Free Download – Problem Solving A3 Report Template

Why start from scratch if you can get help and move fast with your project or task. I’m always on the hunt for a free template that I can start using in the moment I download it so I can get moving and executing on my task.

I already shared a free process flow template that I created a few years ago and I still use it to illustrate a new process in the company with related responsibilities or with related tasks. The one pager is perfect and also provides a simple overview for everyone to understand if you want to check out click here.

A3 report – what is an A3 report or an A3 thinking approach?

A3 is a technique of problem-solving in a knowledge-based environment. It provides structure to problem-solving so as to maximize learning all on one page and each A3 is unique. It gets its name from the metric size of the paper used in Japan. (A3 was created by Toyota production system and used by many Japanese companies since)…. It’s equivalent to a paper size of 11 inches x 17 inches or if you like metric 297mm x 420mm. 

By adding everything to fit on one page, make it a simple tool and also provides consistency.

Different ways to use the A3 thinking

There are so many different approaches where an organization can use the A3 thinking approach, it can support initiatives, new concepts, process improvement, document standard work or knowledge sharing.

You can also take the A3 thinking into a management approach and turn it into a learning practice within your team or use it as a mentor tool to enable scientific thinking or as a tool to help each other.

A3 follows the learnings along with the mistakes, be ready to share the different iterations of the A3 throughout the project.

It also provides a simple and consistent approach to problem-solving using the logical thinking process. It provides structure to problem-solving so as to maximize learning – so think outside the box and use it for a ‘knowledge bank‘ of learnings e.g. within your engineering team.

Every A3 is unique

Background (current state), stakeholders, proposed future state, implementation and execution plan. Every A3 is unique and it has different iterations, the more visual approach the better remember the human brain ‘reads’ images must faster than text.

When you start out with the A3 you will sometimes find yourself stuck and there is more white space on the paper than substance, keep going, the A3 process has many benefits and it will force you to go back update the A3 – you will go through different iterations of the A3.

One of the learnings I have had is the A3 process helps me to focus on what is in scope and what is out of scope. I will add the out of scope on the A3 so it’s visible for the whole team/organization and this benefits everyone because now we can focus on what is a priority altogether.

A3 Steps

  • Identify a need, project or a problem
  • Understand the background, current condition – make sure to research
  • Conduct root cause analysis
  • Develop the future state – proposal – what is going to be achieved
  • Create an implementation plan
  • Develop next steps – what is the follow-up plan

Communication

Use the A3 to problem-solve clearly and communicate effectively throughout your team or the organization. A3 thinking provides visibility and transparency throughout the organization.

Go and get started!

Examples of A3 Reports

Interested in a free process template?

Learn more here

Free Process Mapping Template

Looking for other free templates – check out my free process mapping 


Also published on Medium.