A3 problem solving technique by Mr. Anup Gandhi


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A3 problem solving technique by Mr. Anup Gandhi

  1. 1. 1 For Sustained Organizational Benefits
  2. 2. A3- Thinking Structured Problem Solving Effective Decision Making It’s all about 2 Coaching & Respecting Sustained Organizational Benefits
  3. 3. 3 Whatever resources your competitors may have at their disposal, the only factor that will allow them to compete with your leadership in the market is the Speed and Accuracy of their ‘Problem Solving and Decision Making.’
  4. 4. 4 The winning weaponry in your arsenal is ‘Your Ability to Think!’ & ‘Your ability of effectively resolving problems with speed!’
  5. 5. 5 Every organization has handful people who resolve problems to the best of their ability! Do they resolve problems effectively? What are the implications of ineffective Problem solving?
  6. 6. 6 Implications of Ineffective Problem Solving Errors, Rework Rejects High Cost Low Margins Machine Break downs Delays, Miss outs Long Deliveries Customer complaints Low Market Share High Scrap & Wastage Low Productivity Do you see any of these above listed issues in your organization? Why are they not getting resolved for a long by your people? Is it not making it more difficult to compete in the market?
  7. 7. 7 Current Realities:  Problem fixing does not aim at diminishing the likelihood of recurrence of the problems. Repeated recurrence take away precious resources of the organization. And….leave frustration behind.  Scarcity of resources constrain the organization to initiate long lasting systemic improvements.  And…..Organization gets pushed in to vicious circle……limits the organization's growth.
  8. 8. 8 Cascading Impacts: Ineffective Problem solving Ineffective Business Results Unhappy Customers Unhappy Employer Unhappy Employees No one would ever like such situation to continue! Then …. what do we do?
  9. 9. 9 To get Better Business Results, Satisfied Customers & Competent Employees Learn & Practice We recommend Everybody to
  10. 10. 1 Daniel Kahneman in his research work “Thinking Fast and Slow” found that our minds use following two modes of thinking. 1.The automatic, instant, intuitive, involuntary responses provided by what he terms our “System 1” thinking, and 2. The more controlled effortful, analytical and considered thoughts supplied by our “System 2” thinking.
  11. 11. 1 Consider following two mathematical problems: 1) 2 + 2 = ? 2) 17 X 24 = ? At the first problem, the number 4 sprang to your mind with no efforts. But as you went to consider the second, no immediate answer came to mind. You know, you could solve it, but without spending time on it you would not be certain that answer is 408. Did you pursue your efforts to find correct answer for the second problem? These two problems beautifully illustrate the difference between our System 1 and System 2 thinking.
  12. 12. A, l3 , C, ,l2, l3, l4, , Let us do a simple exercise: Quickly tell the missing ___, character in the following two boxes. A, l3 , C, D ,l2, l3, l4,l5, Why did we arrive at this solution? Our System1 is referencing a learned pattern! Shape of B was ambiguous but you jumped to a conclusion about its identity and was not aware of System1, effortlessly and incorrectly resolved this case of ambiguity for you! You made a clear choice and you didn’t know it! We often see many examples of people ‘jumping to cause’ because of learned patterns woven into their System1 minds.
  13. 13. 1 Wherever possible, we will favour System1 thinking as it requires no effort, rather than System2, which is taxing , difficult & brings back unpleasant past memories. But the challenge comes when the issue or the problem that requires thoughts going beyond our direct experience! Our System 1 ‘Judgements’ will have value in a very familiar situations where we might have developed expert intuition.
  14. 14. 1 Findings of research study: 1. Our Thinking gets unconsciously influenced. 2. We are wired to jump to conclusions, to minimise effort, System1 will build the most logical and appealing solution it can, based on your store of experience. 3. “What we see is all there is” based on the amount & quality of limited data quickly available at our disposal. 4. We wrestle with what ‘Good’ looks like. 5. We are prone to answer the easy but wrong substituted question because we never want to be short of answer.
  15. 15. 1 • Our System1 minds have evolved in such a way as to priorities SPEED over ACCURACY when faced with problems and decisions. • All of us, by nature, are used to taking an almost instantaneous call on whether it should be Fight, Flight or Freeze in a given situation, rather than taking the time to think through the real nature of the threat and calculate the precise probability of the likely outcome. • But can intuitive System1 be relied upon to ensure the future success of the complex organizations for which we work today, in the same way?
  16. 16. 1 Ss Structured Thinking To change our thinking gear in to System2 thinking, we need to ask an individual, the four kinds of questions, which systematically build the thinking pattern for system 2!
  17. 17. 1 FOUR QUESTIONS 1. What’s going on?  Begging for clarification  Asking for sorting out and breaking down mix of issues  Mapping of current events seeing the real things in the workplace, just the facts! Evolving & confirming:  Background of the problem (Why are we talking about?)  Real Problem Statement (What is the real problem?)  Target Statement (What we would like to achieve?) This is a means of achieving and maintaining a control on our mind. It enables to impose order and enables us to establish priorities and decide when and how to take actions that make good sense and produce good results. No rush to conclude any cause or any solution of the problem at this stage!
