Today's unprecedented challenges require superior problem-solving skills not only from you as a leader but everyone you manage. 

We’ve taken the unmatched A3 problem-solving process described in Managing to Learn, the award-winning, best-selling workbook by management expert and former CEO John Shook, and put it online with live instruction.  

This comprehensive training will teach you how to use the potent A3 methodology, based on the proven scientific method of plan-do-check-act (PDCA), to address an important business problem within your organization.

Learning Objectives

What makes the A3 problem-solving approach so powerful is that it is a complete process -- a way of thinking, leading, communicating, learning, getting things done, and developing an entire organization of problem solvers.

  • Select, define, clarify and investigate a real problem from work.

  • Clarify problem situations and define problems as gaps in performance.

  • Visualize work processes and focus on the problems in work methods that are affecting performance.

  • Investigate and confirm underlying causes and analyze barriers to improvement.

  • Identify, evaluate and lead in the selection of countermeasures.

  • Lead planning for implementation of countermeasures and follow-up to resolve problems in execution and reflect for organizational learning

The A3 format puts the problem, analysis, corrective actions, and an action plan on a single sheet of large (A3) paper, often with the use of graphics.

Thus, it fosters communication, consensus building, and root-cause problem solving. (A3 is the international term for a sheet of paper, roughly equivalent to the 11-by-17-inch U.S. sheet.)

The course is taught online and live by instructors over a three-month period so that there is enough time for participants to identify a problem, investigate underlying causes, gain agreement with stakeholders on the countermeasures and develop the plan to solve the problem.

Instructors will have the opportunity to understand your struggle points and prioritize your learning needs to support you through your problem-solving journey.

What's Included?

  • 14 hours of live, online interaction
  • Feedback from facilitators and peers
  • Assignments between live sessions to begin applying the lessons and complete your A3
  • Opportunities to practice discrete skills with live feedback
A3 Plan for Errors Delivering to a bakery

Cohort beginning September 17

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

  • Session 1: September 17
  • Session 2: October 1
  • Session 3: October 15
  • Session 4: October 29
  • Session 5: November 12
  • Session 6: December 3
  • Session 7: December 17
  • Optional One-on-One Coaching Sessions

    Achieve an even deeper level of learning by taking personal coaching sessions with instructor David Verble, who has 30 years of experience teaching and coaching the A3 management process to leaders and managers.

    These optional, half-hour sessions happen at three critical points as you create an A3 in the workshop:

    • completion of the problem situation/current situation section;
    • completion of the analysis section and whole left side;
    • creation of recommended countermeasures and an implementation plan at the start of the right side.

    Personal coaching gives you individual "just-in-time" assistance on your challenges in a private, completely safe online space to share and ask questions.

    Plus, you’ll learn from one of the foremost A3 coaches in the country. David is a former manager of human resource development for Toyota manufacturing at the North American plant and HQ levels. During the 1990s, he led the creation of a series of A3 and plan-do-check-act training programs for North American Toyota and served as master trainer.

    One-on-one coaching with David will increase your professional skills and value to the company. And all three sessions are only $499.

    Schedule Overview

    The seven sessions are hosted over 14 weeks, with one to two hours of assignments in between and optional individual coaching sessions available for an additional $499.

    Session 1 
    Select a Problem
    • Locate a problem in work content 
    • Grasp the problem’s scope and impact 
    • Understand the PDCA cycle as part of the A3 story
    Session 2 
    Clarify the Problem
    • Go to see and hear about problem details first-hand 
    • Visualize and describe the workflow 
    • Find facts to confirm problem conditions
    Session 3 
    Define the Problem
    • Describe what should be happening/the target condition 
    • State the problem as a measurable gap to close 
    • Set a goal and target for the performance improvement
    Optional one-on-one coaching  Review problem situation of A3.
    Session 4 
    Identify Potential Causes
    • Understand cause and effect 
    • Identify and check direct cause(s) 
    • Prioritize to the most likely direct cause
    Optional one-on-one coaching  Review Analysis section of A3
    Session 5
    Confirm True Causes
    • Confirm cause/effect relationships 
    • Analyze to root cause 
    • Test logic of the 5-Why chain
    Session 6 
    Select and Evaluate Options
    • Engage with others to identify countermeasures 
    • Evaluate, rank, and propose countermeasures
    Optional one-on-one coaching 
    Review countermeasures section of A3
    Session 7 
    Make a Plan
    • Agree on actions to take, timing, and responsibilities 
    • Lead scheduled Plan versus Actual reviews 
    • Identify and resolve problems during execution where needed

    Who Should Attend

    • Managers, supervisors or executives who want to develop the structured problem-solving, hypothesis-testing, and fact-based, decision-making skills of teams
    • Continuous improvement or change management professionals involved in leading major change improvement initiatives
    • HR professionals who wish to develop a curriculum and teach introduce structured problem solving and fact-based decision-making skills within their organization

    Group Discounts

    Engage your whole team with our group discounts.

    2+ students $1,050.00 each

    Technology Used

    Please click here to run through our technology check before registering for this course. 

    • Communication Channel: All our documents and assignments will be hosted on a browser-based platform. By logging onto our e-learning website you will be able to view all related materials, announcements, and zoom links.  
    • ZoomWe will host our live meetings on zoom. You will receive an invitation with the meeting link.  

    Cancelation Policy

    You can cancel your registration for online/live-streaming workshops 2 weeks prior to the start date of the course for a full refund. A cancellation occurring within 2 weeks of the workshop dates will be subject to a $350 cancellation fee. Once you have attended a workshop session, you cannot cancel your registration. To cancel please call LEI at (617) 871-2900 or email [email protected].


    LEI Faculty David Verble

    David Verble is a faculty member at the Lean Enterprise Institute for almost 15 years and he teaches the A3 management process, change agent skills and coaches executives on lean leadership. David co-developed the 2 day in person Managing to Learn workshop with John Shook. David learned the A3 process from leaders at Toyota, where he worked for 14 years in Japan and USA. David was responsible for bringing the A3 management process from Japan to North America and created the first A3 training program for Toyota in North America. David has accrued 30 years' experience using the A3 process and teaching it to organizations in diverse industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and services.

    Karen Gaudet

    Karen has over 30 years’ experience leading, training, and coaching high-performance teams of staff and executives in rapid-growth environments. Most recently, as regional director of licensed operations at Starbucks Coffee Company, she built a consistent track record of growing the number of retail stores along with the continuous improvement capabilities of people. As Team Leader, Karen oversees Operations and Personnel at LEI. At Starbucks, Karen made recommendations on the creation of an operating system model line, then led the first application in a working store and provided feedback necessary for a broad, global implementation. She also led a team of coaches responsible for teaching problem solving and mentoring skills to regional executives, directors, and district managers responsible for implementing the lean operating system. Karen led the growth of Starbucks’ New England market, adding 20 new stores annually for five years while hitting profit and return-on-investment goals. Previously, she held management and executive posts in operations, marketing, and training at large restaurant chains, a retail consulting company, and a technology startup preparing for an initial public offering. To view Karen's articles and publications, visit:

    Interested in bringing this workshop to your company?

    LEI will teach any of our workshops or develop a customized program to build capability in your team.

    Whether you need coaching to develop organizational leadership effectiveness, frontline management proficiency, work team or business-unit process improvement capability, or to achieve an organization-wide transformation, LEI can customize a learning plan to meet your needs.