Help Guide - A3

Introduction

A3 is a problem solving tool with roots of origin in Toyota's car manufacturing plants. It has a very simple, 'plan on a page' approach to problem solving, but places significant emphasis on objective analysis, process and systems thinking mindset.

A3 are named so because when they were first implemented by Toyota, they wanted to fit in one side of an A3-sized sheet of paper! This ensured brevity and speed in describing the problem and implementing the solutions.

The A3 app also supports the TOYOTA KATA , which is a way for managers and educators to initiate and coach practice of practical scientific-thinking skills in their teams, to develop and mobilize creative capability.


 

Using an A3

  • An A3 has following sections

    • Background: that helps setting the context of the problem

    • Current Condition: captures the details of the problem being faced

    • Goal / Target Condition: describes what should be the end goal

    • Root Cause Analysis: to collect data, analyze them and develop possible solutions

    • Countermeasures (Experiments): implement the solution through one or more iterative cycles or experiments - called PDCA cycles

    • Confirmation (Results): validate that the results are in line with the expectations

    • Follow-up (actions):any pending actions or lessons learnt that can be used in other projects

  • Each section has a predefined set of assessment questions that will guide you through a problem solving journey

  • You can also edit the questions to suit any specific requirements

  • Files can be uploaded in each section to serve as a repository for all users of the A3

Using the KATA methodologies

  • Click on 'PDCA Records' in "Countermeasures (Experiments) section

  • As envisaged in the Kata methodologies, this section provides guide for managers how to coach their team members/mentees and record those responses into the app

  • For more information about KATA methodologies visit: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mrother/Homepage.html