Home > Education> Workshops> Gemba Walks - A Management Process for Leading the Organization

Gemba Walks - A Management Process for Leading the Organization (1 Day Class)

"Gemba. What a wonderful word. The place---any place in any organization---where humans create value.  But how do we understand the gemba? And, more important, how do we make it a better place---one where we can create more value with less waste, variation, and overburden (also known, respectively, as muda, mura, and muri)?"

Jim Womack"The line manager's key work must be to continually solve problems end-to-end in primary and support processes for which they are given responsibility. 

Put simply: You need to transition from a staff conducting a [continuous improvement]

program to line managers routinely solving problems important to the organization, often with the technical assistance of the lean team"

Jim Womack
Gemba Walks


This opening paragraph of the Introduction of Jim Womack's latest book Gemba Walks is the starting point for a gemba-based learning experience designed to help participants better understand their role in creating lean thinking through lean management led by their own behavior in "taking a walk."

One of the core skills of lean practitioners at any level is an ability to apply - in a disciplined way - the scientific method of PDCA (plan-do-check-act) in order to solve organizational problems that affect the value-creating process. The reason we refer to the PDCA process as “scientific” is that it requires an in-depth understanding of the root causes of every problem which can only be achieved through direct observation of work processes and fact-based information that comes from people who work in these processes.

So let's stop analyzing numerous bits of data on our computer screens. Let's put on hold heated discussions about the best way to solve a problem that we've been having in a conference room for hours. Instead, let's go to the gemba and SEE what is going on there.

This workshop is designed to help you learn by doing. Not only will we discuss the skills, behaviors and processes that are essential for creating the lean management system; we will actually take a walk at the gemba in order to see how the work is performed and practice management behaviors that support continuous improvement through relentless problem solving.

Outline for the Program
Gemba Walks

  • First, let's take a walk and talk about what we see. Gemba walk followed by a debrief
  • What is the purpose of a gemba walk? Why take a walk? What do we hope to accomplish?
  • What is the process of a gemba walk? How do we take a walk? What are we looking for and why?
  • What are the people issues associated with a gemba walk? What does respect for people really mean? Understanding and managing our impact
  • Basic leadership/management behavior and principles:
    • Go See, Ask Why, Show Respect - What these things really mean and how they factor into a gemba walk
    • Looking at and understanding process rather than just looking at results
    • Management as a science and discipline rather than as an art
  • Develop a plan for our second gemba walk. Let's take another gemba walk and talk about what we see
  • Debrief on differences between our first and second walk
  • Lean leadership behaviors and methods
  • Modern versus lean management. Thinking about our management systems and how they drive behavior, thinking and business results
  • What is the "work" and the added value of management?
    • Processes and tools/methods to accomplish the value-add of management
    • Understanding the "right" tool at the right level in the organization
  • Summary and Q&A

Who should attend:
Managers and executives who are responsible for value-creating or support processes in their organizations. Continuous improvement professionals who work with leaders and managers helping them move from conventional to lean management. It's highly desirable that operations and CI leaders team up to attend this workshop so they can continue supporting each other in their gemba walks once they return to their organizations.

Expected Outcomes:
Managers attending this workshop can expect to come away with a better understanding of how to see and understand the flow of work in their respective organizations. The workshop will help them see beyond the obvious results to the underlying processes that produce those results, with an eye to how to create more value with less waste.


Suggested Reading for this Workshop:
Locations and Dates for Gemba Walks - A Management Process for Leading the Organization

No offerings of this workshop are scheduled at this time. Please check back again soon.

Price: $800.00 ($700.00 if the participant is taking 2 or more workshops at one location)
Price includes all participant materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks each day

Sign up to be notified about future offerings of this workshop

Bring this workshop to your company with On-Site Training Learn more »

Cancelation Policy
Our workshops are designed to cater to a limited number of participants.  If you must cancel a workshop registration, you will be given a full refund up to four weeks before the workshop.  A cancelation occuring within four weeks of the workshop will be subjected to a $350 cancelation fee.  If cancellation is required to comply with coronavirus guidelines from federal, state, or local authorities, no cancellation fee will apply.  LEI will not be held personally responsible for any incidental cost incurred (hotel, airfare, change fee, etc).  To cancel a workshop registration, please call LEI at (617) 871-2900.