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Gemba Walk Checklist

Learn how to best conduct a Gemba Walk in the workplace with checklists.

Gemba Walk Checklist Template

Use this Gemba walk checklist template to document interviews, challenges and opportunities.

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Gemba Walk Interview Sheet

Use this gemba walk interview sheet to report the working methods of your staff.

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What is a Gemba Walk checklist?


A Gemba Walk checklist template is used by executives or managers when they take a tour of the work area. The main objective of a Gemba Walk is to identify problem areas in the business process and to find a solution to improve them. The method can be used to monitor one or more processes as required (e.g. customer service, costs, safety, productivity, workspace efficiency, etc.).


A Gemba Walk is an easy walk on the spot. Employees are interviewed about their tasks and observed as they are performed in order to identify potential productivity improvements. The term comes from the Japanese word "Gemba" or "Gembutsu", which means "the real place". All necessary data is collected with a Gemba-Walk questionnaire, which can also be designed as a checklist. This way nothing is forgotten and all information from conversations with employees and observations is safely documented.



This article deals with the topics:


1. The 7 elements of an effective Gemba Walk checklist


2. The 3 main questions of a Gemba Walk checklist


3. What to do after the Gemba walk?


4. Modern technology for the Gemba Walk checklist



The 7 Elements of an Effective Gemba Walk checklist


Each Gemba Walk follows seven basic elements:


1. Choose a topic


You need to decide on the areas you want to concentrate on. These could be, for example, safety, efficiency, delivery speed etc. Also, it is recommended to think in advance about the questions you are going to ask.


2. Sufficient onboarding of the staff


All the team members need to be aware of what the Gemba walk actually is and which goals it has. You should emphasize the importance of all the staff being cooperative since you are all interested in the improvement of the organisation you work for.


3. Evaluate the workflow


It is important to remember that the stress of the assessment should be on the process. You should not evaluate personal abilities of your employees during Gemba walks.


4. Follow the value chain


This means comparing different activities and how valuable they are. Getting rid of useless and labour-consuming elements of the work will help your company to improve on its efficiency.


5. Note down and analyze what you see


Even such a simple procedure as Gemba walk requires consistency. Therefore, it is recommended to record your observations and refrain from immediate judgments. Take your time to process your results so that eventually to come up with a viable action plan.


6. Ask someone for help


It is worth considering inviting somebody from another department to join you at this task. They can provide a completely new perspective on the matter since they are involved in totally different activities usually.


7. Share the findings


Always take action after your Gemba walk even when you don’t find anything significant. Never forget to inform the team on what should be changed cause otherwise they would just feel being watched for no reason.



These 3 questions belong in every Gemba Walk checklist


A Gemba Walk checklist template consists of a series of questions. There are three "magic" main questions that should be found in each template and from which further questions are derived.


1. question: What should happen?


This question concerns the standard process, which is documented, for example, with a work instruction or operating manual:


  1. What should the process be?
  2. Where is the process documented?
  3. What are the rules?

2. question: what really happens?


This question deals with the systematic recording of problems. This can be divided into the following sub-questions to get to the core of the problem:


  1. What exactly happened?
  2. Where did the problem occur?
  3. When did the incident occur?
  4. Who was involved? Who discovered the problem?
  5. What effects has the problem had?
  6. Maybe make a sketch or take a photo to illustrate the problem.

3. Question: Explain!


The third question is rather an invitation: the parties involved in the process explain how, from their point of view, the problem or disturbance occurred. This explanation is recorded in writing. It is important to get to the real cause during the conversation.



What to do after the Gemba walk?


After the Gemba walk, it’s necessary to set up a meeting where all the observations can be compiled and feedback can be shared. This meeting is sometimes referred to as “Kaizen circle”. Thanks to this circle, team members can share with the leadership team their views on process improvement.


The main goal of Kaizen circle is to make an improvement plan based on the observations from the Gemba walk. This post-walk step is crucial for showing respect to your team and making your company a place where value is created and appreciated. So, it is necessary to identify the non-value and value activities and try to eliminate the former.



Use digital technology for your Gemba Walk checklist


To fill out a Gemba Walk checklist template on site with pen and paper can be a challenge. Documenting all data in writing and then transferring it to a computer is a repetitive process and time consuming.


With Lumiform's mobile app, you can easily conduct tours with your Gemba Walk checklist, report problems in no time at all and quickly assign corrective actions to responsible colleagues. Easy communication with all team members and management allows you to improve internal processes and resolve incidents up to four times faster. Take advantage of Lumiform for your Gemba Walk:


  • Digitize checklists and internal processes: The flexible form construction kit helps you convert any individual paper list into digital checklists within minutes.

  • Generate real-time data via internal processes. This makes quality and security measurable and you can use the data to continuously optimize processes.

  • Get an overview of everything that's going on on site.

  • Reports are created automatically - this saves the complete postprocessing.

  • Increase the efficiency of your internal processes: By communicating more efficiently within the team, with third parties and with management, and by reporting incidents faster, you can resolve incidents up to 4x faster than before.


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