A3 Report is a simple yet structured problem-solving approach that is considered an indispensable Lean / Lean Six Sigma tool. It originates from Toyota Motor Corporation which uses it to propose solutions to problems, give status reports on ongoing projects, and report results of information gathering activity.
The A3 report is so named because it is written on an A3 sized paper (11” x 17”). It differs from other types of report in the way that all information to be reported is contained on one A3 sheet. It can be used in report writing, proposals, status updates, and other common methods of communication.
It is commonly used as a Lean tool to document the key results of problem-solving efforts in a concise manner and with a thorough problem-solving methodology.
What are the structure and essential components of an A3 Report?
Generally, the structure of the A3 report follows the logic of the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, but it can be easily modified to follow the DMAIC Methodology (if Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma DMAIC Methodology is used).
Some common A3 report structures are as follows:
- Current situation
- Root Cause Analysis
- Implementation Plan
- Post result analysis
- Learning points
- Current Situation & Problem
- Root Cause Analysis
- Counter Measures
- Action Items / Implementation Plan
- Check of Results
- Follow Up
What are the benefits of the A3 Report/process?
Some of the benefits of the A3 Report/ process include:
- Reduces multi-page reports to one, save time preparing & save time reading
- Provides a clear and concise method of reporting information that is accessible and visible to everyone involved
- Provides a logical thinking process that improves decision making
- Promotes cross-functional team working
- Promotes an effective and efficient working environment
- Promotes continuous improvement culture
When implemented properly, the A3 process guides the organization toward system-wide rather than local optimization as the problem-solver seeks input, participation and consensus from all parties affected by the problem and the corresponding proposed solution.
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