It is extremely easy to get caught up in the daily execution of running your business, we call that “run mode” and losing sight of the small process improvements that could drive incremental change in your business and give it a necessary overhaul. Incremental changes with voice of the customer, revenue, or employee satisfaction.
One of the many tools of Lean is the Gemba Walk. The Gemba Walk is an opportunity for staff to stand back from their day-to-day tasks to walk the floor of their workplace to identify wasteful activities or process inefficiencies. The objective of Gemba Walk is to understand the value stream and its problems rather than review results or make superficial comments.
Here is how the Gemba Walk works:
- Pick a process to walk, walking can be an actual walk or observing a process in motion
- Create a high-level process map
- Identify the people who execute the process
- Select Interviewees and process walkers (or observers)
- Schedule a date to walk and/or observe the process
- Summary the findings of the walk and/or observation with the key stakeholders of the process and as necessary, work towards process improvements
When to use the Gemba Walk methodology:
- When a problem arises such as a customer complaint an error occurs in a process
- Focusing on the seven deadly sins of waste:
- Defects (ex: process or products produced)
- Wait (queue times)
- Implement a temporary change
- Identification of a root cause
- Standardize a process to avoid recurrences
What are the benefits of the Gemba tool? It helps to drive a culture that thinks more about change because it is simple and easy to execute therefore teams are more accepting. There will be less resistance to change given that fact that change can occur rapidly and solves a problem that may have caused frustration in the organization. Gemba promotes quick wins, and who doesn’t love a quick win. It does not require executive governance to execute the quick wins of change. While this may sound simplistic, it is an effective and efficient tool to drive incremental process improvements.
xSynergy Solutions is a full-service business transformation firm located in Centennial, CO. We impact every aspect of your business from marketing to operational strategies. Learn more at xsynergysolutions.com