Gemba walk is one of the popular management techniques for ensuring productivity at all levels. The term ‘Gemba’ means ‘the real place’ in Japanese, and Gemba Walks basically involve managers taking a walk around the actual places of work to observe operations and find possible scope for improvement. Conducting successful Gemba Walk requires understanding of the basic aspects, and in this post, we bring 7 tips to make things simpler.
- Invest in an app. Companies like Tervene have come up with Gemba Walk apps, which help managers in taking notes, adding pictures and gathering information and analyze the same later to take strategic decisions. Gemba Walk apps are also handy for facilitating collaboration between managers.
- Make sure that employees know of the exercise. A Gemba Walk may feel like an inspection, unless the workers and employees know of it. The collaboration and relationship between the management and workers are important aspects for the success of such exercise.
- Avoid taking decisions while on a Gemba Walk. Gemba Walk is all about observation, and that’s something that managers need to adhere to. You don’t want to take a call on any aspect during the actual process.
- Don’t confuse with Management by Walking Around (MBWA). Gemba walk is not same as Management by Walking Around (MBWA). The latter is a general statement, Gemba walks need to have a specific purpose.
- Focus on one aspect at a time. A Gemba walk around one facility should be an exclusive task. It can be followed for all possible processes, but the focus should be one critical aspect at a time. Managers can focus better on each aspect when two different processes are not combined.
- Don’t focus on people. Yes, you read that right. Gemba walks is not about finding flaws within the workforce but the processes. Do not treat this exercise as a means to evaluate the performance of the employees and workers. The whole purpose of this management technique is to get firsthand information, for which people’s opinion matters.
- Make a team. While not all Gemba walks need to be a group activity, having managers from other departments and involving other teams often help in getting a fresh perspective on diverse aspects. Make sure that you are using a team where required.
With a good app and a clear objective, completing successful Gemba walks shouldn’t be much of a problem. Check online now to find more on the actual process.