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In fact, Isao Kato (former manager at Toyota) describes it as a hybrid between the PDCA cycle and Toyota’s philosophy to make things visible.There is also a legend that Taiichi Ohno often refused to read further than the first page of any written report. The A3 thinking played a major role in Toyota’s commercial success.They are the third party, which is directly interested by the final results of the A3 project. Usually, there is a wide variety of stakeholders involved.
This is a starting point where the owner can add context and support the next steps.
Before a problem can be addressed properly, the problem owner needs to describe the current situation in the area where the issue appears.
After the current situation is clear you need to set goals.
Keep in mind that at this stage you need to take into consideration that you don’t have the full picture.
Trying to fight the problem immediately means that you are only treating the symptoms while leaving the root cause untouched.
This way a problem may appear regularly in bigger proportions.At this stage, you can map the different processes that exist around the problem area.It will allow you to see the bigger picture and identify the root cause.Before you begin with the formation of your own A3 reporting method, you need to be familiar that there are 3 major roles in the process: The owner is responsible for managing the process and maintaining the document.On the other hand, the owner needs to be advised and supervised by a mentor, who is experienced in problem-solving.Let’s now examine the different steps that comprise the A3 process.First of all, you need to clarify the problem and briefly describe it.However, we all know that in organizations with a strict hierarchy, it is a bit difficult to reach the higher management.This is why the whole organization should be familiar with the concept of lean thinking and be prepared to assists at any time.Sometimes this is challenging, but it can show how flexible an organization really is.At the end of the day, the active communication between all parties involved is crucial for the success of any A3 project.