Going on a Gemba Walk—the Path to Continuous Improvement

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hylene people this is Sandro Toro back

again with another video on lien and how

to implement lean and continuous

improvement in your organization

today's topic is Djemba Djemba walks

going to the gemba all things that

you've probably heard or read about but

what does it really mean and how do you

do it well I'm gonna explain that to you

today so first of all the word gemba

what is it well it's GE MBA but that's

really an English version of a Japanese

word which is gembo spelled with an N

gamba means the place where something

happened in the manufacturing sense it

means the place where the work occurs if

a reporter in Japan is reporting from

the scene of a crime they're gonna say

I'm reporting from the gemba so The

is just a physical place where something

is happening what does that mean for you

as a lean leader well it means one thing

for you to understand what's going on in

your company you need to get out of your

chair it's that simple if you're doing

the old 1980s Six Sigma thing where

you're gathering a bunch of data and

doing spreadsheets at your desk all day

that's just not gonna work that's not

how we get lean and grained into our

company that's not how we get our people

engaged in process improvement so you've

got to get away from your desk every day

and spend a lot of time with your people

where the work is happening at the


so what I'm going to do is give you a

simple four letter acronym so you can

remember how to make gimbap part of your

daily life the letters I want you to

remember are s P P a it stands for

schedule purpose people and action so

let's do the first one schedule get a

gimbal walk on your daily calendar as

part of your daily standard work just

put it in your Outlook calendar your

gmail calendar whatever and send

yourself a little invite for nine

o'clock every day we're gonna go for a

gimbal walk I would suggest an hour at

least for your gamba walk and hopefully

you're doing this multiple times during

the day and it's just part of who you

are and how you do things but for those

of you that are just getting started

with lean go ahead and give yourself a

calendar invite the nice thing about

that is you can invite other people to

come right you can have your other

managers or leaders you can let the

people in the area that you're going to

visit know you're on your way and they

can be ready to see you and they won't

be surprised right the next one is

purpose you have to have a purpose for

your gamble walks you don't want to do

the old management by walking around

right just going around looking at

things that isn't really productive it

doesn't lead to any results so if you

have a purpose for example 5s we're

going on a gamble walk we're looking for

5s opportunities how do we get more

organized how do we get more efficient

you can do waste walks where you're

looking for motion waste overproduction

waiting waste those focuses will give

you and the people on the gimble walk

with you something to look for and then

you can keep track of everything that

you see and be very specific about it

another gimble walk that I really like

and you should do this at least once a

week is the safety walk you should be

going through your areas looking for

safety hazards and ways to improve

safety for your team and your people the

third letter is people it's important in

two ways one that you have the right

people on the gimble walk the people

that are actually there to support the

organization or the team that you're

observing the second one is the people

that are doing the work you really need

to talk to these people you can't stand

back and observe them you want to engage

with them ask them how are things going

I noticed you missed your goal last hour

why did you miss it what are we doing

about it how can I help you write any of

those conversations will lead to a

deeper understanding of what's actually

happening and it'll make the people that

you're talking to more willing to be

open with you and share with you the

things that are bothering them or

preventing them from being productive or

as productive as they want to be the

final letter is a for action and we want

to include action and follow-up so a lot

of times while you're talking to your

people you'll get great ideas you'll see

a problem that needs to be fixed one of

the things you can do is you can look at

that problem really quickly pull up your

KPI fire app on your phone and just

enter that idea into the app and then

it'll be stored for whatever area you're

on the gemba walk for if you aren't

using KPI fire that's fine grab a stack


keynotes and go put them on the

whiteboard or the court board or

whatever you may have your area where

you're doing your morning Huddle's take

that stick you know put it on there and

hopefully you do have an area where

you're tracking employee ideas and

suggestions that you're then following

up with with a daily or weekly Kaizen

events so track those ideas make sure

that you're driving those to completion

hopefully your team is coming up with

ideas that they can do themselves that

they can fix on their own you know going

with the true meaning of Kaizen doing

quick simple PDCA opportunities but if

it's something that requires the help of

a support organization like maintenance

or HR or you know somebody else make

sure those ideas get entered and

captured and followed up on so that you

can build the confidence of your team

and they know they can trust you with

their ideas and that you're going to

help them get those ideas and those

problems solved so that's it that's the

concept of gemba

if you can remember to schedule it on

your calendar go with the purpose talk

to your people and follow up on your

action items get out of your chair every

day and do those four things you're

gonna get great results your people are

going to absolutely love the momentum

and the energy that you're bringing to

continuous improvement in your area I'm

sage Otoro thanks have a great day