A Gemba Walk is used to see what is really happening and not a time to criticize. It is also the best opportunity to take
note of good ideas, feedbacks, complaints, and issues in the workplace. Make sure to regularly follow up on the information
gathered to keep things on track. Here are some helpful tips and recommendations to effectively conduct a Gemba Walk:
Prioritize areas with KPI gaps
Through Gemba Walks, opportunities for improvement are easier to recognize. Prioritize and highlight areas that might need
attention. Gather data through improvement charts as a basis. In addition, determine who will be your target audience or
Use digital checklists
Digital checklists are effective tools to perform efficient data-gathering procedures. The very reason of doing Gemba Walks
is to observe and record input.
Gemba Walk Checklists can also serve
as guides to ensure that all points are being observed, asked, and recorded. You can also use checklists in other cases like
doing safety inspections,
5S audits, and
a lot more.
Schedule your Gemba Walk
Never conduct Gemba Walks on the spot. Employees may feel uncomfortable and think that they have done something wrong. Schedule
your Gemba Walks and inform the concerned workers about it. Perform a Gemba Walk once a week in each department for about
Ask significant questions
Asking the most relevant and significant questions during the Gemba Walk leads to an interactive session with employees and
helps build a positive relationship between managers and employees. You get to know where the gaps are by asking the right
questions. You can check the status of priorities and action plans and if they’re efficient to pass certain KPIs and improvement
Take notes and pictures
Write down your findings or, better yet, be more visual by taking photos of what you see and observe. By writing down your
observation and taking photos, you are more likely to be engaged and focused on the observation and reflection. Most importantly,
it will help you recognize patterns which later may call for reworking of action items.
Be a learner and show respect
Managers and leaders must manifest the proper attitude when conducting Gemba Walks. Remember that this is about the process
and not about the worker. Avoid giving suggestions or sharing your personal views but rather be attentive and learn new things
from the insights of the worker. Provide positive feedback on work done well.
Gather the team to discuss the learning points
After the Gemba Walk is done, follow up and share what you learned from the activity including the issues, struggles, and
gaps which need immediate action and resolution. This is the phase to substantiate plans for process improvement. Decide
which processes should remain and which require revamp.
A Gemba Walk is not simply a data gathering process but also an effective initiative to foster teamwork. Implementing this
activity will not only help you record what is actually happening in the workplace or what processes didn’t work well but
it also develops good working relationship between you and workers because they were heard and you get to learn new things
that would be of great value to achieve your team’s mission and goal.