Through the Arizona Management System (AMS), it is expected that every state employee becomes good at identifying and solving problems. A workforce of more than 33,000 skilled problem solvers will achieve far greater results and increase value and efficiency more than what can be achieved if only the leaders and managers solve problems.
Most problems within state employees’ influence to resolve require three problem solving behaviors of increasing skill:
Just Do Its (JDIs) - For problems with known root cause(s) and obvious countermeasures that can be implemented within about a week. Every employee should be able to resolve JDIs with little or no experience.
Basic Problem Solving - Employees strengthen their problem solving muscle using AMS to solve problems over a few weeks. Sometimes referred to as 4-Box, employees: 1) define problems, 2) identify root cause(s), 3) develop countermeasures, and 4) design/redesign standard work so process improvements are sustained. Every employee is expected to become proficient using such basic problem solving tools and techniques as brainstorming, “5 Why” and Pareto analysis, and process mapping.
Intermediate Problem Solving - Also known as A3 because of the single 11x17-inch (A3) template used to document the work, this method is used for more complicated problem solving that requires significant data analysis and project management. Typically used for agency breakthroughs and other complex continuous improvements projects lasting several weeks or months, A3 problem solving follows the Plan-Do-Check-Act flow
of continuous improvement. Employees may need the help of Government Transformation Office staff when first learning to use this problem solving method, and agencies will want a sufficient number of staff trained in A3 to lead future project teams.