A3 Columns (118)

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A3 Thinking Roundup
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | August 9, 2016
Following last week's immensely popular Posts on the origins of A3 thinking, LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld compiles a collection of the very best reads on A3 thinking, from the Lean Post and beyond. More »
A3 Coaching: What Feedback Would You Give?
By: Lean Leaper | May 30, 2017
You be our coach: what feedback/coaching would you offer on our example A3? We'd like to hear from you! More »
Test Your PDCA Thinking By Reading Your A3 Backwards
By: Tracey Richardson | July 11, 2014
Pretty sure you've got a good A3, but want to test the logic of your thinking? Want some help coaching another person through their A3 thinking? Tracey Richardon shares her wisdom. More »
How We A3 at Goodyear
By: Tedd Cowling, Norbert Majerus, Rob Schott and Damien Schreurs | October 18, 2016
Just as lean is situational, A3s are situational too - companies like Goodyear have a variety of types of A3s that they use based on the specific challenge that is being faced. Four Goodyear insiders share more. More »
To A3 or Not to A3
By: Norbert Majerus | February 9, 2016
"Not every tool is a hammer, and not every problem is a nail," writes Norbert Majerus of The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. "Not every situation warrants the use of an A3.  " Read more to learn Norbert's preferred approach to gauging whether or not an A3 will help in a given situation. More »
Want to Instill A3 Thinking? Teach A3 Behaviors
By: Andrew Quibell | June 25, 2015
A3 thinking is all about A3 behaviors, says auto-manufacturing veteran Andrew Quibell. "Only by applying a step by step mentality, being tenacious in purpose, and looking for data/facts do you arrive at a root cause you and others can clearly see and believe," he writes. See the story boards Quibell uses to develop A3 thinking behaviors in others. More »
Back to Basics: Jim Womack on Why You Should Never Create an A3 Alone
By: James P. Womack | August 30, 2017
In this eletter from 2008, Jim Womack (in honor of the then-recent publication of "Managing to Learn") shares invaluable advice for a problem that too many A3 writers get hung up on. Read more to learn why you should never be a hero and try to write an A3 alone. More »
Reflecting to Learn: Takeaways and Reflections on the A3 Process
By: John Y. Shook | August 3, 2016
In the wake of yesterday's interview with Mr. Isao Yoshino on the roots of the A3 process at Toyota, LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook shares more context about A3s and how they came to be. More »
Developing Better Habits using A3 Thinking
By: Katie Anderson | April 6, 2017
Think A3 thinking is only for solving organizational problems? Think again! LEI faculty Katie Anderson shares her secrets for using A3s as a tool for structuring personal-development coaching. More »
The Hidden Benefit to A3 Thinking
By: José R. Ferro | May 12, 2015
"A3 thinking helps us think, solve problems, and strategize," writes José Ferro. "But it also helps us calm down, concentrate, and think deeply. It lets the mind flow.  " Read why the latter was so important to one of Ferro's coaching clients, a new CEO who was struggling with his own leadership. More »
3 Common Problems in Government that A3 Thinking Can Help Solve
By: Gavin Martin | September 1, 2016
I’m always surprised at how little the public sector uses A3 thinking to tackle their toughest challenges. It’s the same thing every time – the government often tries to solve symptoms, rather than analyzing root causes and establishing fixes for them. More »
An A3 Antidote to the Opiate Epidemic
By: Ryan Howard | December 15, 2016
Opiate use in America has been spiking at an alarming rate. Many healthcare organizations, such as the University of Michigan Medical School, are trying to fight the surge in use by controlling how many opioids they prescribe to their patients. Ryan Howard led a project to curb the number of opiate pills released to their community via the Medical School. Read more. More »
Create a Real A3, Do More Than Fill In Boxes
By: Tracey Richardson | March 12, 2014
Is your A3 a piece of paper? or is a document you've created with your team to "share wisdom" with the rest of your organization? Read more from lean coach Tracey Richardson on how to create an effective A3 and why it's so important to understand the A3 as a thinking process, not a tool. More »
How the A3 Came to Be Toyota’s Go-To Management Process for Knowledge Work (intro by John Shook)
By: John Y. Shook and Isao Yoshino | August 2, 2016
A3 thinking is synonymous with Toyota. Yet many often wonder how exactly this happened. Even if we know A3 thinking was created at Toyota, how did it become so firmly entrenched in the organization’s culture? Retired Toyota leader Mr. Isao Yoshino spearheaded a special program that made A3s Toyota’s foremost means of problem-solving. Read more. More »
Planning Meetings Around A3s
By: Andrew Quibell | January 31, 2017
"How many times have you sat in a meeting to discuss solving a pressing, urgent or serious problem – and yet a full hour later find that you’ve gotten nowhere?" asks Andrew Quibell. He's been in that situation more times than he cares to remember - but luckily he now shares a clever strategy that gave his meetings a productivity boost. More »
Using A3 Thinking to Solve Recruiting Problems: An interview with Gavin Martin
By: Cameron Ford and Gavin Martin | December 1, 2015
It's a shame that A3s are often thought of as being meant to solve manufacturing problems. The reality is they can be used to explore and resolve challenges in any industry or field, including recruiting, as Gavin Martin has seen. Here's his story of using A3 thinking to solve a costly recruitment problem at his organization. More »
When A3s Get Personal
By: Chet Marchwinski | September 20, 2017
Think A3s are just for organizational problems? Think again. Katie Anderson discusses how to adapt A3 thinking to guide our personal development. More »
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways – on a Valentine’s Day A3
By: Ernie Richardson and Tracey Richardson | February 14, 2018
The question lean practitioners Tracy and Ernie Richardson get more than any other isn’t about problem-solving, takt time, standardization, or their book. It’s about their “lean” marriage. More »
Do You Practice Routine Personal Development?
