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.”« Back to Glossary Index