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Genchi Genbutsu

Genchi Genbutsu is a Japanese term that loosely translates to “go and see”. Essentially, it means to go to the actual spot where actual work is happening on the actual product to confirm your conclusions.

Similar to the term “go to gemba“, the spirit of genchi genbutsu is to avoid making decisions in a conference room, devoid of firsthand experience.

While “go to gemba” can be used somewhat interchangeably with genchi genbutsu, there are some subtle differences. The first term is more generic. It can be used simply in reference to get leaders and engineers down on the shop floor more often, for example.

Genchi genbutsu has a more specific meaning. It is used in reference to gaining a more complete understanding of a particular problem or condition. One might have reams of data to support a theory. Without seeing the information in context, though, meaning where the work is being done, it can be prone to oversight.


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