A3 problem solving is a way to improve quality, boost employee morale, increase client satisfaction, and ultimately progress.
But what exactly is the A3 report? And what are the steps in A3 problem solving? Here, we reveal the answers to the questions, as well as share an example of it in practice.
Understanding the A3 report
The A3 report allows you to find a structured approach within a seemingly unsolvable dilemma, revealing clarity and actionable insight. You’ll be able to not just view and solve problems, but understand and learn from them. It’s key to Continuous Improvement, ensuring that intentional reflection informs each decision.
There are other benefits too – like fostering a culture where every challenge is an opportunity, and crafting a space where solutions breed and thrive.
Steps in A3 problem solving
Comprehending the issue: Understand its depths and complexities.
Root cause analysis: Explore the structured approach to learn the reasons behind the problem.
Devising a strategy: Create a solution that works harmoniously with every aspect of your organisation.
Implementation: Action a solution through the A3 problem solving method, ensuring that every part resonates with a cohesive resolution.
Review and reflect: Consider achievements, struggles, and learnings to use for further enhancement and growth.
Case studies: A3 in action
Regal Instruments, manufacturers of precision medical instruments, were experiencing increasing product defects and declining employee morale.
Comprehending the issue
The production line revealed escalating defect rates in the company’s flagship product. This led to mounting client complaints, and frustrated and disappointed employees.
Root cause analysis
They discovered that the rising defects connected to a particular component, which has off-specification dimensions. In addition, the material supplier had recently been changed to cut costs, impacting quality.
Devising a strategy
Armed with this newfound clarity, Regal Instruments created a plan:
Engage with the new supplier to address and amend the specification discrepancies.
Invest in additional training for the production team to enhance their skill in handling and assembling the new materials.
Action a more rigorous quality check process.
The team embedded these strategic solutions into daily operations, resulting in the following:
A revised, impeccable material specification through collaborative dialogues with the supplier
Enhanced production team capabilities due to the training sessions
Better quality products as a result of more stringent quality checks
Review and reflect
Regal Instruments uncovered that the defect rate had plummeted, with clients appreciating the impeccable quality. The production team, once disillusioned, now experienced higher morale. Reflecting also revealed further ways to improve. For example, by continuously communicating with suppliers, holding periodic refresher training sessions, and creating a system to recognise and celebrate the craftsmanship of employees.
Benefit from Lean problem solving with Manufacturers Network
Through A3 problem solving, Regal Instruments were able to create quality products, improve employee morale, and boost client satisfaction.
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