Observe, Engage, Improve
Gemba is a Japanese word which means “at the site”. In Lean, Gemba means observing a process in action. The first step in the Lean process is go to Gemba - go and see!
Identifying muda or waste in the lab is key to successful implementation of lean. In order to identify wastes and defects it is necessary to go to Gemba and observe, engage in the process. Gemba is essentially a waste walk or audit to get an understanding of a situation, process, purpose and people. Improvement can only occur if the situation is adequately understood. There is no point assessing a process from the desk, muda isn’t evident from remote assessment. During Gemba consider SIPOC: Supply Input Process, Output, Control.