Scientific Problem Solving and Leading Improvement

NOTE: 10-session workshop:

  • weekly 2-hour sessions every Monday, 3-5 pm beginning Monday, February 12, 2018 through Monday, April 16, 2018 (3PM - 5PM)* 
  • *No class March 12, 2018
  • Plus a final 4-hour capstone session on Monday, April 23, 2018 (1PM - 5PM)
  • All classes held in NI4CO7 North Ingalls Building.  

Problems, Problems, Problems… Many days we are frustrated by problems and barriers as we work to take care of our patients in an efficient and effective manner. But we don’t have to be helpless victims of broken systems, working around the same problems every day! Come learn the technical and leadership skills needed to fix problems, transform systems, and deliver better care.

This 10-session, highly interactive workshop will provide the structure you and your team need to work through a P-D-C-A (Plan-Do-Check-Adjust) cycle of improvement, using the A3 problem-solving format on a problem you select. You will learn about effective management systems to sustain improvement, and practice the essential behaviors of an improvement leader.


At the end of 10 weeks the participant will be able to:

  • Solve problems systematically, using the A3 format to run experiments and make improvements in your work (be it clinical, education, research or administration)
  • Describe the dimensions of organizational transformation, and understand the functions of a management system
  • Demonstrate the skills and behaviors of an effective physician improvement leader:
      • Designing leader standard work
      • Tapping into the power of visual accountability
      • Honing observation skills in the gemba (the real place where the work is done)
      • Engaging and building problem-solving teams
      • Coaching for improvement, critiquing A3s and asking effective questions
      • Managing change

Register as an individual or as a team of 3-4 people with your inter-professional problem-solving partners.

Plan to attend at least 8 out of 10 workshop sessions.

To make progress with your problem solving, expect to spend up to two hours of outside of the classroom between sessions working on your problem.

Facilitated by: John E. Billi, M.D., Professor, Internal Medicine, Learning Health Sciences, Health Management and Policy, and Integrated Systems Design

Target Audience:  Current and emerging clinical leaders interested in developing the behaviors and skills of an improvement leader. Inter-professional partners are welcome to register and attend as a team.

Recommended Prerequisites: This program is Level 2 of the Physicians as Problem Solvers Leaders and Coaches series. We recommend that participants complete either a 2-day or 4-day Lean Healthcare course, or Level 1: “A3 Problem Solving for Health Care Leaders” before enrolling for this workshop (offered Thursday, February 15. More information and a link to register can be found here). 

CME Credits

The University of Michigan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Michigan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 21.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this workshop, or have questions about accessibility, please contact Jordan Wright or 734-764-2574. Please also let us know if you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies. Advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the University to arrange so letting us know at least 2 weeks in advance is much appreciated.

Upcoming Sessions

12 to 16
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3:00 PM Mon, February 12, 2018 to 5:00 PM Mon, April 16, 2018
NI4CO7 North Ingalls Building