Do No Further Harm: tips for taking some of the pain out of A3 reviews

Presented By:

David Verble

Session Description

If you have to do A3s you’ve been there – in the hot seat.  Notice I said “have to.” I know few people who jump at the chance to do an A3 and a large part of it is the experience of an A3 review. You have the responsibility for addressing a problem or leading an improvement.  You’ve worked hard with your ears, eyes, and legs to create a story of how you believe it can be done.  You know there’s no perfect A3 but when you put yours forward for review it gets torn apart.  You usually get a lot of corrections, suggestions, other solutions, advice, other things to think about, and feedback that implies you have low thinking and communicating ability.  And when you leave the review you still have the responsibility but little idea what to do with your A3 to get your thinking across.

You can’t change what other people do but when you are the reviewer there are a few simple (not always easy) things you can do to make your review comments both helpful and respectful.  The key is to remember that an A3 tells the story of the creator’s work and thinking of how a problem can be solved or an improvement made. Your role as a reviewer is to create a situation where you and the author look at the A3 together to help her or him recognize where the story is not as clear and effective as he/she wants and how it might be made stronger.  Your job is not to tell her or him how to FIX their A3.

This session will introduce the following techniques you can use to make your comments in A3 reviews less painful and more helpful:

  • 2 questions you can ask yourself when you are about to jump in and offer your own ideas that will hopefully help you hit
  • A way to distinguish between helpful and not-so-helpful comments in a review and then make a mid-course correction if needed.
  • A simple twist for turning a disrespectful question (closed, leading corrective, suggestive) into a more helpful one
  • A way listening with curiosity can lead you to ask questions that prompt the A3 creator’s awareness and thinking about the PDCA Problem Solving story in her/his A3.

To get the most benefit from this session and contribute to everybody’s learning, bring an A3 you are working on with you (or at least a Grasp the Problem Situation section)

Facilitator Bio:

David Verble, has been a performance improvement consultant and coach since 2000. Prior to that, he worked for North American Toyota for fourteen years, first as an internal change agent and later as the Manager of Human Resource Development for North American Manufacturing.

He has been on the workshop faculty of the Lean Enterprise Institute for 14 years and has done presentations and workshops to support a number of the LEI affiliates in the Lean Global Network. David has worked with clients in manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and higher education in North America, Europe, the Middle-East, Asia and Australia.  His programs focus on process management and improvement, leadership development, coaching, building PDCA problem solving skills, strategy deployment and support of cultural change for lean.

David is a founding partner in the Lean Transformation Group (LTG).)  LTG uses value stream mapping a tool to help clients learn the problem solving and leadership skills to improve their processes and increase performance of their businesses.  David is co-author with his LTG partners of two facilitator guides for leading value stream performance improvement projects, Mapping to See and Perfecting Patients Journeys.