What do you see in a Gemba Walk


Share on LinkedIn

Gemba Walks are an integral part of any Service Design process. Way too often we operate in a vacuum and rely on Voice of Customer and Voice of Market Data to govern the services and markets we create. Steve Blank uses the term and encourages entrepreneurs “To get out of the Office” and in Lean Terms, Go to Gemba (Go See). These Gemba walks must be at the place of work where our product or service is being used.

What do you see in a Gemba Walk? It’s interesting because not one of us will see the same thing. As a result, I believe it is important that multiple people observe and document a procedure. We must then all come together and develop a current state of the job that is being done. In “Leanish” terms, the standard work that is being performed. This is the basis for framing the problem that we need to solve.

As Taiichi Ono says, Where there is no standard, there can be no kaizen (improvement). In both an improvement process (PDCA) or a design process (EDCA), we must come to an agreement about the work that needs to be done.

So what will you see in a Gemba Walk? Bob Petruska of Sustain Lean Consulting was my guest Business901 podcast, We want People to Go See for Themselves. In the podcast, we discussed his new book, Gemba Walks for Service Excellence: The Step-by-Step Guide for Identifying Service Delighters. It is heavily illustrated and includes a CD of his innovative “placemats” designed to provide stepping stones on a development path for your team to achieve a competitive advantage.

This is a transcription of the podcast.

80% of Companies believe they deliver a Superior Service, only 8% of Customers agree.
-Bain Companies

Lean Service Design Trilogy: Closing the Gaps between Perception and Reality: Preview the program

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here