The manager also feels a bit awkward when it comes to Gemba walk as it may seem a little out of their comfort zones, a bit beyond that their usual strategic responsibilities and placed into the minute details of the process where they might not deem themselves the experts. It is crucial for the manager to step beyond the leadership role and pay heed to the role of process operator as an expert. Read on for some do’s and don’ts before you proceed.
Do’s for the Manager
- Do zero harm. Don proper safety gear, pay heed to the safety rules, and prevent yourself from disrupting the process.
- Do state your purpose every time you pay a visit to the workplace.
- Do indulge yourself in the process leadership to guarantee the safe access to the process.
- Do interact with the people involved in the process, rather than just interacting with the staff or the mid-managers.
- Do ask a lot of questions and listen to them, speak less.
- Do plan out and ponder on the observations after the Gemba walk.
- Do make sure you go through if you promised something or to answer a question during the Gemba walk. If you cannot fulfill it, say no. It is better to be honest, rather than giving false information.
- Do keep an eye on the observations in a system that take these actions to root cause analysis, gap closure planning, and countermeasure implementation.
- Do build in time for Gemba walks on a daily basis or every 45 minutes per week.
Don’ts for Managers
- Don’t bother about looking dumb. It is your time to learn, not to lecture.
- Don’t strut your superior intellect. Mostly, it is the operator who is the well acquainted with how the process works and you as a manager, are here to just learn and observe.
- Don’t visit the shop floor alone, but also don’t overwhelm the workers by taking a big group of your personnel.
- Don’t punish anyone or plan any after-the-fact punishment action. Just do no harm. You are just here to learn and observe.
- Don’t make changes or make promises on the spot for particular changes in the process.
- Don’t rush the process. If you are in a hurry and have someplace else to be, make sure you schedule your Gemba walk at the time when there is no need to rush at all.