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:

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
Bugs and Butterflies A Bug board is a place to capture issues i.e. what frustrates. A Butterfly board is a great tool to boost morale and focus on the things that the team does well Download Learning: Bugs and Butterflies Boards  
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
ESCAR A useful structure to help you question each step of a process to see where improvements can be made Download Learning: ESCAR  
Feedback Form Simple format for requesting and giving constructive feedback  Download Learning: Feedback Form Download Template: Feedback Form

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  
Impact/Effort Matrix An easy-to-use tool to help you to decide which opportunities or ideas to focus on first when you have collected lots of potential solutions to solve a problem Download Learning: Impact/Effort Matrix

Download Template: Impact/Effort Matrix

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  

Simple principle for running meetings and workshops

Download Learning: POST

Download Template: POST (white background)

Download Template: POST (colour)

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
Stakeholder mapping A technique for identifying individuals or groups with an interest in a project or initiative, understanding their influence and level of importance and deciding how best to gather feedback from and share information with them Download Learning: Stakeholder mapping Download template: Stakeholder map
RACI Matrix

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

Download Learning: RACI Download Template: RACI
Risk Mapping Risk mapping helps identify a project or initiative’s success factors and potential obstacles, understand how concerned to be about them and decide how best to mitigate them.  Download Learning:
Risk mapping
Download Template: Risk map

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