Work methodically to improve your processes

Download the free “A3 format for process improvement”

From the books on Lean thinking in healthcare by Arnout Orelio

The effect of an improvement idea, the result you achieve, depends of course on the quality of the counter measures you have developed. You increase the quality of these measures by understanding the problem and finding the underlying causes.

However, this is not enough to successfully improve!  Your results depend even more on the support of the people who are affected by the changes you propose. This support is greatest if you involve people from the start and create a joint image of the problem, together with them, so that everyone understands what you are working on and why. This requires structure, communication and coaching, in other words, a methodical approach.


The A3 format will help you to

  • Connect your improvements to the goals of the organization
  • Simplify the communication; your story on one page(!)
  • Structure the improvement process
  • Make it easy to coach you

Application of the tool

Only use the A3 for larger problems, of which you don’t know the causes and therefore the solutions yet. Select a high-priority problem for the organization and one that would be a good fit, as a next step in your development.

Develop your counter measures methodically and step-by-step, to achieve sustainable improvements:

  • Capture the facts and essence of each step in your A3.
  • Discuss the A3 and your steps (several times) with your coach and/or mentor.
  • Discuss the A3 with other people involved, such as colleagues.
  • Celebrate your successes.
  • Share your results and lessons learned with everyone who can benefit from them.

Need any help?

Do you have questions about the “A3 format for process improvement” and applying it in practice? Please feel free to contact the author, Arnout Orelio.

Arnout Orelio - Author, Speaker and Mentor - Lean Thinking in Healthcare
VAT: NL003803787B06 - Chamber of Commerce: 83285512