Sunday, November 25, 2012

4 "Learn by Doing" Advantages of A3

How do you hit a golf ball consistently? Do you sign up for a certification on-line? Do you read books about it? Agreed, you might get a lesson or two, but even then, you learn by doing.

That is one of the biggest reasons I loved doing and now love teaching A3. It gives people an opportunity to learn how to solve problems and move toward flow by actually doing it. Here is a partial list of all of the things people learn by doing A3, not reading about it:

1. The lean tools. Nothing makes the tools user-friendly more than using the right tool to solve a real problem. Let's take value stream mapping. You can be an expert on Acme Stamping (no offense to "Learning to See"), but nothing drives the tool home better than using it to help define your current condition in A3! I love drawing a map on a piece of paper as I walk the process to see where the bottlenecks are. (I get goosebumps thinking about it!) Nothing reinforces the concepts of kanban/supermarket better than using it in your implementation plan to stop you from running out of stuff!

2. Teamwork. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone say that someone else is not a team player. You want to make a team player? Get them working on teams! A3 gives people the opportunity to learn how to work on a lot of teams. If you do 350+ A3s per year, which is very do-able, I'm here to tell you people become GREAT team players. People learn how to be accountable to each other. They learn how inter-departmental thinking is greater than silo thinking. They learn and practice respect for people. A3 "forces" team work. It's the whole idea! (consensus thinking. leveraging your diversity, etc.)

3. Root cause analysis. Nothing is more exciting than watching an experienced A3 team do root cause analysis. 5 Why, fishbone, whatever. Root cause is a team activity to do it well, and people that do it dozens of times a month get to be world class at it. You can't read about it or pass an on-line test to get good. 

4. Public speaking. It has been said that after death and spiders, people fear speaking in front of others most. Again, A3 quietly forces this. After a team uses A3 to turn a less than great current condition into a much better target condition, they need to teach their peers how and what they learned. Sometimes the A3 leader presents in front of a small group. Sometimes it is in front of the ENTIRE company. This is done with some agita. The first time. By the fourth or fifth time, not so much agita. The best part of people surviving the closing is that they make outstanding A3 team members on other people's teams. 

Like Nike always says, "just do it"!

    One Day Hands-on Workshop, October 10, COACHING LEAN 

No comments:

Post a Comment