A Gemba Walk is a critical practice in lean management, emphasising direct observation of work processes in their actual environment to gain insights, identify inefficiencies, and foster a culture of continuous improvement.
Different types of Gemba walk
Personal Gemba is a process where a leader visits specific areas to understand work processes and identify improvements.This Gemba walk is unplanned and the leader does not rely on the team's preparations. Personal Gemba aims to gain new ideas before setting new targets or challenges for the team.
A team of senior managers or leaders leads this Gemba. Senior leaders engage with frontline employees during Gemba to gain insights into shop floor operations. This helps them demonstrate leadership commitment to continuous improvement, identify opportunities for organisational growth, and guide the team in operational processes.
Daily Gemba Walk:
Daily Gemba Walks are conducted regularly, often daily, inside departments by departmental leaders to monitor routine operations and ensure that processes align with organisational goals. This type of Gemba Walk emphasises real-time observation, allowing managers to address issues promptly and make quick decisions. Organisations can respond swiftly by identifying deviations from standard procedures or unexpected challenges, ensuring operational efficiency. Daily Gemba Walks help maintain consistency, improve communication, and ensure the organisation stays on track toward its objectives.
Impromptu Gemba Walk:
Impromptu Gemba Walks are unplanned initiatives triggered by sudden incidents, employee concerns, or unexpected workplace issues. These walks are immediate responses to urgent matters that require swift attention. Impromptu Gemba Walks allow managers to assess the situation firsthand, enabling quick problem-solving. By addressing issues promptly, organisations can prevent potential escalation of problems and maintain a smooth workflow.