Management by walking around is one of the most effective methods of understanding daily work challenges and opportunities.
Gemba walks are a powerful tool for continuous improvement. They place managers at the heart of the action where they can identify problems and suggest good ideas. These walks are a part of Kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma and other methodologies.
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It's hard to see the problems that exist on your factory floor when you're sitting 10 floors away in a conference room. A new level of understanding can be achieved when managers observe workers in their actual workspace conducting work processes.o the person or people who do this job.
Gemba walks bring managers to the front lines of production as part of the lean manufacturing practice. In the practice of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma, the practice involves setting aside time to focus on watching a process and talking to the person or people who do this job. By observing people doing their daily work, managers can understand processes, and suggest ideas or problem-solving methods, as they document their observations.
Gemba walk checklists are used by executives or managers in performing "Gemba walks" around the workplace. The mission is to identify problem areas in production, business processes, work areas, safety, etc., and begin work to remediate issues. Managers can then assign action items and measure progress over time.
Digitizing the process dramatically speeds the time it takes to conduct a walk by helping managers record their observations faster. In addition, mobile phones allow managers to collect new types of data, like photos, audio interviews, time/date/location stamps, and employee signatures. Faster, more accurate data collection is critical to improving manufacturing processes.
This pre-built Gemba Walk App speeds observations collected during a shop floor tour, including manager notes, photos, measurements, and more:
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