Americans call it MBWA, it is not a degree program at
any American Business school nor is it BMW spelled wrongly. Japs will
call such a situation as GEMBA and if you look in any Japanese
dictionary after learning 3000 good words the meaning of gemba will be
"the place where the real action occurs." . Koreans(South
only) refer it to as the place where the work gets done, where the value
is added to complete the process of development, production or selling.
In most of the organizations including fortune 500
companies "Management meets in a conference room and tries to solve
a problem that is taking place in the plant, at a point on the assembly
line, in the R&D lab or at the interface between the salesperson and
the customer.". How can they know what is happening? . To
understand problem in gemba, you must go to gemba.(not ginza a Downtown
In many of the public sector organizations in
Pakistan (KESC incl) the management confines itself to the Head office
and show their true colours. Walking around the plant, carrying
technical audit is considered to be bad manners and dress spoiler affair
. The only time it is done when they join the organization or when they
are leaving after golden handshake. MBWA will give results if DIG
(traffic) Karachi does wandering around in plain clothes on a water
tanker and take for e.g Shaheed Millat - Baluch colony route on Sunday
morning the traffic inspectors stationed at every 100 yards having note
shake from every commercial vehicle can be sorted out.(please take a dig
One of the interesting application of MBWA could be
if Finance Minister does Mystery Shopping by taking a round of local car
manufacturers dealers located in Karachi or other places and find at
least one dealer who is selling new car without premium or ON.
Kaizen is the new buzz word to overcome such sickness
this Japanese concept embodies all the notions of continuous process
improvement, Zero defects, Total quality control.. Combination of GEMBA
and Kaizen is the prescription for good management practices.
THREE PILLARS SUPPORTING THE STRUCTURE OF GEMBA
With proper standardization, "regular checking
and improvement becomes an inseparable part of everyone's job."
To be effective, standard must hold to these common
Describe the best, easiest and safest way to do a
Preserve knowledge and expertise from worker to
Demonstrate the link between cause and effect.
Allow for maintenance and improvement.
Provide a basis for training.
Furnish a structure to minimize variability and
prevent future errors.
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING: 5S
This is short cut to ISO 14000 environmental
Management System and can be acquired without involving local auditors
who could audit any big organization in two days including opening and
The five steps of good housekeeping offer more than
just a way to maintain order, although that is certainly a primary goal.
They provide a routine during which maintenance checks can be performed
and ideas for improvement can be stimulated. Although there are Japanese
names for the five steps, English language equivalents are:
Sort: Separate out all that
is unnecessary and eliminate it.
Straighten: Put essential
things in order so they can be easily accessed.
Scrub: Clean workspace and
tools and eliminate sources of dirt and dust.
Systemize: Make cleaning
and checking part of the daily routine.
Standardize: Make the
previous four steps part of the daily routine.
The Japanese word muda (pronounced mooda not moota)
mean waster, . "But the word carries a much deeper connotation. Any
non-value-adding activity is muda. " Reaching around behind to
retrieve a tool is muda. Searching for a pen that writes properly is
muda. Walking down the hall to get a signature is muda. Watching talk
shows on PTV specially after 9 clock news is Muda. Kaizen identifies
several areas in which muda can exist, and can be eliminated:
Inventory: stocking items not immediately needed.
Motion: using unnecessary
movement and energy used to perform tasks.
inefficient and unnecessary tasks; failing to synchronize systems.
Waiting: workers rendered
idle by excessive set-up or equipment breakdowns.
Transport: poor timing; too
frequent or infrequent movement of goods and deliveries.
All categories of muda result in the most serious
form of waste: the muda of time. When a company wastes time, it throws
money out the window. "Poor utilization of time results in
stagnation, " . By eliminating muda, a company can achieve
substantial increases in both efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Because it costs nothing, muda elimination is one of the easiest ways
for a company to improve its operations. All we need to do is 'go to
The benefits of applying the
principles of gemba kaizen are manifold:
Solutions are grounded in
reality and emphasize commonsense, low-cost approaches.
Continual adjustment and
improvement becomes possible
Resistance to change is
It is not always necessary
to gain upper management approval to make changes.
."Please Plan, Do, Check and Act and go Gemba
Kaizen my country Managers and remember this crucial maxim:
"Reality lies in the worksite, not at our desks.