Why Do We Have a Draft Deadline?

What is Required in Drafts?
Although A3 Thinking is not mere completion of an A3 as a task (i.e. “Do Your A3”), we ask for a handwritten or typed draft as evidence of learning and to support intentional practice of A3 Thinking and construction of an A3.  We ask attendees to submit a draft that demonstrates practice, written from header through follow-up, and it does NOT need to be final or implemented.

Why Do We Assign Draft Homework?
We find leaders learn and develop skills better with the “gift” of a deadline, which allows:

  1. Intentional practice over a brief interval
  2. Clear mini-goals in support of long-term mastery
  3. Learning and forgetting, followed by relearning and practice through labs
  4. Collective motivation and support – From teachers, coaches, peers & sponsors
  5. Feedback – in follow-up coaching or 1:1s with Sponsors
  6. Recognition and accountability for your progress

What can learners do after submitting a draft?

  1. Learners may attend an A3 Review learning lab to catchball and receive feedback with a coach
  2. Attend A3 Learning Labs year-round
  3. We will send CME/CEUs after you submit our Post-Workshop Survey
  4. Catchball with stakeholders
  5. Follow-Up with your sponsor about next steps.

Thanks again, and we look forward to working with you!
ZSFG A3 Thinking Team

3 Things You Should Do to Prepare for a Workshop

1. Pick Up and Read Managing to Learn and Humble Inquiry – We will discuss in class! Pick up a copy from a colleague or the ZSFG Library. [Library Info]

2. Identify the “Right” problem for Your A3 – You will develop an A3 on your chosen problem. Identifying the “right” problem is critical. Meet with your sponsor and answer 4 questions (Hint: BACKGROUND section of your A3):

  • “What is my focused problem?” Choose a defined problem where you have motivation, ownership and ability to change in the next several months.  It may be one piece of a larger problem or connected to an existing A3.
  • “Why is this problem an important priority now?” (And what things in your department will be less important?) Specifically, how is the problem aligned with True North, organizational strategies, existing A3s, historical events, external pressures like policy changes?
  • “How am I going to measure this problem and success?” What data demonstrates there is a problem?  How will you know when you have improved?
  • “Who are the people who own, impact or are affected by this problem?” Which stakeholders do I will need to engage to understand this problem?

3. Sign Up Now for Our A3 Learning Labs – Reserve a Space Here You are busy, but reserve a space now in our March A3 Learning Labs between Day 1 and 2. Labs are designed to support ongoing practice and 1:1 coaching. The first labs support your practice and creation of swimlane process maps. [Reserve a Space in a Learning Lab Here]

Here is a Link to a Similar Message we sent to our Latest Cohort

New A3 Thinking Templates!

Check out our A3 Toolbox for new templates:
– General A3 Template with small revision
– A fishbone diagram designed in a table format
– Several team exercises to support completion of Background, Current Conditions, Analysis
– A3-Status Reports including our PIPS Committee Templates
– New Personal Development Plan A3s and A3-SRs
– Templates used for our Quality & Leadership Academy Posters and Housestaff Incentive Program

Our goal is to support your practice and habit of A3 Thinking!
Please contact us and share your latest innovations!

How can you support your A3 Owners?

One of the most important factors in successful learning and implementation of A3 thinking is having the support of a Supervisor or Sponsor. Here are five ways you can support your A3 Owner:

  1. Catchball: Find 30 minutes 1:1 or in a meeting to practice humble inquiry and coaching. Use clarifying and open-ended questions to support the A3 owner’s thinking and ownership.
  2. Attend Learning Labs with A3 Owner: (All are invited; All are learners and coaches; See Weekly Lab Schedule to refresh or help map current conditions, analyze or plan PDSAs)
  3. Ask A3 owners about their learning and practice of A3 Thinking (i.e. observing Gemba, mapping process, measuring problems, and catchballing with stakeholders) See Workshop Expectations
  4. Remove Barriers so A3 Owners can attend A3 labs and Workshop Day #2 as scheduled, complete a first draft within 30 days, and implement their A3 plans with PDSA. See A3 Thinking Schedule
  5. Model Your Own Practice of A3 Thinking – Revise, Catchball and Implement Your Own A3. See A3 Toolbox