This month, we will continue the theme of A3 Thinking started in April with my review of "Managing to Learn" by John Shook.
Durward K. Sobek II and Art Smalley
Understanding A3 Thinking. A Critical Component of Toyota's PDCA Management Process.
In "Managing to Learn", John Shook described the fundamentals of A3 analysis and explained how to apply A3 thinking to improve problem solving and decision making in the organization. In "Understanding A3 Thinking", Durward and Art expanded the scope of A3 reports to two additional categories: proposal reports and status reviews. All three basic types of A3 reports are listed below:
- Problem-Solving A3 Report
- Proposal A3 Report
- Status A3 Report
This book is a practical and insightful introduction to A3 thinking. The authors illustrated how to create different types of A3 reports and included examples, templates, exercises, and review questions for each report category. Additional topics covered include:
- Form and style of the reports
- Commonly used graph types
- Standard A3 templates
- Hand-written vs. electronic A3 reports
- Storage and retrieval of A3's
Where shall you start if you are interested in learning logical, objective, result-focused A3 thinking process?
- The authors recommend starting by writing a simple problem-solving report with the scope limited to an area you have control over. This way, you will be able to focus on learning the steps of producing an A3 without the complexity of interdepartmental politics.
- Ask your co-workers as well as your manager/coach for feedback on your A3 report while it is still in progress. Seeking feedback from multiple sources is likely to be very insightful.
- Continue using A3 reports to analyze, propose, and summarize your daily work processes and projects.
To find more information about this book, click here. Happy reading!