Please read below student posts and provide replies accordingly.

Main Que:

Describe what you believe are the key leadership roles in implementing a Lean transformation. Then select one of these roles and describe what you would do to model it within your organization.

anu-~ Ensure that all members of the organization are correctly coached – This avoids conflict and delivers a management group that can facilitate change with the teams working for them and so remove waste efficiently. Example – Organization should be more focused on automation on repetitive tasks rather than doing manual effort again and again during regression testing.

~ Organize around value streams – Someone with real leadership skills and a deep understanding of the product and process must be responsible for the process of creating value for customers and must be accountable to the customer.

~ Develop communication and feedback channels for everyone – Involvement of people at various level by sharing their ideas to built synergy to move positively ahead in the lean journey.

~ Create a positive atmosphere – Give freedom to employees to make decisions or come up with new ideas. Have courage to take risks at crucial stages to push things and resources to meet the plan and achieve results.

~ Track performance and make results visible – Real time data tracking is best. Ensure all processes have key measures and review them regularly.

san-Key leadership roles:

While implementing the Agile lean transformation some of the key leadership role an Agile coach or a lean manager must play are being a

1. Change Agent – A change agent is a person from inside or outside the organization who helps an organization transform itself by focusing on such matters as organizational effectiveness, improvement, and development.

2. Facilitator – A facilitator is a person who chooses or is given the explicit role of conducting a meeting. This role usually entails that the facilitator will take little part in the discussions on the meeting’s topic, but will focus primarily on creating the conditions for effective group processes, in the pursuit of the objectives for which the meeting was convened.

3. A servant leader – Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. This is different from traditional leadership where the leader’s main focus is the thriving of their company or organizations

4. Mentor – Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. In this context an Agile coach would help to inculcate the Agile knowledge on to the team when needed

5. Advisor – An Agile coach or a lean manager should play a role of an advisor when needed for given an expert opinion

Personally, I would prefer playing the role of a Servant leader. Being a scrum master by myself, this role helps me to mend the team in a way they understand the principles and adapt to the right mindset to approach their goals and objectives. My role calls for the need to create an environment that allows my team members to express their concerns, suggestions and allow them to make mistakes and learn from them. This would help the team to self-manage and get into an agile mindset that is needed to achieve their objectives.

Main ques:

Define the term Catchball. In regards to a catchball or PDCA Cycle, compare and contrast the provided A3 and Change Canvas templates. Which do you think is better for documenting strategic alignment activities? Why?

Himan-The Lean Technique of Catchball is a valuable improvement tool. The process of passing ideas back and forth as well as up and down is an effective way to keep people engaged in positive change. It also has an important role to play in strategic planning and strategy deployment.

Using the Catchball technique, leaders “toss” ideas for objectives to the level of management below them. The managers then return the “ball” with their own input and ideas. The process is repeated until consensus is reached. Department heads then repeat the process with their managers, and so on, until the goals have been cascaded across the organization. Everyone has clear objectives that they helped to create.

PDCA: The PDCA-Cycle, is the classic problem-solving approach in a LEAN environment. PDCA is used for medium sized problems and the Act-phase implies that the PDCA-Cycle should start again in the sense of a continuous improvement process. The Plan-phase should be done very careful and therefore should consume at least 50% of the total time of the PDCA.

A3: The A3-Report, developed by Toyota, is an 8-step PDCA that should fit on an A3 sheet of paper. It is a collaborative and visual tool (graphs should be included). The A3 is also used for solving medium sized problems, which can be solved in approx. one week or less. A3-Reports are very common in the LEAN world.


The application of the catchball is vertical, meaning that the top level of management sets the goals for the company and prepares a strategy proposal. They toss it like a ball to the lower level and wait for feedback and proposition from the lower level. It allows to align the company’s goals and objectives with the actions of the people at all hierarchical levels of the organization. It creates and maintains open feedback loops across all levels of the organizational hierarchy by establishing a two-way flow of information.

Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle is a model for carrying out change. PDCA is a simple four-stage method that enables teams to avoid recurring mistakes and improve processes. PDCA cycle is an iterative approach for continually improving products, people, and services.

  • Plan: Create a plan for solving the problem. This should include creating a deep understanding of a problem, identifying the root cause, defining the problem, and setting goals. we can use the Catchball technique to generate ideas and receiving feedback from the people who are going to be affected by the change.
  • Do: The plan must be implemented.
  • Check: In this step we check to see if the solution that was put in place really worked.
  • Act: When area where the “Do” step fell short is identified, we need to fix it.

A change canvas is a visual tool to enable the process of a change. It depicts visually the impacts a change will have from cost to revenue to customer impact. It gives in one page the birds eye view of the change and the impact it will have. Where as the A3 is a problem solving visual tool. It is a structured problem solving and continuous-improvement approach. It provides a simple procedure that guides solving the problem by the lower level employees. The A3 is a storyboard that follows the PDCA cycle, it generally it consists of the background, the current state of affairs, the goals/objectives to be achieved, the root cause analysis, the counter measures, effect confirmation and the follow-up actions. I think if it is change process that we are looking at we would use the Lean change canvas to depict the impact the change is going to have. Either way, both use the PDCA cycle, directly or indirectly.

9 mins ago

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