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