• Do operators in the cell or workstation understand their takt times?
• Why is this queue so large between workstations?
• What gets in the way of your having a good day every day?
Having your gemba-walk question sheet in your back pocket will prepare you
to learn and understand the work. Ask questions to help guide your interaction
with shop floor personnel. By asking some of these questions repeatedly over
time, you will reinforce what is important. Further, you may influence how people behave and work. Most important, you will develop your own knowledge of
the work done at your company.
It can be so easy for us to lose sight of the value-added work that occurs every
day, whether we are on the front lines or in the executive suite. For this reason,
“going to gemba” should be a part of your regular routine.
Sure, seeing operations from your front o;ice gives you a panoramic view,
but it’s like looking at the Rockies from your car window. You really can’t see
the details, the best practices, or the real problems. I challenge you to do the
equivalent of hiking that Rocky Mountain trail: Take a gemba walk to really see
the operations. Go observe, ask, and learn. Don’t be surprised if you learn something new every time. Happy hiking!
Je; Sipes is principal of Back2Basics LLC, 317-439-7960, www.back2basics-lean.com.
If you have improvement ideas you’d like to read about, contact him at jwsipes@back
2basics-lean.com or Senior Editor Tim Heston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a gemba walk to really see
the operations. Go observe, ask, and learn.
Don’t be surprised if you learn something
new every time.
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