Tiered Meeting = Team Stand-up A3

For some time, I have searched for a metaphor to convey the meaning and delivery of a tiered meeting (a.k.a. huddle, reflection meeting, sunrise meeting, etc.).

I think that I’ve settled upon a decent (sort of) metaphor - “team stand-up A3.”

The simple explanation is that tiered meetings, a critical element of an effective lean management system, are: 1) team-based, 2) conducted in the standing position (to discourage long-winded discourse), and 3) is largely about practicing PDCA (A3 thinking).

The team stand-up A3’s agenda approximates the following. The underlined words represent traditional A3 section titles.

  • Team leader shares the meeting theme (what the team is about to talk about) and provides some background (why they’re talking about it)
  • Team leader facilitates team exploration of the current conditions and target conditions (as represented by the performance metrics on the team's board, leader standard work insight, etc.) and identification and acknowledgement of the problem(s) (the gap between current and target)
  • Team leader facilitates team problem analysis to identify root causes
  • Team converges on countermeasures (who, what, when) or a plan to do/continue problem-solving at another time after the meeting
  • Team leader facilitates follow-up on prior action items
  • Team leader facilitates “round robin” to seek out any open issues, suggestion, and/or questions
  • Team leader verifies take-aways and closes the meeting

Related posts: How to Audit a Lean Management System, Animated Cartoon: “What’s the Problem?”, 6 Leadership Habits for Effective Tiered Meetings



There are 8 Comments

Mike Krebs's picture

If you are on a 5 day per week T1 schedule, formating the meeting precisely like this once or twice a week could be valuable in getting traction on problem solving. My wheels are turning...

markrhamel's picture

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the comment! I'm glad that the wheels are turning. The stand-up A3 concept will work within the cadence that you mention, and, I dare say, in a managed way, every tier 1 meeting.

Best regards,

markrhamel's picture

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the comment. Tiered meetings certainly facilitate vertical and horizontal alignment.

Best regards,

david fernandez's picture

Mark, great post. The more we can incoporate A3 thinking into our dailly activities the better.

markrhamel's picture

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the comment! Right on, it's about effective application of PDCA and training team members to think in the proper manner. A3 thinking provides an excellent and common storyline.

Best regards,

markrhamel's picture

Hi Jason,

Thanks for the comment! Yes, you can do some quick root cause analysis during a stand-up meeting if it can fit within a brief 5 why series. Efforts that require more rigor should typically be tabled until after the meeting.

Best regards,

Jeff Plath's picture

Mark, I love it!! This is a great connection and further connects the entire organization. Everything connects and rolls up from bottom to top.



Jason Yip's picture

Would you actually do root cause analysis during a stand up?