Lean is all about learning and the Gemba Walk provides a perfect learning platform. Use the Gemba Walk for more than just an audit. Use it as a way to teach employees at all levels the basics of continuous improvement.
We recommended you select a monthly theme that aligns with a defined key improvement initiative.
This month’s theme is Environmental and Energy Conservation. Let’s get started…
- First, consult with your local EH&S representative, share your intentions, and get them on the Gemba Walk team. Who else is on the team? That’s your call. But make certain you have a good cross-functional make-up to include that one person that will make things happen (and at your plant you know who that is)!
- Next, develop learning objectives and questions to ask of the team. For example, a learning object might be: “How becoming environmentally-friendly adds value to the customer.” Simple enough. A question to the team might be: “Name the Lean seven deadly wastes and list the environmental, chemical, and energy impacts associated with each waste.” As you can see, the possibilities are endless and the learning’s a value add!
- It’s time to select a Gemba Walk route/area; for example, next month we will focus on the high-impact production processes. Here is a good question for the Gemba Team: “What are the top ten most common high-impact production processes?” What are those processes we will focus on in our plant?
- So then, with a defined route/area, what are some points-of-reference? What are we going to be on the lookout for? What questions should we consider?
- Are machines left running when not in operation? Why?
- Do we use energy efficient motors, pumps, etc.? Why not?
- Are motors, pumps, etc. sized to their use?
- Are there air leaks in the compressed air system?
- Is lighting focused where needed?
- Are process heating temperatures maintained at standard work?
- Oil leaks, fluid leaks?
Here, too, the possibilities are endless. Start with the fundamentals.
Remember, the Gemba Walk is all about going into the workplace. Pick a theme. Make the Gemba Walk work for you! It’s much more than an audit, the Gemba Walk is about learning!