What is a Farm “Gemba”?

Posted in Uncategorized on 20/04/2018.

Go See.

In a nutshell, that’s what Gemba means – Go See. Go see the work and activities on the farm, go see your workers, go see how you all do the thing you do. Walk it, learn it, understand it. When you have really seen your processes, you can start to improve them.

A Gemba Walk is a personal observation of the work, in the place the work is happening. There are 3 underpinning values of any Gemba Walk:

  • Go See: We all know this means to go to the place where the work is actually done, but what are you looking for? You want to understand the work from the standpoint of Purpose, Process and People. What’s the purpose of the work happening here? Is the process designed to achieve this purpose? Are the farm staff working towards the purpose – does the process help them do this?
  • Ask Why: Now that you have ‘seen’ the work, how do you analyse it? Are there opportunities for improvement? Have you noticed any waste in the process? If the purpose can’t be achieved, ask ‘why not’?
  • Show Respect: Continuous Improvement (CI) requires that respect is shown to all people, especially those doing value-creating work. On your farm, this can apply not only to the workers but also to the animals. CI on the Farm has been proven to improve animal welfare, and therefore reduce the amount of time and money spent on caring for sick animals. The concept of ‘Show Respect’, is built into CI thinking, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it makes sound business sense. It is important to get all your workers involved in the process and challenge them to make things better!

If you would like to do a Gemba Walk on your farm, contact Leading Edge Group and we will be more than happy to help!


Farming looks mighty easy when your plough is a pencil and you are a thousand miles from the corn field.” – Dwight Eisenhower

Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.” – W. Edwards Deming

Coming soon – Lean Farm consultants and Farm owner Pat Ryan will be conducting Gemba walks on two farms in August. Stay in touch and we will keep you informed of progress and we will also demonstrate the results at the Ploughing Championships in September.

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