Leader Standard Work

The very first time I heard about “leader standard work” and “scripted day” I was puzzled. Production manager myself at that time, in my view management must be ready for fixing things and react to all the random events that rain down onto a factory shopfloor. How could a day made of fixing unexpected problems be … Continue reading Leader Standard Work

Gemba walk: go for the why, not the who (don’t look for someone to blame)

Gemba walks got increasingly popular over time but so went the misunderstanding of its purpose. One of the worst misuse of the Gemba walk is going to spot deviations and wastes, and then instead of trying to understand the causes which led to those deviations or wastes (the why), managers go for someone to blame … Continue reading Gemba walk: go for the why, not the who (don’t look for someone to blame)

Dr Deming’s symphony

Gemba walking or assessing a process without Goal in mind may lead to false conclusions. This post was inspired by a mention about Dr Deming and inefficiencies in orchestra on a Mark Graban’s podcast (at 34mn). Let’s take a symphonic orchestra as an organization activating around 100 different resources (musicians) to deliver value to its … Continue reading Dr Deming’s symphony

Goal-focused gemba walks

Most of the gemba walks are done with a large spectrum search for improvement, usually focusing on the 7 wastes known as “muda”. Some practitioners will look for variability (“mura”) and unreasonableness (“muri”) as well. Yet as improvement opportunities are always infinite and resources are not, this broad approach may divert precious resources on secondary … Continue reading Goal-focused gemba walks

Five good reasons to gemba walk

1. See what changed Manufacturing shop floor or administrative processes are like gardens: things develop by themselves, not always the way it was expected. If you have a garden or even a pot with a plant, you may have experienced that regardless to the effort you pay to grow something, it does not always grow … Continue reading Five good reasons to gemba walk

Checklist for Gemba walks

Can gemba walks be self-taught? I think so. What it takes basically to go-and-see is a lean thinking, striving-continuously-to-improve mindset. Yet rookie gemba walkers may not know what to look for or what to pay attention to when walking alone. When initiation is done with a sensei, the latter may ask questions to his disciple … Continue reading Checklist for Gemba walks

What is Gemba?

Gemba is a Japanese word translated as “actual place” or “real place” that got common to the Lean community lingo and refers to “the place where value is created”. For factory workers Gemba is the shopfloor, while for office workers Gemba is the office, for hospital staff, Gemba is hospital itself and for salesforces Gemba … Continue reading What is Gemba?

How lean are you? Part 6 – Gemba walk as lean assessment

Measuring leanness is not always necessary, for instance when gathering qualitative clues is good enough for the purpose of the assessment. This would be the case for qualifying a supplier or find improvement topics. Part 1 to part 4 of this series describe quantitative leanness assessment Gemba walk as qualifying audit When it comes to … Continue reading How lean are you? Part 6 – Gemba walk as lean assessment