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In a nutshell, after the Process Walk, the walkers will go into a room:

  • Debrief the walk, observations, opportunities and waste
  • Build a current state map (like a Value Stream Map, but sometimes the team decides a Swimlane Map might be better)
  • Identify quick hits (1 or 2 person change that can be implemented immediately)
  • Identify short-term solutions
  • Design a Future State
  • Implement solutions through kaizen events or additional meetings with the team
  • Improve the process! YAY!

Process Walks can be just one activity that happens during a Kaizen Event. Kaizen Events can last 3-5 days.

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at UC San Diego and teaches in San Diego State University’s Lean Enterprise Program. For almost 20 years, she has helped leading organizations like Washington State, Charles Schwab and GE build problem-solving muscles.