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There are several variations of the flow within the sheet.
Like so much in the lean thinking, the tool is extremely simple, yet the results can be very powerful.
On a literal level, A3 refers to a ledger size (11×17) piece of paper.
A3 is a key component of Toyota problem solving process that applies to all levels of the workforce.
The Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle is fully encompassed in this tool from the scope to sustaining the gains and spreading them company A3 is often created by hand and posted in highly visible area.
In this case, the A3 is divided into a few simple sections. Background of the improvement goal – what are we trying to fix? Analysis – what is the gap between where we are today and where we want to be 5.
Countermeasures or solutions – what are possible solutions (not just one) and barriers to successful implementation 6.
At Toyota, there exists a way to solve problems that generates knowledge and helps people doing the work learn how to learn.
Company managers use a tool called the A3 (named after the international paper size on which it fits) as a key tactic in sharing a deeper method of thinking that lies at the heart of Toyota’s sustained success. An A3 is composed of a sequence of boxes (seven in the example) arrayed in a template.
The power of an A3 comes from several key concepts.
First, the constraint of getting all information onto one 11X17 page challenges the writer or team to be very clear in its thought process and understand what information is truly important to their objective.