A3 Problem Solving for Clinical Leaders

This workshop is a two-part course.  

February/March 2020 Dates: Tuesday, February 18th and Tuesday, March 24th, 8am - 12pm.

May/June 2020 Dates: Tuesday, May 26th and Tuesday, June 16, 8am - 12pm.

**Plan to attend both half-days, and to spend an additional half day between sessions working independently on your problem.


When it comes to diagnosing and treating their patients, most clinicians are superb problem solvers. But can they apply this rigorous scientific thinking to all aspects of their work? A3 problem solving is an effective, flexible approach to analyzing a problem and developing countermeasures to close the gap. This two-session, hands-on workshop will introduce you to the elements of A3 thinking, and how an A3 can be used to close gaps in safety, quality, timeliness, efficiency and satisfaction.

During the workshop, you will:

  • Use the A3 approach to investigate a problem that’s important to you
  • Practice defining a problem, gaining an understanding of the process or system that gave rise to the problem, setting SMART goals, analyzing root causes, constructing and evaluating countermeasures and designing P-D-C-A (Plan-Do-Check-Act/Adjust) cycles of experimentation.
  • Learn to ask effective questions when critiquing A3s and coaching others

Learning Outcomes include:

  • Describe scientific problem solving and its application to all aspects of work in a clinical setting
  • Create an A3 proposing action to close a performance gap
  • Demonstrate understanding of P-D-C-A cycles of improvement
  • Critique A3 reports and others’ problem solving

Next Steps after class:

  • Continue to work on the problem you brought to the workshop
  • Practice what you learned with your team members on other problems in your work setting
  • Consider options for more advanced training, for example: Managing to Learn or Creating Problem Solvers, Leaders and Coaches Levels 2 and 3

UMHS clinicians and clinical teams (M.D.s, D.O.s, PAs, NPs, Nurse Managers, Educational Nurse Specialists, Pharmacists, Respiratory Therapists, Social Workers and other health care professionals). Participants are encouraged to register with problem solving team partners.

Primary Instructor
John E. Billi, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine, Learning Health Sciences, Health Management and Policy, & Integrated Systems Design

Jeanne M. Kin, MHA, JD, Continuous Improvement Specialist, Clinical Quality and Training

CME Credits

Accreditation and Credit Designation
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 7.5 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 us at UMMS-Faculty-Development@med.umich.edu 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

There are no scheduled sessions for this workshop. Interested in attending a future session? Let us know.