Gemba walks are now deemed a famous management technique. By this technique, leaders get enlightened by the flow of value via the organization and unleash the opportunities and scope for improvement and realize new ways to support their personnel. It is a collaborative approach which further delineates what has to be done and why. Nowadays, many Gemba walk apps like Tervene have made the execution of this process very easy. Effective results surface when thoughtful planning, execution and follow up are conducted. Here are the steps to ensure a successful Gemba Walk.
- Keep your team ready
You need to keep the concerned team members well apprised and acquainted with the Gemba walk and its importance. They should be well aware of the purpose by eliminating the obstacles that render it tough to add the maximum value. Discussing the walk before it takes place makes everyone open and comfortable.
- Have a plan ready
Gemba walks must never be confused with the MBWA or Management by Walking Around. It is an approach where leaders wander and ask what the employees are up to. A Gemba walk, however, comes with a purpose and is relevant to a particular concern associated with a KPI. During a Gemba Walk, in depth questions are asked about the observed process like who is involved in the process, materials used, processes implemented, at what time are the processes taking place, what relies on the outcome etc. MBWA never entails such degree of depth nor the same focus on the open ended questions.
- Pay heed to the value stream
The biggest chances to enhancements can often be found in the presence of handoffs between the processes, departments or people. When paying heed to the flow of value, the areas which are most waste prone can be addressed. So, always invite employees to suggest processes, shifts, or work areas that can be advantageous from the Gemba walk. Apart from addressing the issues and rectifying the errors, you may have a lot of insight into the processes. Keep in mind the value you are bringing forth is a fresh point of view on the old processes.
- Always focus on processes, not people
A Gemba walk is not tantamount to an employee performance evaluation. The gist is to observe, learn and improvise on the processes. Always keep your employees apprised on the questions they will be asked. Be determined that you aren’t looking for the correct answers, but honest and complete answers. If the work doesn’t pay heed to the standard, then they should speak about it and not hide it up. They should be explained that the questions arise from a desire to understand and not being confrontational in any way.