A3 Problem Solving for Clinical Leaders

This workshop is a two-part course.  

Thursday, Nov 15 and Thursday, Dec 13
8AM - 12PM, both days
Location: 6000 THSL

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


About: 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 and efficiency.  

During the workshop you will:

  • Use the A3 model to investigate a problem that’s important to you
  • Deepen your understanding of how to define a problem, gain a thorough understanding of the process or system that gave rise to the problem, set SMART goals, analyze root causes, construct and evaluate countermeasures and run P-D-C-A (Plan-Do-Check-Act/Adjust) cycles of experimentation.
  • Learn how to use your A3 to “pull” authority, smoke out disagreement, and build consensus.
  • Practice critiquing A3s, and asking effective coaching questions that don’t take responsibility from the problem-solver.

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


  • Describe a scientific problem solving thought process and its application to all aspects of clinician's work
  • Create an effective A3 report than embodies the P-D-C-A cycle
  • Critique A3 reports and coach others’ problem solving skills

Target Audience: Physicians, Advanced Practice Professionals, Nurse Managers, Pharmacists, Social Workers, MPlan Partners and their inter-professional problem solving partners who work as a team in a clinical setting.  

  1. Are you part of a team in a clinical setting that includes physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurse managers/supervisors/educational nurse specialists, pharmacists, social workers, or MPlan partners who work together to problem solve for improvement in a clinical setting?
  2. Do you have a problem in your work setting that could use A3 problem solving to close a gap in safety, quality, timeliness and/or efficiency?
  3. Are you available to attend both sessions?

If you answered “yes” to all of the questions above, please proceed to register.
If you answered “no”,  then we may not be able to accommodate you in this program. Please email the course faculty jbilli@umich.edu to discuss your specific situation  If you want to learn more about similar training programs that are available to all faculty and staff, please visit the Quality Department’s website. 

Qualification: This experience is specifically designed for clinical leaders and their teams. Due to limited capacity, we are not able to accommodate learners who don’t fit the target audience profile.

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 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 Jordan Wright wjordan@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.