The Daily Senior Leadership Gemba Walk

imageThe daily senior leadership gemba walk is one of the most important elements of LEAN daily management. It differs from gemba walk that is undertaken to observe a specific process. The daily leadership gemba walk focuses every department on meeting their key performance indicators (KPI) on a daily basis and explaining progress to the senior leadership team. It focuses on what went well. More importantly, it also focuses on what went wrong and what counter measures are taking place to eliminate the root cause of the problem.

The process for the senior leadership team is as follows:

  1. Set a scheduled time daily for the gemba walk.
  2. Set a time table outlining which department will be visited and when. This ensures department managers have their staff assembled for the visit.
  3. Attendance is required unless unusual circumstances prevent a leader from not attending, The walk must take place.
  4. Introduce any visitors or new team members, review standard work i.e. the gemba walk process so team members understand what is expected of themselves and the departments they will be visiting.

The first gemba board to be visited is the administration gemba board. The leader of the process should rotate among the team members daily.

  1. Leader presents yesterday’s performance and reasons “why” if target not met. Review open action items to identify if any are due today.
  2. Depart to first department using established gemba route.

Once the team has arrived at the department,

  1. Greet the presenter, introduce any guests, and give presenter your full attention.
  2. Information about the last 24 hours will be presented to you by the department employees.  (Made or missed daily target).
  3. If presenter doesn’t present individual KPI say: ” We are very interested in each of your    KPI. Please begin with Safety and review each KPI with us.”
  4. You should be focused on the missed target for the last twenty-four hours; these items will be hi-lighted in RED.
  5. Is there a Pareto entry for the misses? Is a trend noted?  Has a 5 Why been completed?
  6. Has a counter measure been completed? Is there Who, is going to do What and When on the counter measure?
  7. Are there any counter measure items that are past due?
  8. Does the Gemba Walk team have counter measures that are due to the department?
  9. Before departing the department ask ” What barriers have you encountered in the last few days in trying to care for your patients or when providing your services?”
  10. Did the Gemba Walk team take an item from the counter measure from the department?  If so, was Who, is going to do What and When completed on the counter measure?
  11. Thank the presenter and praise them for something they did well.
  12. Conclude walk at Admin Gemba Board.  Review metrics indicate whether metric is GREEN or RED.  If RED, indicate “why” on Pareto chart.  Review letter chart and Pareto for trend.  If trend noted, conduct a 5 Why and develop Action Plan.
  13. If metric is Green for extended period of time, consider setting new metric.

LEAN daily management defines a specific process for departments to follow during the daily gemba walk. It will be outlined in a future article.

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