A-Z Tools list

The Focus Toolkit gives you a range of tools for a range of situations. It's important to understand which tool to use for what job. Here you can see at a glance what each tool does - and download the learning resource and any associated templates. 

 

You can download from the table below:

TOOL PURPOSE LEARNING RESOURCE ACCOMPANYING TEMPLATE
5 Whys Repeatedly asks the question 'why' to get to the root cause of the problem or issue (it uses 5 as a rule of thumb). Download Learning: 5 Whys  
 6S A visual system for improvement that helps create and maintain an organised, clean, high performance workspace. Download Learning: 6S  
8 Wastes Classification of waste sources which works effectively, in conjunction with other Focus continuous improvement tools, in identifying and eradicating waste. Download Learning: 8 Wastes  
After Action Review (AAR)

Capture the lessons learnt from their experiences with the goal of improving future performance.

Download Learning: After Action Review Download Template: After Action Review
Case for Change Set out clearly and concisely a reasoned case to gain agreement to your proposed changes by using this structured template.  

Download Template: Case for Change

Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS)

Useful structure for examining and defining problems and identifying solutions to address these. This is the key to the continuous improvement process. You may find the Problem on a Page template (see below) helpful to use in conjunction with your CPS.

Download Learning: Collaborative Problem Solving  
Daily Update

A regular 10-15 minute team catch-up to track progress, address issues immediately and celebrate success.

Download Learning: Daily Update Download Template: Daily Update
Discoveries Get your team into the habit of regularly reflecting on, sharing and logging their discoveries - you'll together compile a wealth of useful learning points that others in the team will benefit from.  Download Learning: Discoveries Download Template for the Daily Update (which includes a Discoveries log)
End-of-Project Report  Record what your project achieved, how it was conducted and what you learnt from it to inform future projects.    Download Template: End-of-Project Report
Fishbone

Helps you to articulate the possible causes of a problem visually.

Download Learning: Fishbone Download Template: Fishbone
Fresh Eyes

Used to help generate fresh perspectives.

Download Learning: Fresh Eyes  
Go See

Observe a process in action. It stops you drawing premature conclusions about the process, any waste and root causes based on hearsay, opinion or even data.

Download Learning: Go See  
Initial Work Proposal A framework for clarifying your thinking about your proposed plan of work, and recording it in a short summary format that you can share with others to establish a shared understanding.     Download Template: Initial Work Proposal
Kano Categorise your customers' needs according to their importance to them. By doing this you can understand whether the changes you are planning will meet their expectations or not - and also plan to exceed their expectations.   Download Learning: Kano  
Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle An iterative four-step approach which is at the heart of the continuous improvement process. Download Learning: Plan-Do-Check-Act  
Positives, Opportunities, Development (POD) Simple format for requesting and giving  constructive feedback    Download Template: POD
POST

Simple principle for running meetings and workshops.

Download Learning: POST Download Template: POST
Problem on a Page Distil your structured thinking to work through solving a problem onto a single sheet of A4. A helpful template to use in conjunction with a Collaborative Problem Solving process (see above).  

Download Template (Electronic version): Problem on a Page

Download Template (Printable version): Problem on a Page

Process Confirmation

A useful tool to verify that any changes made to a process have improved the process.

Download Learning: Process Confirmation  
Process Mapping

Quick and simple methods of showing the links between actions or steps in the process. Used to map both the current state and the future state.

Download Learning: Process Mapping  
Project Charter A summary document setting out the key information about your proposed project. You would use this obtain formal approval for the project to proceed.    Download Template: Project Charter
Specific Problem Statement (SMART)

A simple sentence that contains the problem but no causes or solutions.

Download Learning: SMART Problem Statement Download Template: SMART Problem Statement
RACI Matrix

A simple matrix tool that ensures that everyone involved is clear about roles and responsibilities.

Download Learning: RACI Download Template: RACI
SIPOC

A simple tool that is used to visualise at a high level who does what, with what and for whom.

Download Learning: SIPOC Download Template: SIPOC
Standard Work

Achieving and documenting a consistent, best way of doing things.

Download Learning: Standard Work  
Stop, Start, Continue A simple format to gather team or customer feedback on what is working well now, what needs to be improved and ideas on how to improve. The end goal is to have an action plan to take forward. Download Learning: Stop, Start, Continue Download Template: Stop, Start, Continue
Visual Management

Communicating information in a simple non-verbal manner so that a situation can be understood in a matter of seconds.

Download Learning: Visual Management  
Voice of the Customer (VOC)

Helps you to really understand what your customer or end-user's needs are and what they value.

Download Learning: Voice of the Customer Download Template: Voice of the Customer