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Going to the Gemba in Software and Product Development

In devops-today-news
May 22, 2023

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It is often said that software development and knowledge work is invisible work.

But as a leader, if you do not see it, how can you improve it? ‘Going to the Gemba’ is one method.

Gemba is a Japanese word for the ‘real place’ – the place where the value-creating work occurs. To understand the issues that affect a process, it is critical to go to the Gemba and see what is happening. James Womack provides inspiring and detailed guidance on this important management method in his book Gemba Walks. Taiichi Ohno, considered the father of the Toyota Production System, is credited with originating the technique and his quote epitomises the methodology: “go see, ask why, show respect.”

There is a wealth of information about how to conduct a Gemba Walk in manufacturing, but comparatively little is published about how to do one in the software industry. So, we have developed our own techniques to help ‘see’ the invisible work in technology enterprises. This blog…


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