More on A3 Problem Solving

from Tomas Björkholm

Scrum, Agile, Lean & Kanban- coach

A3 problem solving template

One of the core tenets of Lean Thinking is Kaizen – continuous process improvement. Toyota, one of the successful companies in the world, attributes much of their success to their highly disciplined problem solving approach. This approach is sometimes called A3 thinking (based on the single A3-size papers used to capture knowledge from each problem solving effort).
Here’s a real-life A3 problem solving example and template. This double-sided A 3 document contains an A3 problem solving template on one side and a real-life example on the other side.

A3 template

This example was developed by Tom Poppendieck and Henrik Kniberg and used in conjunction with Deep Lean 2009 in Stockholm and Agile 2009 in Chicago. The example is based on a real case, and we use it regularly when teaching and coaching lean problem solving techniques.


One thought on “More on A3 Problem Solving

  1. Jamie Flinchbaugh (@flinchbaugh) August 7, 2013 / 9:01 am

    A3 is a fairly simple method to teach, but a very hard one to master. I’ve been extremely surprised (and pleased) and how much people have welcomed my A3 ebook ( What’s really amazing is its flexibility. While this particular structure is for certain types of problems, the overall use can cover the mundane to strategic types of problems. It’s also been a wonderful way to coach people on lean thinking, because it helps make the thinking visible which a coach needs to observe in order to improve.

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