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