A3 problem solving is a simple way for teams to collaborate on complex issues and continually improve their process. It is based on A3 thinking, which is a structured approach to problem solving with its origins at Toyota. Based on some simple steps and ideas, A3 thinking promotes collaboration and active communication to manage small projects, and solve chronic or more complex issues. Within TeamAssurance, the traditional A3 problem solving template is a dynamic, living report.
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A3 Reports bring together related information and activity in a one-page overview. This structured simplification means it’s an effective communication and coaching tool for the frontline through to senior mangement. Most of this information already resides within TeamAssurance, and you simply link the information to the relevant A3 section. Otherwise create the goals or activities directly from the A3 Report and it will automatically be linked and displayed.
A3 Reports are a living document that should be revisited and updated at regular intervals. It shouldn’t be a monthly exercise for the project team to meet and update the A3 – that’s a sure way to stagnate progress. Instead, manage the individual activities and goals through your Daily Management System, such as TeamAssurance, to ensure that the A3 isn’t a set-and-forget exercise.
A3 Projects Are a Part of the Greater C.I. Framework
The A3 is a powerful, core Lean tool. As a foundational part of the daily management process, it supports the alignment of people with their organisational and department goals each day, every day. Plus, it focuses efforts and conversations on the issues at hand.
However, utilising A3 project templates shouldn’t be ‘set and forget’ process nor should these be developed in isolation. Standardised problem solving techniques, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and a Tiered Daily Management process supporting the entire PDCA loop are also key to success when it comes to completing A3 tasks.
The image below showcase how TeamAssurance is built as an interconnected platform to avoid disconnected ‘Point Solutions’ (digital or analog) that can lead to sub-optimal performance of your continuous improvement efforts.
Contact us for a demonstration of the TeamAssurance platform if you’re a business in need (or a consultant with clients in need) and you’d like to discuss the opportunities that digital-aids to Lean tools provide