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A3 Template
By: Sobek, Durward | January 16, 2010
A3s; Forms and Templates
Thanks to Associate Professor Durward Sobek, Mechanical and Engineering Dept.  , Montana State Univ.  , for sharing this A3 template and illustration of an improvement cycle for using it. More »
A3 Templates from Lean Enterprise Institute
By: Shook, John | January 16, 2010
A3s; Forms and Templates
Templates courtesy of the Lean Enterprise Institute:Dowload the A3 Templates:  A3 Template (PowerPoint File) A3 Template (Word File) More »
Detailed A3 Template (from Managing to Learn)
By: Shook, John | July 19, 2010
A3s; Forms and Templates
A PDF of the A3 template provided in the book Managing to Learn. More »
PDSA A3 Template (from On the Mend)
By: Toussaint, John and Roger Gerard | June 9, 2010
A3s; Forms and Templates
A3 Template, in Excel, following the PDSA cycle.  From On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry. More »
Action Planning Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
Forms and Templates
When doing value-stream improvement, once there is a shared vision of a future state, you will still need to identify the specific changes that need to be made and translate those changes into clearly stated goals and actions (i.  e.  , the means) to achieve those goals.  Once you have agreed on the goals and targets, then you can identify the specific methods and action steps you think will help you achieve the goals. These action steps and targets constitute the action plan to achieve a specific goal.  If this type of planning is new to your team, the following suggestions and More »
Denver Health Becomes Profitable After Using Toyota as a Template
February 3, 2012
Articles
In a story about the lean healthcare success at Denver Health, Governing  cites five lean principles championed by the Lean Enterprise Institute: (1) Identify the value of the product for the customer; (2) Map the process for creating the product and eliminate elements without value; (3) Create a flow for the value-creating steps; (4) Let customers pull value from that flow; and (5) Begin the process again and seek perfection. More »
Dr. Atul Gawande NPR Interview on "Checklists"
By: National Public Radio | January 6, 2010
Articles; Audio
Dr. Atul Gawande's new book, "The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right" has many conceptual ties to Lean. He was recently interviewed on NPR (text and audio available), where he talks about the benefits of checklists (a form of "standardized work" and also a form of "mistake proofing"). He also discusses the challenges of getting this powerful methodology to be more widely adopted. More »
End of Project Review Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
Forms and Templates
The end of your first round of value-stream improvement is a good time to step back and reflect on your project—what’s been done, what still needs to be done, and what it means for the value stream you targeted for improvement and for your entire organization. The end-of-project review and reflection brings your PDCA cycle of improvement full circle, and prepares you to start the PDCA cycle over again.  In contrast to reviews during a project, which enable a team to assess execution of the plan and progress toward outcomes, the end-of-project review and reflection is intended for all involved to More »
Following The Toyota Way, For Better Or Worse
By: Kuhn, Anthony | May 27, 2009
Articles; Audio
The article and audio present an overview of how Toyota is dealing with its worst year since the 1930s. The company has cut production to keep inventories low, cut overtime pay, and cut bonuses. In contrast to GM and Chrysler, the carmaker has not laid off any full-time staff and has not sought government assistance. Efficiency and thrift have been the company's saving virtues, although some critics believe that Toyota has taken these virtues a bit too far. (Posted at NPR.  ) More »
Goal Development Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
Forms and Templates
When doing value-stream improvement, once there is a shared vision of a future state, you will still need to identify the specific changes that need to be made and turn proposed changes into formal improvement goals.  Keep in mind that goals are not actions. Goals are the outcomes or results you want when you complete your implementation of your future state. You need to remain focused on the outcomes you want to achieve, not just actions you plan to take. To stay focused on outcomes, link the change you plan to make with the specific purpose for making the change.  More »
Master Schedule and Action Plan Template for One Goal (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
Forms and Templates
When doing value-stream improvement, once there is a shared vision of a future state, you will still need to identify the specific changes that need to be made and translate those changes into clearly stated goals and actions (i.  e.  , the means) to achieve those goals.  Once you have agreed on the goals and actions, you need to develop a system to manage your improvement project. One option is to use this template in your project tracking center so you can track both goals and action items on the same form.  Perfecting Patient Journeys, from which this template is More »
Master Schedule Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
Forms and Templates
As you develop a system to manage your improvement project, think about developing measures to answer three questions:Are we on schedule? (Level 1)Are we doing what we said we would do the way we said we would do it? (Level 2)If we are doing what we said we would do the way we said we would do it, are we having the impact we expect to achieve? (Level 3)Are we on schedule? (Level 1, Plan execution)“Are we on schedule?” should be answered during regular informal checks and formal reviews. Answering the question and communicating the answer can be easier if More »
Root Cause Template
By: Shook, John and David Verble | June 13, 2013
Forms and Templates
When trying to solve a problem, you want to identify underlying causes, which will help you to prevent fires rather than just extinguish them. By identifying the underlying causes down to the root causes, you can reduce the likelihood that a given problem will recur.  The most common root-cause analysis technique in lean is the "Five Why's.  " This is practice of asking why repeatedly whenever a problem is encountered in order to get beyond the obvious symptoms to discover the root cause.  For instance, Taiichi Ohno gives this example about a machine that stopped working (Ohno 1988, p. 17):Why did More »
