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Davidson ’21 Uses A3 Thinking to Solve A Problem on Campus

Jack Davidson ’21 LABB Intern– Throughout the past couple of weeks in LABB, we have been working on consulting projects in groups of four. Each group is faced with a problem within our campus, and we are required to solve these problems using the LEAN process and A3 problem solving. A3 problem solving is a nine step process which guides you towards solving a specific problem. My group was assigned to address the problem regarding open-shift sign-ups for WISE positions. So far, we have completed about half of the A3 process. For each step of the A3 problem solving process, Wayne Bewley, Class of 1985, comes into class to review our steps and provide insight on how to improve our process. Mr. Bewley has been a tremendous help to our group and the class as a whole. For me, the most important aspect of A3 problem solving that he has emphasized is to never skip ahead to later steps. Each step is extremely important, and focusing on one step at a time helps guide us towards a better solution at the end of the process. In addition, Mr. Bewley has advised us to use as much data as possible when presenting our ideas. “Rough data is better than no data,” is an idea that he has emphasized throughout the process. Using data has helped provide much needed support to our ideas about open-shift sign-ups. We have yet to finish the consulting projects, but I can already see the value of the LEAN process and A3 problem solving. At the conclusion of the consulting projects, I hope we can provide the College with an efficient and beneficial solution to open-shift sign-ups for WISE positions on campus. LABB has been a great opportunity, as I have gained knowledge about many aspects of business and experienced various different real-world business problems. I am excited to continue to learn and gain valuable experiences in the remaining weeks of LABB.