• PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) is a continuous improvement model based on the scientific method.  It is cyclical in nature and seeks to refine previous efforts in order to improve further. 
  • Kata - A variant of PDCA that emphasizes rapid experimentation and practice.  Kata means "way of doing" and is essentially "a form, routine, or pattern of behavior that can be practiced to develop a skill to the point where it becomes second nature".

Project Management Tools

  • Newspaper - document that lists current ideas, problems, solutions, and responsible parties.
  • A3 - A structured way to do problem solving using PDCA.  A repository of tools, analysis, metrics, and countermeasures developed during a PDCA cycle.
  • Kanban - “signboard”, a task focused tool to visualize and prioritize work.

Brainstorming and Collaboration Tools

  • 5S - Sort, Shine, Set in Order, Standardize, & Sustain - Useful for improving flow, reducing hazards, eliminating waste, and to sustain improvements.  Example: 5S Network Drive Optimization
  • 5 Whys - Root cause analysis exercise.  Start with a question or problem, record an answer for the initial question, then ask a new question about the recorded answer, repeat 5 times.
  • Affinity Diagram - Brainstorming tool useful for teams.  Helps bring order to fragmented or uncertain information.
  • Cause and Effect (Fishbone) diagram - root cause analysis tool most useful when the problem is already known
  • ICE (Impact, Control, and Ease) and PACE (Priority, Action, Consider, Eliminate) - commonly used after a brainstorming session to prioritize countermeasures.
  • Force Field Analysis - A change management decision making tool that seeks to identify forces for change vs forces resisting change.


Miro is an online collaborative whiteboard platform for teams. Miro has an extensive library of brainstorming tools and templates designed for teams to explore and organize ideas.