The End Of The Line For GM-Toyota Joint Venture
By: Langfitt, Frank | March 27, 2010
Articles
LEI Founder and Chairman Jim Womack and Senior Advisor John Shook are among the key experts interviewed for this look at the success of the Toyota-GM joint venture and what prevented GM from quickly deploying lessons that may have prevented bankruptcy.    ("All Things Considered," March 26, 2010.  )   More »
Value Proposition Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
Forms and Templates
A lean value proposition is used in value-stream improvement projects. It will help you and your team:Align the stakeholders around what will be included in addressing the problem,Identify the stakeholders who will be added to the project team and actively engaged in creating the current- and future-state value-stream maps,Identify additional stakeholders necessary to drive the implementation of the future state,Serve as an agreement—a proof of consensus—on the specific problem to be solved, and with the problem statement serve as authorization for the entire project.  The value proposition is not just a document to record discussions. It should be used to drive More »
Waste Walk Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
Forms and Templates
It is a maxim in lean thinking that to fix any problem you must first see the waste. However, the longer you have worked in a system, the harder it is to see the waste around you.  Taking a “waste walk” is one way to make the waste visible again. A waste walk is simply a planned visit to where work is being performed to observe what’s happening and to note the waste. It differs from go-see activities in that you are specifically looking for waste.  Common objectives for your waste walks include:Validate the problems pointed out in the development More »
Don't Present Your A3: Share Your A3
By: Ethington, Eric | December 11, 2012
Articles
A3 Coach Eric Ethington explains why he encourages people to share rather than present their A3s--and explains the reasons why this distinction helps foster productive teamwork and learning. More »
To A3 or Not to A3
By: Norbert Majerus | February 9, 2016
Columns
"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
Columns
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 »
Tools Are Not the Purpose
By: Ethington, Eric | October 24, 2011
Articles
Coach Eric Ethington shares his experience about learning how A3 thinking must always be the guiding principle when using A3 (and related) tools More »
A3 Action Plan Form (from Getting the Right Things Done)
By: Dennis, Pascal | December 11, 2006
A3s; Forms and Templates
The action plan template helps us define the who, what, when, where, and how of our plan on one page. It also helps us track progress and highlight problems so we can take action. Action plans help us deploy our mother A3 strategies effectively. We need to ask: What does this mother A3 mean for my section? How do I translate the mother A3 into meaningful tactics? Once we've written our first draft action plan, we need to engage our team members by asking, "what do you think?" Thus, the plan becomes their plan—creating ownership is fundamental to deployment.  Some More »
3 Common Problems in Government that A3 Thinking Can Help Solve
By: Gavin Martin | September 1, 2016
Columns
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 »
A3 Coaching: What Feedback Would You Give?
By: Lean Leaper | May 30, 2017
Columns
You be our coach: what feedback/coaching would you offer on our example A3? We'd like to hear from you! More »
A3 Example from "Making Hospitals Work"
By: Baker, Marc and Ian Taylor | August 25, 2009
A3s
This is an example high-level planning A3 from the fictitious hospital in the book Making Hospitals Work. Click on the "read more" link, below, to download a PDF file. More »
A3 Status Review Form (from Getting the Right Things Done)
By: Dennis, Pascal | December 11, 2006
A3s; Forms and Templates
A current-status or yearend review A3 is a one-page storyboard on 11-inch by 17-inch paper that summarizes the status of an important strategic planning initiative, such as our Customer Satisfaction strategy. Normally, we use them at our midyear and yearend strategic planning reviews.  The yearend review A3 comprises two main boxes: the top box provides an overview of how we're doing with respect to our critical end-of-pipe metrics (e.  g. revenue, profit, customer delivery, quality rates, lost time injury rate, etc.  ) including the target and actual measures, a rating, and a brief explanation. The second box provides an overview More »
A3 Strategy Form (from Getting the Right Things Done)
By: Dennis, Pascal | December 11, 2006
A3s; Forms and Templates
A strategy A3 is a one-page storyboard on 11-inch by 17-inch paper that helps us tell our strategy "story.  " Logic flows from top left to bottom right, and each box leads to the next one. Some people might look at a strategy A3 and find it too complicated or busy. This is a normal reaction; we're condensing a lot on to one page. But you'll find that good A3 stories have an intuitive flow and can be told in five to 10 minutes.   Getting the Right Things Done, from which this example is taken, Pascal Dennis outlines the nuts More »
A3 Thinking Roundup
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | August 9, 2016
Columns
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: Tool or Process? Both....
By: Richardson, Tracey | October 14, 2011
Articles
Coach Tracey Richardson explains why an A3 is both a useful tool that captures and shares the results of an investigation--and is also a thinking process that cannot be ignored.    More »
An A3 Antidote to the Opiate Epidemic
By: Ryan Howard | December 15, 2016
Columns
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 »
An interview with Gary Convis on A3 thinking and lean leadership
By: Convis, Gary | February 2, 2012
Articles
Lean veteran Gary Convis explains how the A3 report serves as a flexible tool that develops leaders and aligns important goals across plants, divisions, and even countries.    More »
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