1st Edition

The A3 Workbook Unlock Your Problem-Solving Mind

By Daniel D. Matthews Copyright 2010
    183 Pages 84 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    183 Pages
    by Productivity Press

    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.

    The Origin of A3
    A3 Formats
    Folding the A3
    How A3 Fits into Your Organization

    A3 Problem-Solving Overview
    A3 and the PDCA Cycle
    Definition of a Problem
    Types of Problems
    How Problems Come to Us

    Problem Situation
         Production Standards Exercise
         Office Standards Exercise
    Current Situation
         Production Problem Statement Exercise
         Office Problem Statement Exercise
         Tank Weld Scenario

    The Difference between Targets and Goals
    Structure of an Effective Target
         Target Statement Exercise

    General Theme Categories
    Creating the Theme
         Theme Statement Exercise

    Loud-&-Clear Speaker
    Practice Case Study

    Cause Analysis
    Cause Analysis Process
    Determining Root Cause
    Therefore Test
         Production 5-Why Exercise
         Office 5-Why Exercise

    Selecting the "Right" Countermeasures
    Brainstorming Countermeasures
    Narrow Countermeasure List
    Evaluate Remaining Countermeasures
    Selecting Countermeasure(s)

    The 3-Cs for Success
    Create the Plan
         List Required Steps
         Sequence Required Steps
    Communicate the Plan
    Carry out the Plan

    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
         Pie Charts
         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


    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


    Daniel D. Matthews

    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