“If the problem exists on the shopfloor, it must be solved on shopfloor”.
Genchi Genbutsu is to “go and see”. When implemented in a structured manner can be very effective in problem solving. Apply it when you’ve run out of ideas to “make things work”. If there are levels of abstraction in the way, get rid of them. If there are levels of hierarchy in the way – work below them. Key is to simply observe things for what they are.
From stories of wisdom involving Akbar and Birbal, Birbal often took on a civilian disguise to travel the state and learn first hand what isn’t working.
Learn more about it here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genchi_Genbutsu and how it came to be attributed to Taiichi Ohno and the Toyota Production System.