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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Gumby Walk

The Gumby Walk, or Going to Gumby...

Oh,wait, that's not it. Gemba. Gemba, not Gumby.

If you are not familiar with gemba or the gemba walk, here's a couple of great posts that illustrate the concept so that you'll never forget it. The first is by Jon Wetzel at the Gemba Tales Blog, the second is by Norman Bodek. I heard Norman speak once. What a character! But also full of knowledge.

To summarize the concept of gemba in the Lean Management system, it means going to the source, or where things actually happen. If you want to know what's going on, go look. Don't just listen to what people tell you. Go look and see for yourself. If you run a manufacturing plant, go out onto the factory floor. If you provide services to clients, go to where those services are provided and see for yourself how it's being done. Go look.

As for Gumby? If you've never heard it, you have to listen to The Ballad of Gumby. Or, if country western ballads aren't your thing, try Zydeco Gumby Ya Ya.

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