A3 Process

A3 is metric nomenclature for a paper size document. Toyota believes that when you structure your problem-solving around a 1-page piece of paper, then your thinking is focused and structured as well.

Per John Shook of the Lean Enterprise Institute: “The most basic definition of an A3 would be a PDCA storyboard or report, reflecting Toyota’s way of capturing the PDCA process on one sheet of paper. But the broader notion of the A3 as a process — embodying the way of thinking represented in the format — captures the heart of Lean management. In this context, an A3 document structures effective and efficient dialogue that fosters understanding followed by the opportunity for deep agreement. It’s a tool that engenders communication and dialogue in a manner that leads to good decisions, where the proposed countermeasures have a better chance of being effective because they are based on facts and data gathered at the place where the work is performed, from the people who perform it.”

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