Basic Principles of Genba Kanri 

When visiting GK companies one cannot fail to be impressed by the use of tools and techniques for managing the day-to-day business. What is more, it is apparent that these are not just the current 'flavours of the month'. When questioned, one's hosts can explain or show the links between the various tools: 'This indicates our hourly / daily performance; this is what we do when there is a deviation; this is how we confirm the effectiveness of countermeasures....etc.' 

What may not be so obvious is what is in the hearts and minds of those using such tools, and maintaining healthy and effective systems! Over the years we have seen many common threads amongst such companies; these may be summarised as:

Quality First Quality is as defined and expected by our customers and consumers. Anything less is unacceptable. We adopt a quality attitude to our people, materials and equipment. This enables us to deliver - on time, in full, at minimum cost.
Respect for Standards These define expectations in terms of what we have to do and how we do it. They are simple, objective and conspicuous and reflect best practice. We establish, install and maintain them and use them as a basis for further improvement.
Speak with Data Data enables us to measure conformance to standards. It clearly defines targets, priorities, achievements, deviations and improvements. By analysing data we are able to see patterns which help us to make decisions and guide our future actions.  
Process and Results We pay attention to results, because they sustain healthy business; at the same time we focus on the processes that deliver the results. As they are mutually supportive we balance our efforts between the two. 
Support & Direct We have to align our people to common goals, and all must strive to achieve them. We give people the resources, competencies and confidence to achieve what is expected of them.

In our consulting work we are able to develop our clients' appreciation of these fundamental principles in a number of ways:

  We can help to get the change process started by helping people to see things differently, and do things differently.

  • By explaining them in discrete seminars, or as a preface to shop-floor Workshops

  • By 'walking the talk', supported by the leadership of our client companies

  • By having people suspend their disbelief, act according to the concepts for a while, and see what results they can achieve

  • By contrasting the above with what happens if we compromise on quality; use individual skill & judgement alone; avoid data; focus only on process or results; or simply let exhort people with threat of punishment for failure


We tend to find, sometimes deep down, that people at all levels in the organisation really seek the same thing:

We know that there are certain things that we have to do and have if we are to achieve this:

And the basic principles must be in place if we are to succeed!

Through getting the people aligned with these principles we can start to change the way that they, collectively, conduct their business. The company becomes 'fitter' in its activities and develops a culture that is better able to respond to market demands.


The web site dedicated to improving manufacturing competitiveness