Virtual Problem Solving Workshop

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Virtual Problem Solving Workshop

Presented by ASQ Section 1108

Workshop Leader: Joseph Vacca, CSSBB

Session 1: Thursday, September 21, 2017

Session 2: Thursday, September 28, 2017

*Registration deadline: Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 12:00 Noon EDT*

8:30AM-12:00PM EDT Workshop (see below for learning objectives for each session)

Registration cost: ASQ Members - $59 for one session only, $99 for both sessions

Non-ASQ Members - $79 for one session only; $119 for both sessions

0.35 RU will be awarded for each session you attend (possible total of 0.7 RU for both sessions)

This will be a virtual, interactive workshop using

Workshop log-in information will be provided after you have registered.


  • Problem solving competencies are best developed through practice and repetition.

  • This workshop is 20% theory and 80% applied practice by participants.


  • The reality of today's work environment is that many workers engage remotely online.

  • This workshop will showcase best practices for online problem solving facilitation.

About the Workshop Leader: Joseph Vacca is currently the Head of Operational Excellence for CIGNA Healthspring. Prior to his current role, Joe led the continuous improvement and knowledge management practice for the IT business at Mass Mutual and was involved with the strategic deployment of a lean business system transformation across the Mass Mutual Enterprise. He was at Mass Mutual for 7 years. Joe Vacca has over 20 years of leadership experience in finance and operations, with a heavy emphasis on continuous improvement and enterprise efficiency initiatives. He has worked across insurance, financial services, and healthcare industries at companies including Aetna, CIGNA, General Electric, and Mass Mutual. Vacca has been a practicing Six Sigma Black Belt since 2004 and is an ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB), as well as being Lean Silver-Certified. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology from St. Lawrence University, and an MBA degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a concentration in human resources. Vacca is also a graduate of the GE Financial Management Program and CIGNA’s Financial Development Program, which he then directed upon graduation. Vacca lives in Connecticut with his wife and two daughters.

Day 1 Learning Objectives: Each participant will learn . . .

  • WHY the Plan-Do-Check-Adjust (A3 Thinking) process was developed

  • WHAT activities & tools are included in each stage of the PDCA process

  • HOW to apply tools in each stage of PDCA to a real problem (participant practice)

Day 1 Pre-work:

  • Pre-read on A3 Thinking (deck + excerpts from Lean Certification materials)

  • Each participant to identify a problem they want to work through during the session

Note: Each participant will work through their own pre-selected problem on an A3 Storyboard during the Day 1 session to get real-time practice applying the concepts. The Day 2 agenda will be focused on group collaboration through the PDCA stages.

Day 2 Learning Objectives: Each participant will learn . . .

  • WHY the PDCA approach should be adapted to meet unique needs of each problem

  • WHAT tools & techniques can be applied to PDCA stages in collaborative team settings

  • HOW to facilitate a problem solving team through PDCA stages -real time application

Day 2 Pre-work:

  • Select the core problem solving team (~8 members)

  • Complete prelim problem & goal statement and current condition on the A3 Storyboard

  • 30 minute preparation session with core team before start of training event

  • Send A3 Storyboard pre-work and agenda to all participants in advance of session

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