Using the Analytical Tool from Lean Six Sigma: The A3 Report

Toyota Lean methodology offers a particularly useful tool for literally picturing the “as is” and “to be” of a process or behavior to be improved. It’s called an “A3 Report” and is named after the A3 copy paper size, roughly 11” by 17” inches, although smaller paper can work well, too. The A3 is a collaborative problem-solving tool that embeds the W. Edwards Deming (1993) Plan-Do-Study-Act improvement cycle in a visual one page document that includes sections for background and problem statement, current condition, target state, root cause analysis, countermeasures, results, and follow up actions. It’s really helpful for getting stakeholders to action on a prioritized item. Here are the sections of the report and an example of a completed report. The report represents a cycle of action towards this goal.

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