Going to Gemba, your role is to ensure Standard Work is actually happening. 


1. Goal Orientation 

Before you start, make up your mind: Where do you expect Standard Work to be in place? Where is transparency, quality or efficiency crucial to this place? Here you would expect to have Standards in place:

  • Where did many mistakes happen in the past?
  • Where are new people being trained up quickly for a new job?
  • Where are throughput times or quick reactions on other departments’ needs key?

2. What makes it a Standard?

  • Can you literally see and touch the Standard?
  • Could you follow it if you were to do this job for the next hour?
  • Can you spot deviations from the Standard?

Yes, yes, and yes? In this case it is a Standard. Congrats!

In case you get answers like “there must be a Standard/SOP somewhere”, “we think it’s in the cupboard”, or in case you need a lot of explanation or even training to be able to understand the standard in place:
This is not a standard.

3. Spot the risk for discipline loss

Are there Standards around that are evidently nonsense? For example helmet signs where wearing helmets doesn’t make sense, empty 5S boards, nice working instructions without the required tools, Standards which are in place just for the sake of it.
Standards that can’t be followed invite people to ignore at their discretion all rules in place!

Share your experience with Standard Work at Gemba in the comment section – or meet us for our event:

June 20, 2019 in Hamburg „Input & Exchange“ – Impact through Gemba Walks


Subscribe below for our next posts on “Gemba, mind the PEOPLE” and “Gemba, manage the performance”.


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