November 2012

Presenter:  Mike Osterling

Location: Temecula City Library

Click Here for Map and Address
Start Date: November 15th, 2012
Start Time: 6:00 pm
Price: $ 20.00 – 25.00

Title: A3 Problem Solving


Member: $20.00, Nonmember: $25.00
Walk-in: $25.00 Cash/check only. Food availability not guaranteed.

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A3 Problem Solving – The Missing Link in Many Lean Transformations


When I worked with IBM as a Principal in IBM Global Services, we presented an “impossible to turn down” proposal to a customer to convert every one of their legacy systems to SAP. The financial proposal was extremely attractive! We proposed to execute all conversions virtually for free. Top executive management was extremely impressed and the fact that it was a proposal from IBM to use exclusively IBM services we thought would seal the deal.  However, we lost the opportunity to complete the project! Come and hear why!
This presentation will address what was called Applications Portfolio Management (APM) and the vital need for converting legacy systems to new, more effective systems. This was in a climate immediately after mergers and acquisitions had flooded the Corporate and IT landscape with numerous platforms and diverse systems. It will also address the Project Management challenges involved in such a large undertaking.  Outsourcing and Offshoring were also vital part of the economic picture and will also be discussed.
So, you may ask: How was it possible that a company could turn down this unbelievably attractive  offer?  Come attend this informative and entertaining presentation and find out!

Many organizations have realized significant improvements through the adoption of Lean Methodologies such as pull systems, creation of flow, 5S and the adoption of standard work. While these efforts have had measurable impact, the true power of Lean has yet to be achieved in most transformations. To achieve true success, we need to change the way people approach, address, and resolve the problems being faced. This requires the development of “thinking problem solvers.”  Come to this session if your organization is plagued with:

  • Significant resistance when implementing improvements
  • The adoption of superficial or ineffective solutions
  • Non-structured approaches to problem solving (that is, everybody trying to solve problems their own way)

These and other symptoms of ineffective problem solving are being minimized by companies using the A3 problem-solving approach. Very visual and hands-on, A3 thinking is a proven step-by-step methodology that actively engages the problem solver, their supervisor, and those affected by the problem.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Receive an overview of the features of the A3 management and problem-solving process.
  • Gain an understanding of how A3 coaching is different from traditional coaching.
  • See how the A3 methodology is used as a coaching and development tool.
  • Learn the benefits of the A3 approach and how it can be used as a mechanism to live the plan–do–check–act (PDCA) process.

Speaker Bio:

Mr. Osterling specializes in Lean Operations implementation, coaching, training and facilitation for organizations pursuing aggressive process improvements.  His 25+ years of experience in operations management, combined with his collaborative consultative approach, has provided him with a thorough understanding of the organizational and hands-on issues related to implementing lean across the enterprise.  As an independent consultant he has supported the application of the lean philosophy in manufacturing and non-manufacturing environments.  He has worked in job shops, high volume plants, service organizations, construction firms and oil-field operations. Mike has worked with clients in Mexico, Europe, Australia, and across the US; he speaks locally and nationally on a variety of themes related to Lean Leadership.

Mr. Osterling’s successful track record includes engagements with industry leaders such as Tyco Healthcare, Kyocera, Chevron, Philips Electronics, Unisys, Cardinal Health, Nordson /Asymtek, TaylorMade Golf, Schlumberger, REMEC / Cobham, Axsys / General Dynamics, Avery Dennison, Chem-tronics / GKN Aerospace, OPSM / Luxottica, Advanced Silicon Materials, Holly Performance Products, and Buck Knives.

Prior to consulting Mike worked for Square D Company for 18 years.  As lean manufacturing manager for six years he led their transformation from a traditional manufacturing operation to an operation focused on continuous improvement in the areas of quality, cost, delivery, safety and morale.   Plant-wide results include: 66% reduction in defects, 52% reduction in customer complaints, 79% reduction in accident rate, 59% improvement in productivity, lead time reduction from three days to 15 minutes and a 93% increase in space utilization.  Initially focused on manufacturing, this success was ultimately enabled through the adoption of the lean approach across all departments.  Mike also provided transformation support at numerous Square D facilities, was a member of the Corporate Lean Steering Committee, conducted in-depth plant assessments and provided supplier training.

Areas of Expertise

Lean Enterprise coach, trainer and facilitator: Lean Strategic Plan Development / Policy Deployment, Supplier Development, White-Collar Lean, Value Stream Mapping (office and manufacturing), A3 Management and Problem Solving, Kaizen Event Facilitation (office and manufacturing), Facilitator Development and Leader Standard Work.

Professional Experience

Lean Enterprise Consultant                                                                                                    2000 – present

Co-author: The Kaizen Event Planner (Productivity Press)                                                   2007

Co-developer/instructor; Lean Enterprise Program, San Diego State University                  1999 – present

Lean Manufacturing Manager / Internal Consultant; Square D Company                            1998 – 2003

Senior Manufacturing Manager, Manufacturing Manager,

Materials Supervisor, Senior Planner, Planner; Square D Company                        1985 – 1998

Other – Staff Accountant, construction, and various direct & indirect positions on shop floor


Spanish, 80% fluency

MBA, International Business, San Diego State University

BS, Business Administration (Production & Operations Management), San Diego State University

Certified Trainer for the Implementation of Lean Manufacturing, University of Kentucky

Six Sigma Black Belt, University of California San Diego

CPIM (APICS certification)