Lean A3 Problem Solving Process

What is A3 Process

The A3 process is a straightforward way of getting a problem, an analysis, and an action plan displayed on a single sheet of large paper. The term “A3” itself refers to the size of that single sheet of paper (the metric term for an 11-by-17 sheet). The A3 process is a primary Lean process improvement approach. 

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A Sample of Template of A3 Process

Improvement Effort: (name of the effort)

Sponsor/Sponsor Coalition: (supervisors/managers/executives sponsoring this effort)

Person(s) working on this: (person or team working on this improvement)

Date started: ______________

Current date ______________

Primary customer: ( who is the main  end-use customer of the product/service from this process?)

1. Reason for Improvement

Succinct statement of what you want to improve, and why

(with background about the issue or opportunity)

4. Gap Analysis

Analysis of why there is a difference (gap) between boxes 2 (Initial State) and 3 (Target State) (Use flowcharts, root cause analysis charts, etc. to display visually)

7. Complete Implementation

What is left to do to implement the Solution(s), after learning from your Rapid Experiments?

2. Initial State

What does the initial state look like (including measurement of the current situation)

(Use graphs, charts, pictures etc. to display visually)

5. Possible Solution(s)

Ways for closing that gap (including an action plan for implementation and assignment of responsibility and accountability)

8. Evaluate Implementation

Current status of Implementation.

And measuring and evaluating the results of what you implemented: did you close the gap (Initial State vs. Target State)?

3. Target State

Where do you want/need to be, including a clear, measurable target

(Use graphs, charts, pictures etc. to display visually)

6. Rapid Experiments / Pilots

Small-scale testing of Possible Solutions (if applicable) to close the gap

9. Insight and Next Steps

Lessons learned and future opportunities