This is an approach to continuous improvement that simply refers to an over-sized piece of paper, used to plan and organize projects in order to help the business improve.
The steps in the A3 approach are similar to that of the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) cycle. Particular steps that should be taken are:
The layout of these steps on the A3 piece of paper can be seen below…
In order for this tool to be successful, it is important that it is supported by an organisation that has a lean approach to quality management. The main goals of this tool are to provide a visual structure for problem-solving, increase the communication across departments and to record any proposed plans to the systems.
As this continuous Improvement tool is constrained to one page, it can be effective in quickly and simply reporting all of the important information. This report will help the employees adopt a problem solving and continuous improvement mindset, as it will simply display the problem at hand, and how this can actually be viewed as an opportunity, not a blockage.