Gemba Sprint

Feb 9, 2022 · New York, United States of America


If teams are self-managed, why have managers at all? Why not do what Google’s Larry and Sergey did in 2001 and fire them all? They believed that smart engineers would “figure it out.”

The agile movement also naively dismisses the importance of
management and, in some cases, even demonizes them. Many are waking up to the criticality of management, to the success and failure of transformation efforts. In fact Larry and Sergey rehired managers a year later, after speaking to their engineers.

The real culprit behind the issues the product development industry is facing is neither managers nor teams, but an organizational design that is incompatible with knowledge work. Behavioral changes are required on all sides: teams, management, and senior leadership.

To catalyze this change, an experiment is started with senior leadership, called the Gemba Sprint (‘gemba’ being Japanese for ‘the actual place’).

This session is meant to serve as an introduction to the idea of Gemba Sprint as well as leaving plenty of time for your Q and A.

About the Speaker:

Ahmad specializes in large-scale product development & organizational design. He has helped multiple investment banks and product companies successfully transition to lean and agile ways of working. With over 20 years of banking technology experience, his financial product knowledge and technology background makes him well suited to help organizations transform. He is also the author of numerous scaling patterns including, team self-design, Gemba sprint and Behavior stories. His experience and empathy have made him a sought after consultant, trainer, and speaker on the subject of organizational design and change.

You can learn more at

Event organizers
  • NYC Lean/Kanban

    NYC Lean/Kanban is committed to improving the quality and quantity of Lean practice in the New York City area. Lean is an Operations Strategy that emphasizes the Flow of value through your organization. We help each other improve our work by teaching each other what we've learned through practice. We have monthly practitioner-driven talks, and weekly Lean Coffee meetings in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Please review our Code of Conduct; we expect all organizers and attendees to abide by it. .

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