What comes after a Gemba walk?

You may be familiar with the term Gemba walk, but do you know what happens after one of these walks? Whether you’ve just done a Gemba walk or you are new to lean manufacturing and management tools, it is time to learn what comes after a Gemba walk.

The idea behind a practical Gemba walk is that you can see what needs improvement and address it after first-hand observation. In this article, you will learn what to keep in mind when preparing a Gemba walk, so that your post-Gemba walk process will bring about the changes your company needs.

What to keep in mind when preparing a Gemba walk

Here are important tips to keep in mind when preparing a Gemba walk:

  • Study the process beforehand
  • Identify the causes of defects
  • Don’t put off the walk until things are perfect
  • Consider the purpose of the walk
  • Prepare to collaborate with others

Study the process beforehand

This may seem obvious, but you’ll get more out of your time spent on the Gemba walk if you know what you’re looking for. If you want to know why there’s a high defect rate on one line, try to figure out what the main steps are in producing whatever product is made on that line and where defects tend to occur in that process.

Depending on what you are inspecting, try to inquire if there are new employees or if certain parts of the machinery were changed not too long ago. Gemba walks are the perfect time to monitor situations and ask employees for feedback.

Identify previous causes of concern

If this isn’t your first Gemba walk, take the time to review your notes from the last time you inspected that area of the business. A thorough review of what was previously observed will generate corollary questions that are of value for the optimization of the economic activity.

Don’t put off the walk until things are perfect

A successful Gemba walk is one that gathers valuable data regarding the operation at any given time. The worst thing that can be done when performing Gemba walks is to employ this optimizing tool for the sake of confirmation bias. If Gemba walks are only conducted when the most experienced team members are present on the floor, then the walks are designed to collect unrepresentative data and wasteful activities won’t be accounted for.

Consider the purpose of the walk

When you plan a Gemba walk, start by asking yourself what your goal is. Is there a particular problem you want to address or an improvement opportunity you wish to explore? It’s essential to define your purpose for the walk because that will help increase your focus on the matter. You’ll be able to create a list of technical questions to ask, as well as a detailed road map of the places you must investigate to collect valuable data.

Prepare to collaborate with others

An effective Gemba walk process also requires the person conducting it to know who should be working, and the name of the team members that will be answering questions at the time of the walk. If the team leader performing the Gemba walk does not know who should be working at the time of their inspection, how will they know if any wasteful activities are taking place?

How to improve your business with Gemba walk?

Post-Gemba walk follow-up process

The magic of a Gemba walk takes place in a well-orchestrated post-Gemba walk process, as it is at that stage that everything can be observed and considered. It’s imperative to take the time to categorize your thoughts and ruminate on the key findings and discussions that took place.

As you can tell, the first step of the post-Gemba walk process is to digest all the information that was collected to be able to communicate to the business leaders the salient findings of the walk. The Gemba-Walk app seamlessly does this transfer of knowledge as all the findings collected are accessible in real-time on the cloud.

Here are the types of wasteful activities that a post-Gemba walk follow-up process should be attentive to:

  • Defects
  • Overproduction
  • Waiting/delays
  • Transportation
  • Motion
  • Loss of creativity
  • Too much inventory

Keeping notes of with whom, where, and when you collected data will help organize your future Gemba walks. With this information, you’ll be able to follow up with the individuals that provided key insights. A successful post-Gemba walk summary should be shared with the leadership team as part of the company’s continuous improvement strategy.

Digitize your Gemba walk

Increase efficiency and reduce waste by digitizing your Gemba walks. With our cloud management app you can:

  • Create custom checklists
  • Organize your Gemba walk
  • Efficiently document issues
  • Generate actionable insights and ideas
  • Integrate insights into your preferred task management tools

Get the Gemba walk app