A3 Problem Solving Template
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What is A3?
On a literal level, A3 refers to an 11×17 piece of paper. In the process improvement world, it is the name for a one-page problem-solving tool that captures the background, current state or condition of the process, and proposed improvements.
A3 development often occurs after issues are unearthed using the Eight Waste Check Sheet and after the team has developed a Project Charter.
A3s help teams develop and communicate the thinking behind their process improvement and is filled in and revised all the way through the project—not at the end. It is effective in helping keep the team focused on a specific problem and goal, provide updates to sponsors, ensure data is collected to test hypotheses and dig for root causes and provide an overall plan for implementation.
In this template you’ll find, space and key questions to answer about major components of an A3: background, current conditions, targets/goals, analysis, proposed countermeasures (another term for interim solutions), implementation plan, and follow up. The SIPOC is one tool that can be used to populate the current conditions section of an A3.