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 A3 document contains an A3 problem solving template on one side and a real-life example on the other side.
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.