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Source: Fact of the Day 1 interview with Jeff Wilke
Published: January 2021

The importance of walking the floor

The Gemba walk, much like Management by Walking Around, is when operational leaders go to the front lines to find continuous improvement opportunities by talking to the people doing the work and seeing the processes first-hand.

However, as you manage larger teams, walking all the shop floors is no longer feasible. It doesn’t scale. During Jeff Wilke’s 21 years at Amazon, he saw Amazon go from 5 fulfillment centers to 350+ fulfillment centers.

Amazon Connections was born of this challenge. An Operations team, led by Beth Galetti, created the Connections mechanism to capture the sentiment of every Amazonian on every shop floor every day.

Examples of Connections single-choice survey questions:

  • How often are you involved in decisions without a clear decision-maker?
  • My manager ensures I have the resources I need.
  • How often does the team you're on debate ideas that could be answered with data?

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