A3 thinking is a structured approach to practical problem solving and continuous improvement. It is based upon the internationally-recognised PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle and famously utilised by the Toyota Motor Corporation.
There are numerous templates for A3 problem solving - here is one typical example:
- Clarify the problem
- Break down the problem
- Set a target
- Analyse the root cause of the problem
- Develop countermeasures
- Implement countermeasures
- Monitor results and process
- Standardise and share success
Today, A3 Thinking is frequently employed as a team-based problem solving tactic within quick thinking organisations. The name 'A3 Thinking' is derived from the A3 worksheet that practitioners of this system use to tackle problems - FAST.
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The main advantage of A3 problem solving is the way in which it drives towards a comprehensive understanding of the problem at hand and helps the user(s) to identify the best available countermeasures. Using the A3 approach is also a great way to demonstrate continuous improvement and corrective action if you are certified to ISO 9001.
If you would like to implement a structured problem solving / continuous improvement system within your organisation, please contact NPT Management Systems to discuss your requirements. Our experienced consultants have helped numerous companies from a broad variety of business sectors to solve problems fast whilst eliminating waste and significantly improving productivity.