Gemba Walk Checklist & Guide

Does your company operate according to the lean philosophy, but are Gemba Walks not yet applicable? If so, a Gemba Walk Checklist can help you capture first-hand sightings of what is exactly going on at the production floor.
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Published on:
11 February 2022
Updated on:
21 February 2024

Gemba Walk Checklist

Efficiency is high on the agenda of many companies and probably yours too. There are all kinds of methods with which you can perform your work more efficiently, but a good checklist establish insights from discussions with frontline workers and serves as a reference tool on how to improve your operations and processes and reduce waste.

Here’s a General Gemba Walk Checklist Template to boost efficiency and reduce waste in your daily operations.

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The Gemba Walk

The Gemba Walk, indeed. A simple but effective way to work effectively is to perform the Gemba Walk. You “go for a walk” with your operator. This keeps the operator in touch with the factory floor and can respond more quickly to problems.

On a factory floor, it is important that operations are standardized and documented, this way you can easily refer back to crucial info in the future.


Gemba on the go: Questions

The Japanese word Gemba means “real place” or is translated as “workplace”. It’s not unimportant that the Gemba is part of the Lean Philosophy. A lean culture is also important within an organization.

The Gemba Walk allows the operator to do a daily walk and ensure less waste or completely eliminate waste. Boosting productivity is a constant process. It’s therefore very important that the operator experiences for himself what is happening on the factory floor. Therefore, give frontline workers access to a Gemba Walk checklist that they can use in practice.

Questions you can ask on your first (or next) Gemba Walk:

  1. Have there been any problems related to quality?
  2. Does the production rate follow the schedule?
  3. Are there any issues to transfer?
  4. How can you fix the issues?
  5. Is the equipment working properly? Does it need maintenance?
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Basics for a Better Gemba Walk Checklist

As a manager you can contribute to an effective Gemba walk in various ways.

1. Prepare the Gemba Walk well

As a manager you can ask questions about topics such as:

  • What is the purpose of this action (function, work)?
  • When do you speak of a “successful working day”?
  • Why do you think this way of working is the right one?
  • How do malfunctions and waste occur?

However, managers should choose a category at the beginning of a Gemba Walk that will serve as a guide for the entire walk. That way, you keep it shorter and there will be more focus. Always tailor the questions to this! In addition, explain well to your workers what the walk is about. Show how it should be done.

2. Observe the Workplace

Managers are less aware of what is going on on the factory floor. It is important that they are always up-to-date. After all, this is the place where value is added for the customer. Therefore, observe all processes that take place and look at the possibilities within your factory.

Issues such as quality, safety, productivity and efficiency are the key points. And maybe the disruptions and wastes are noticeable here. Be sure to pass on striking matters to the manager so that they can immediately help improve processes.

As a manager, you are in charge of identifying improvements in the process and identifying problems on the shop floor that hinder productivity. Therefore, make sure your checklist looks at the entire value stream. By drafting questions in advance, you ensure that you don’t overlook important workstations.

3. Stimulate Team Spirit

In the Gemba philosophy, you as a manager are an important link within the factory. Supporting people is in your blood. You must be able to convey the involvement to the employees. In addition, stimulating team spirit is an important part. Stumbling blocks are often not immediately visible or measurable on the factory floor. By performing the Gemba walk, you get a better view of everything that is happening on the factory floor and you can make timely adjustments.

Share outcomes with the team, always. Employees will feel involved and it will seem to them exactly as if the Gemba Walk was conducted by one of them. If there are any changes, mention them in your report and share your findings in the process.

Digitalize Your Checklists

The Gemba Walks is one of the most important observation methods for reviewing processes on the workfloor. For this, a digital checklist can be an easy tool.

Simplify compliance and quality control with the help of digital checklists. Choose from a range of text, checklists, numbers, media, sizes and values. Run checklists in the format you want.

With Azumuta you gain insight into the actual costing of your production process. Find out how long it takes to make products. What do you spend a lot of time on? What can be done more efficiently? What wastes can we avoid because of this?

Does your company work according to the lean philosophy, but are the Gemba walks not yet applicable? Then digitize your lean processes with Azumuta.

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A profile of an assembly operator is displayed on the left side, showing categories such as Pre-Assembly, Assembly, and Testing. Adjacent charts detail tasks like Cleaning, Assembly, Packaging, Pre-Assembly, and Testing, each with numerical values.
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