By: Katie Anderson | August 22, 2017
Once we learn lean we often start seeing it everywhere, even in places we might least expect it. In this instance, Katie Anderson saw a connection to personal A3 thinking -- in a musician talking about how he practices the trumpet. Read more. More »
Problem Framing at the Fuzzy Front-End of Lean Product Design
By: Will Evans | August 20, 2014
Lean emphasizes problem solving, but many individuals and teams just have trouble coming up with an accurate problem statement. In his first piece for the Post, design thinker Will Evans explains the "4W method" he's begun using to help teams surface their assumptions and agree on a shared problem statement before ever thinking about a new target condition. More »
Enabling Change Through the Power of Story
By: Roberto Priolo | May 15, 2015
Roberto Priolo, editor of Planet Lean, shares why not just reflection, but writing (and storytelling) is so helpful for the lean practitioner. In short, a good story - writing, reading, or hearing it - helps us remember and therefore retain new learning. More »
How to Develop Lean Leaders and Still Get Work Done
By: Eric Ethington | January 16, 2014
Three years ago the leadership team at Cardinal Health asked LEI to help them create a program specifically designed to develop lean leaders within the company. Coach Eric Ethington shares a bit about how the program works. More »
How To Get Out of the Habit of Telling
By: Katie Anderson | October 24, 2014
How do we get out of the habit of just “fixing” the immediate problem at hand ourselves (or telling others how we think they should do something), and replace it with the habit of developing others to solve a problem? Lean coach Katie Anderson weighs in. More »
No Do, No Learn
By: Eric Ethington | August 21, 2014
Developing new skills and capabilities at work requires regular, ongoing practice. But despite our good intentions, many of us struggle practicing new skills and behaviors. Lean coach Eric Ethington reflects on why. More »
The (Real) Lean Firefighter: Bringing Lean to the Grand Rapids Fire Department
By: Brad Brown | November 7, 2017
Brad Brown had no lean experience when he joined the Grand Rapids Fire Department (GRFD) in 2003. But as the Great Recession went into full swing and budgets were slashed, he discovered lean – and realized it was just what the GRFD needed to weather the recession. This is his story. More »
The Magnificent 7 of Lean Manufacturing
By: Andrew Quibell | March 20, 2018
How do you establish stability on a shop floor that’s chaotic? Andrew Quibell recommends “7 manufacturing basics,” his personal selection of lean improvement tools, methodologies, and techniques. And they also boost people’s confidence, helping them sustain improvements. More »
Thinking Fast and Slow and Lean with John Shook
By: John Y. Shook | January 25, 2018
On the 20th anniversary of Lean Thinking, John Shook delivered this Lean Talk on the principles the book introduced, how they developed over time, and the invaluable lessons the book still holds today. He also explores the concept of lean as a mindset and connects it to the models of thinking introduced by Daniel Kahneman in his book, "Thinking, Fast and Slow.  " More »
Why Effective Problem Solving Begins With a Good Problem Statement
By: Dave LaHote | January 7, 2015
"Let’s solve world peace" or "let’s state our predetermined solution as a problem" aren't real problem statements, says Dave LaHote. Read why a good problem statement is so important, why it's harder than you think to come up with one, and learn how to write a better one. More »
2016 in Reflection: Your Favorite Lean Posts of 2016
By: Cameron Ford | December 22, 2016
With the end of the year fast approaching, it's time for our annual look back on 12 months of content on the Lean Post. Business Editor Cam Ford reflects on the past year with the most popular articles of 2016. More »
A Good Night’s Sleep
By: Eric Ethington | August 14, 2013
How often do you find yourself jumping to a solution without understanding the problem? If we're really interested in solving problem, we have to slow down. More »
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