Summary of Managing to Learn

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Managing to Learn book summary


8 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


Toyota insider John Shook invites you to be a detective, artist and business analyst with this crisp text that unfolds A3 management thinking in an illustrated narrative. Whether you regard A3 as a process, a methodology or simply the creative use of a large piece of paper, Shook pulls you into rigorous problem solving. This serious process that helps many companies shine in manufacturing excellence lets you, in part, feel like a five-year-old again as you dig deeper and keep asking “Why? Why? Why?” until you hit the “root cause” of your business problem. getAbstract recommends Shook’s easily applied (if you think about your results as you work through it) manual to all engineers, managers, mentors and total quality coaches seeking to understand problem solving through a lean-manufacturing lens.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the A3 process guides problem solving;
  • How asking “Five Whys” and using root-cause analysis work in practice; and
  • What “countermeasures” – rather than solutions – you can pursue, and how.

About the Author

An industrial anthropologist who focuses on lean production principles, John Shook is a former manager at Toyota.



“What Is an A3?”
Consider a piece of paper 11 inches long and 17 inches wide – this is the international paper size known as A3. When lean companies like Toyota discuss A3s, they mean using an A3 sheet of paper as a tool to help them work through concrete manufacturing issues. The A3 management...

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