  18. 18. 1 FOUR QUESTIONS 2. Why did this happen? Indicating the need for cause and effect thinking. This is a second basic thinking pattern.  Use of Cause & Effect Diagram.  Use of Why-Why analysis & preparing the Issue Tree.  Design of experiments to explore correlations. This enables us to move from observing the effects of problem to understanding its causes so that we take appropriate actions to correct the problem or lessen the effects. Strictly restrain from looking for any solution at this stage!
  19. 19. 1 FOUR QUESTIONS 3. Which course of actions should we take? This question implies that some choice must be made, third basic pattern of thinking.  Root cause/s need to be countered with solutions.  Developing different alternatives for the actions.  Choosing the best option for speed, ease & accuracy? This enables us to decide on the course of action most likely to accomplish a particular goal. This is the time where solutions are sought for!
  20. 20. 2 FOUR QUESTIONS 4. What lies ahead? Looking to the future, the fourth basic thinking pattern, enables us to assess problems that might happen.  Tracking the effectiveness of the solution.  Tracking the new issues & challenges evolved  Preparing for the decision that might be necessary next month, next year or in five years time. This enables us to ensure long lasting results !
  21. 21. 2 What is A3 Thinking: • A3 is a size of paper, signifying single sheet of paper used to describe the story of problem solving. • Contents are fairly standard and in logical order. • In general, the steps followed are: 1. Identify background & depict the current state with clear non conformance from standard. 2. Setting the goal or the target for the future state 3. Analysis to find root causes for the deviations and develop the counter measures. 4. Implement the action plan for counter measures and verify the results. 5. Standardize in the event of positive results else repeat the cycle.
  22. 22. 2 A3 Thinking:  The process of developing rigorous thinking & facts finding.  Directing the person to go & see himself the things that matters, in the real workplace.  Directing the concerned persons for actual working & then developing the documents.  Objectivity is a central component to A3 thinking mind-set. Problem solvers test their understanding of situation for assumptions, biases & attempts to reconcile multiple view points to create co-constructed reality.
  23. 23. 2 A3 Thinking:  Results are not favored over the process used to achieve them, nor is the process elevated above results. Both are necessary and critical to effective organizational improvement as well as personal development.  With A3 thinking the process gets refined and repeated for better results in the future.  In A3 thinking you are forced to synthesize the learning acquired in the course of researching the problem or opportunity. A3 thinking encourages the visualization of the key synthesized information, which aids the synthesis & distillation itself.
  24. 24. 2 A3 Thinking:  Use of standard A3 formats reinforces a generalized pattern of problem solving, common across the organization, establishes a high level of consistency across organizational units.  Consistent approaches speed up communication & aid in establishing shared understanding.  The individual is mentored to develop a deep understanding of purpose, goals, needs and priorities of the organization and understanding of situation in a sufficiently broad context to promote the overall good of the organization.  A solution that solves problem in one part to create another in other part is avoided.
  25. 25. 2 A3 Thinking:  The effective implementation of a change hinges on obtaining prior consensus among the parties involved.  Putting key facts of situation, the thinking process, cause & effect relations, the proposed actions, in writing gives each person affected something concrete to which he or she can agree or disagree.  A3 thinking involves 3D communications; horizontal, vertical & back & forth in time. Taking all these in to considerations results in mutually agreeable & innovative solutions.  Implicit requests are made for the individual to sacrifice some of his views for the greater good to foster alignment of the organisation.
  26. 26. Title: Dept.: Div.: 2. Background: Owner: Senior Sponsor: Co-owners: Coach: 6. Counter Measures: 3. Problem Statement: 4. Target Statement 5. Cause Analysis: 7. Plan Of Actions: 8. Results: 9. Standardize: 10. Next Plan: Owner Signatures: Coach Signature-- A3- Structured Problem Solving Story Board
  27. 27. Title: What are we talking about? Dept.: Div.: 2. Background: Business Reason for choosing the specific issue for resolution: Owner: Senior Sponsor: Co-owners: Coach: 6. Counter Measures: what’s all countermeasures against the real root causes will you suggest to achieve target conditions. 3. Problem Statement: What’s the actual pain/symptom being felt? Just the facts! Break up and choose the problem in manageable pieces.4. Target Statement: Goal/Target you would like to achieve , how much & when. 5. Cause Analysis: what’s all causing the symptoms? Get hold of real root causes. 7. Plan Of Actions: what’s all actions you are planning with by whom & by when to implement countermeasures? 8. Results: what’s are the result against targets? 9. Standardize: Standardize new successful process & share. 10. Next Plan: what’s the new plan for improvement? Owner Signatures: Coach Signature-- A3- Structured Problem Solving Story Board
  28. 28. 28 This methodology is based upon our learning from Toyota Practices ! These workshops are designed & conducted by Anup Gandhi, Operational Excellence Transformation Leader, based on his A3 thinking, Coaching & Execution experience. More than 1500 Employees got trained by now. More than 500 real life problem cases are successfully resolved by the participants using Structured Problem Solving with continued handholding coaching through “Workplace-workshops”.