A Learning Organisation: Plan Do Check Act (A3 Thinking) and Systematic Root Cause Analysis
A learning and constantly improving organisation should be the end goal of any lean transformation. The key element to achieve this is to instil a culture in which problems are regarded as opportunities for improvement rather than sources for trouble. In a dynamic organisation problems are first made visible and then systematically tackled by understanding the root causes of the problems and eliminating them through a simple improvement cycle called “Plan, Do, Check and Act”.
This improvement cycle forces people into a systematic structure of understanding the root causes of a problem, finding possible countermeasures, testing these countermeasures and refining them based on the conclusions of the test results. As most operational environments are regarded as organic and not always 100% predictable systems, this method ensures a quick ‘learning by testing’ process supported by data. In this way complicated and lengthy in depth planning processes do not stand in the way of progress.
From shop floor staff to board level.
Examples of some key lessons addressed in this training are as follows:
- Make your Problems visible
- Grasp the Situation: Understanding the Problem with Data (Trend Analysis)
- Root Cause Analysis – 5 Why and Ishikawa Diagram
- Learning fast through Plan Do Check and Act
- Applying A3 thinking
Understanding the fundamental causes of your organisational problems is inevitable on the way to a lean organisation. Too many organisations spend up to 100% of their time solving superficial symptoms of underlying problems and wonder for years why they are not progressing and why there are constantly new problems surfacing. Getting this wrong and underestimating this core principle of root cause elimination is one of the top reasons for failing lean transformation programs.