Tools and Templates

A brief explanation and example of some of the most common tools used for identifying and solving problems. Healthcare examples are provided when available with the goal of saving the labor associated with reinventing the wheel. If you would like to share a template, please email us.

Outside links: 

The Lean Enterprise Institute
has a number of forms and templates in their knowledge center here. 



A3 from LEI

Classic 7 Step in Word (from

A3 from LEI Classic 7 Step in Excel on 2 A4 Sheets (for easy printing)

Kata A3
Toyota Kata A3


Block Diagram

A block diagram is simply a straight line sketch of the workstations in the process.

Block Diagram Image from Mike Rother's guide

TK-IK Practice Guide

Mike Rother's kata practice guide is a great place to start!

Control Chart

Control-Chart-PNGFrom Wikipedia:
"The control chart is one of the seven basic tools of quality control.[3] Typically control charts are used for time-series data."

 Vertex42 has a nice template to get you started. For an in-depth understanding of data interpretation, W. Edward Deming's Out of the Crisis is a must read. 



From IHI: Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a systematic, proactive method for evaluating a process to identify where and how it might fail and to assess the relative impact of different failures, in order to identify the parts of the process that are most in need of change. FMEA includes review of the following: ƒ Steps in the process ƒ Failure modes (What could go wrong?) ƒ Failure causes (Why would the failure happen?) ƒ Failure effects (What would be the consequences of each failure?) 

Fishbone (Ishikawa) Diagram

From Vertex42: A Fishbone Diagram is another name for the Ishikawa Diagram or Cause and Effect Diagram. It gets its name from the fact that the shape looks a bit like a fish skeleton. A fish bone diagram is a common tool used for a cause and effect analysis, where you try to identify possible causes for a certain problem or event. The following downloads may help you get started, and if you continue reading, I've included some detailed information about how to use the diagrams.

Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart icon

From Vertex42: A Gantt chart is a vital tool for any project manager. It helps you create a schedule for your project and track the status of each task. There are hundreds of tools for creating gantt charts, some far more complex than others.

Leader Standard Work

Leader Standard Work Icon

Standard work template for leader daily rounding following the Toyota Kata format. 

Pareto Chart

pareto-chart_largeFrom Vertex42: The Pareto Chart or Pareto Diagram, named after the famous economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923), is a common tool for quality control and is used as part of a Pareto Analysis to visually identify the most important factors, most occurring defects, or the most common problems, or in other words "the vital few".

PICK Chart

PICK Chart icon

From Vertex42: When using a PICK chart, the team members should be reminded that the purpose is to help identify the most useful ideas, especially those that can be accomplished immediately with little difficulty (called "Just-Do-Its").


Direct Bedding - Process at a Glance png

Tool generally associated with process redesign or "3P." This excel spreadsheet (created by Joshua Kenney) was used for redesigning patient flow in an Emergency Department, but can be modified to suit your needs. 

Toyota Kata Coaching Audit Sheet

Kata Coaching Checksheet icon.emf

This audit tool was originally developed by Alex Delgado at Continental Automotive to track the learners progress to allow the coach to identify the next area of focus. 

Theory of Constraints

Theory of Constraints icon

Theory of Constraints was developed by Eli Goldratt in an effort to identify bottlenecks and improve throughput, answering the age old question: "where do we begin?" Chapter by chapter summary of "The Goal," audio book link, video, and simulations by clicking here! 

Training Within Industry (TWI)

With the constant advances in best practices, Healthcare organizations such as Virginia Mason, Baptist Memorial, and Meritus Health have found incredible value in the robust training methodology and job breakdowns exemplified by TWI. Original training manuals, original and updated cards available here! 


Strategic Deployment

Hoshin Kanri X-Matrix

Hoshin Kanri Icon

From The purpose of the Hoshin Kanri X Matrix Template for Lean Policy Deployment is to develop and implement plans that are both strategic, tactical, and coordinated across people across the organization.

Active Challenge (Kata) Tracker

Kata tracker icon

Provides visibility on completed/active challenges to allow Senior Leadership to align problem solving with organizational goals.


Please pardon our construction as we add and update links!

Heijunka or "Level Loading"

Process Map

SMED - "Single Minute Exchange of Dies" or "Rapid Changeover." Think of a NASCAR pit crew.

Spaghetti Diagram

Theory of Constraints (TOC)

Value Stream Map