Posted by: productivityinc | December 3, 2010

Five Things to Consider on a Gemba Walk

The Gemba Walk is all about getting out into the workplace.  It affords company leaders, managers and supervisors a reliable, simple and easy means of supporting an improvement structure and encouraging process standardization.  The Gemba Walk is a key component in the sustainment of improvement.

How do you start a Gemba Walk in your plant? It may seem overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be.  Don’t walk into the workplace looking for everything.  If you do, you will accomplish nothing while causing confusion. This simple list is a good place to start.  Use this list to build your own Gemba Walk theme.

1. General Housekeeping

  • Workplace clutter
  • Poor lighting
  • Unsafe conditions
  • Adequate waste removal
  • Clearly marked exits, aisles, walkways, all point-of-use areas

2. High concentrations of WIP

  • Up-stream and down-stream
  • At point-of-use
  • Damaged product
  • Non-standard containers
  • Old inventory tags

3. Display of information and measures

  • Bulletin boards with up-to-date information
  • Workplace activity boards are up-to-date

4. Equipment Appearance

  • Visible maintenance records are current
  • Leaks of air, oil, fluid, lubrication
  • Main body clean
  • Guarding in position

5. In-plant Office Space

  • Well organized
  • Free of clutter

This is the first in a series of Gemba Walk themes we will share with you.  Future themes will focus on ergonomics, equipment, the office and support services, quality, energy, chemical and environmental, outdoors and around the perimeter of the plant and standard work.  Do you have any ideas?  Let us know and with your approval we will include it in a future Lean Update.  Click here to email us.

And for information on how we can help you improve your Gemba Walk, contact Lisa Provenzano, (203) 225-0451, x14,


  1. Well written, simple article. Very helpful in quickly understanding the Gemba from a practical point of view. Thanks

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