Getting to Gemba*

November 7, 2008

As I prepare the latest draft of my dissertation for my supervisors, along with the finishing off the presentation I am giving at the EiP conference on the 11th November, I focus upon the my research questions, the latest literature I’ve read and attempt to refine my ideas.

Whilst gap analysis in its various formulations has potential, it introduces too much complexity into the multi-channel model for my liking. The ‘gaps’ can and should still be employed but following feedback though and about the channel delivery, along with the service.

It is down to co-production and Genchi Genbutsu, as the Toyota Production System (TPS) puts it (“go and see for yourself”) to highlight and correct the issues or close the gaps, preferably before they occur, be they over-expectation on the part pf the citizen, under-expectation on their part, or underestimation on the part of policy-makers, politicians or deliverers. The thing to do is to have the mechanisms to collect the feedback, particularly dissatisfaction, with honour and employ this to tune the service delivery.

*Gemba – another TPS term, this time meaning the ‘place’, what might have been variously known as the shopfloor, coal face or, in education, the chalk face.