What are tools to use in the Gemba process?

When most people think about Gemba, they start by looking at Gemba walks. While that is the main activity that is being done, you will need to have quite a few different tools in place to help ensure it goes smoothly. There are also tools that are used to help track and use the information and ideas that are found when engaged in Gemba walks. Looking at the different tools and strategies is a great way to make sure you are getting everything out of the Gemba process as possible.

Tools for the Gemba Process

The following are some different tools and strategies that are used when engaged in the Gemba process. These can be used not only when on the Gemba walks themselves, but also at other times and for other uses within the facility.

  • Gemba Board – A Gemba board is used to help organize all the information that is gathered in the facility. All employees can use the board to see what is being worked on, what types of safety improvements are happening, and much more. In many ways, the Gemba board will become the ‘nerve center’ of the facility.
  • Data Collection Tools – Any tools that are used for collecting data from the work floor. This could be something as simple as a notepad and pen, or something more advanced like a tablet. Taking notes on Gemba walks is critical for the success of any Gemba strategy.
  • Cameras – In addition to the notes that need to be taken, it is typically necessary to take pictures of different areas as well. If, for example, you see an area where a product defect occurs on a regular basis, a picture of the area will help you to better analyze it after the Gemba walk is completed.
  • Gemba Events – A Gemba event is when you take information learned from Gemba and make a concerted effort to complete some significant project for improvement. This can be focused on improving safety, efficiency, productivity, or any number of other things. Gemba events can be the same type of thing as a Kaizen event.

Using the right tools with your Gemba walk and other related efforts will help you to maximize the benefits that you will enjoy. When done properly, Gemba can really revolutionize how a facility works, which can help to improve the bottom line in many ways.


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