The A3 Workbook: Unlock Your Problem-Solving Mind, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The A3 Workbook

Unlock Your Problem-Solving Mind, 1st Edition

By Daniel D. Matthews

Productivity Press

183 pages | 84 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2010-10-05
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Description

Encouraging efficiency, clarity, and disciplined thinking, A3 Problem Solving identifies a problem, describes the objective, and summarizes fact finding and action steps, all on a single A3-sized piece of paper. This approach provides all employees at all levels with a method to quickly identify a problem, analyze it to root cause, select appropriate countermeasures, and communicate necessary actions to decision makers.

The A3 Workbook: Unlock Your Problem-Solving Mind is designed to teach A3 Problem Solving to workers at every level of an organization. Uniquely qualified to author this workbook, Daniel Matthews is an expert trainer with 30 years of training experience including Lean implementation and Training within Industry (TWI). Fourteen of those years he spent with the Toyota Company, which created and made use of the A3 as a core component of continuous quality improvement.

This workbook provides a practical tool for solving specific problems or for making a specific proposal, while also encouraging the development of a corporate culture that empowers all employees to support continuous improvement. The workbook follows the progression of a basic A3 Problem Solving format, offering instructions every step of the way. To reinforce learning, it includes —

  • Case studies that readers can use to complete A3s
  • Tips on how to improve the readability of A3s
  • Examples of Problem Solving A3s, and a Proposal A3
  • Exercises to reinforce what’s learned
  • Worksheet templates that can be reproduced for future problem solving

An effective problem-solving process is a critical part of implementing efficient business practices and a problem-solving culture is a fundamental component of empowering employees to support business improvements. Both of these components, taken together, can help any organization make continuous improvements on the long journey to creating a more productive and profitable business.

Reviews

The A3 Workbook can be used by companies to develop the problem-solving skills of their employees -leading not only to improved profit, quality, productivity, safety, and delivery, but also to a culture that understands the value of developing people at every level. With the workbook readers can actually practice applying the skills described in each section. Especially for managers who are realizing that they must develop their entire workforce in order to help their organization achieve its goals and objectives, The A3 Workbook provides anyone at any level within an organization with the tools they need to be effective problem solvers.

Sirreadalot.org, November 2010

A3 Problem Solving is a problem-solving method that identifies a problem, describes the objective, and summarizes fact-finding and action steps all on one A3-sized piece of paper. This Book/CD-ROM package teaches A3 Problem Solving to workers at any level in an organization. The workbook follows the progression of a basic A3 Problem Solving format, with step-by-step instructions, case study exercises, and reproducible worksheet templates. About 45 pages of appendices provide answers for exercises, plus blank templates. The book can be used by companies and organizations to help develop the problem-solving skills of their employees, as part of a company culture that understands the value of developing people at every level.

—In Research Book News, booknews.com, February 2011

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Origin of A3

A3 Formats

Folding the A3

How A3 Fits into Your Organization

Overview

A3 Problem-Solving Overview

A3 and the PDCA Cycle

Definition of a Problem

Types of Problems

How Problems Come to Us

Problem Situation

Introduction

Background

Standard

Production Standards Exercise

Office Standards Exercise

Current Situation

Example

Discrepancy

Example

Production Problem Statement Exercise

Office Problem Statement Exercise

Extent

Tank Weld Scenario

Example

Rationale

Example

Target

The Difference between Targets and Goals

Structure of an Effective Target

Example

Target Statement Exercise

Theme

General Theme Categories

Creating the Theme

Theme Statement Exercise

Loud-&-Clear Speaker

Practice Case Study

Cause Analysis

5-Why

Cause Analysis Process

Example

Example

Determining Root Cause

Therefore Test

Production 5-Why Exercise

Office 5-Why Exercise

Countermeasures

Selecting the "Right" Countermeasures

Brainstorming Countermeasures

Narrow Countermeasure List

Evaluate Remaining Countermeasures

Effectiveness

Feasibility

Impact

Selecting Countermeasure(s)

Example

Implementation

The 3-Cs for Success

Create the Plan

List Required Steps

Example

Sequence Required Steps

Communicate the Plan

Carry out the Plan

Assessment

Assignment

Accountability

Follow-up

Evaluating the Result

How to Check

When to Check

Recommended Actions

Putting It All Together

Dave’s Fabrication Case Study: Part A

Dave’s Fabrication Case Study: Part B

Dave’s Fabrication Case Study: Part C

Dave’s Fabrication Case Study: Part D

Dave’s Fabrication Case Study: Part E

Improve Your A3’s Effectiveness

Sequencing the Flow of an A3

Common A3 Visuals

Basic Equations

Line Graphs

Data Tables

Pareto Charts

Example

Pie Charts

Pictograms

Sketches and Drawings

Visuals Practice

Line Graph Exercise

Data Table Exercise

Pareto Chart Exercise

Pie Chart Exercise

Pictogram Exercise

Titan Case Part A: A3 with Visuals Practice

Titan Case Part B: A3 with Visuals Practice

Appendices:

Production Standards Exercise Answers

Office Standards Exercise Answers

Production Problem Statement Exercise Answers

Office Problem Statement Exercise Answers

Target Statement Exercise Answers

Theme Statement Exercise Answers

Loud-&-Clear Answer

Production 5-Why Exercise Answers

Office 5-Why Exercise Answers

Line Graph Exercise Answer

Data Table Exercise Answer

Pareto Chart Exercise Answer

Pie Chart Exercise Answer

Pictogram Exercise Answer

Dave’s Fabrication Blank A3

Dave’s Fabrication A3 Answer

Titan Blank A3

Titan A3 Answer

5S Problem Report A3

Food Service Proposal A3

Maintenance Training Proposal A3

Blank Problem-Solving A3 Format

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS053000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control
TEC032000
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Quality Control