees building important relationships and trust
- Build morale by showing your team you support them
- Improve safety in your facility by observing all aspects of the work environment
- Support standardized work and work processes
- Gather ideas for continuous improvement
The Virtual Gemba Walk
Our Virtual Gemba Walk allows a member of our team to accompany you through the areas of your company that deliver value while we’re in contact via Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime on a smartphone or tablet.
As you walk through your workplace, you have the opportunity to show us everything going on. We will ask questions about how the work gets done and often ask for closer looks.
You may decide to take us to a particular problem area or do a more generalized walk. If you’re not sure which, we can help you decide which is the best option for you. When you book your virtual gemba walk, you will need to identify the scope of the walk itself. We typically allow 30-60 minutes, so you’ll need to prioritize what you’d like us to help with.
Scoping your Gemba Walk
You can choose from the following:
- System-level gemba walk. This provides a bird’s eye view of the workplace. It checks to see how materials or information flow through the workplace, checks the integration of visual information systems, watches for any safety concerns, and allows us to catch up with a couple of team members briefly.
- Process-level gemba walk. This reduces the scope to one particular process area, typically owned by a team. This may include observing the team’s huddle, reviewing the teams information board and key metrics, brief interactions with team members, checking how things flow through the process area, and watching for any safety concerns.
- Problem-solving gemba walk. This reduces the scope even further to focus on the point of occurrence of a problem you experienced that you would like to know more about to help people solve it.
At the end of our walk, we will have a short wrap-up discussion to provide you with immediate feedback and recommendations for improving your gemba walk skills. Within 5 days, we’ll send our brief report via email with the observations we made as well as a couple of recommendations for next steps.
This is a simple way to get professional feedback in an area that is problematic within your organization without a large upfront investment. It’s the best way to get a jumpstart on your improvement efforts or problem-solving process.
Book your virtual gemba walk today for only $199. Click here to find the best time. You will receive a notification of your selection via email as well as a confirmation reminder the day prior to your Virtual Gemba Walk visit.