A3 Method
OSI Systems
Organizational Life
 It’s

about getting results

 We

have good projects, ideas, programs and
initiatives often failing...
Is there line outside your office?


“The problem is we need the new software
upgrade to be Movex compliant”



“We need...
A Lot of Good Ideas
 “I

think we should increase
new product development to
beat the competition”

 “I

think we should...
So Many Solutions!


“We need to implement lean
to reduce waste and improve
efficiency”



“We need a new supply
chain i...
How Do We Get Aligned?

A3 is a problem solving approach
intended to align the issues, ideas
and countermeasures
A3 Discipline (key concepts)


States the issue and why it is important



Provides background to facilitate understandi...
Three Keys to Lean Leadership
 Go

See – Management must spent time on the
front lines

 Ask

Why – Use the “Why?” techn...
The A3 Management Discipline
A3 (PDCA) Story Board
Heading

Hypothesis
Try

Do
11”

Grasp the
situation

Plan
Check
Footno...
A Format for Planning and Proposing – A3


“A3” is just a paper size (international 11” X 17”)



A3 planning began in t...
An A3 is a PDCA Story Board
(not a form, not even a standardized format)


Adjust for the type of story being told (quali...
A3 Process – The Scientific Method
Forces individuals to:


Observe reality - “go see”



Presents facts



Proposed wo...
A3s Work at Different Levels


Individuals use A3 thinking to propose projects, take
initiative, show ownership, sell ide...
The A3 Process


It fosters dialogue within the organization



It develops thinking problem solvers



It encourages f...
PDCA & A3s


PDCA is the process to plan improvements and learn
one’s way to successful implementation



PDCA thinking ...
PDCA Cycle of Learning for Results
…and Grasp, Plan & TEST Again

ADJUST
(The theory for
better or
sustained
results)

REF...
Typical A3 Layout
Date, Team, Business Unit, Author
Title What is this A3 is about

Recommendations

What is the standard ...
What is the “Right” Format?
The tool needs to be flexible!


As varied as the problems



As diverse as the people who w...
Many Different Tools Could Be Used

Do
Plan
Check

Background

Graph

Sketch

Investigation/Current State

Tally-sheet

Hi...
A3 Discipline


Stating the issue and why it is important



Providing background to facilitate understanding



Curren...
Does it tell a complete PDCA story?

Sample A3
Acme Stamping Steering Bracket Valve Stream Improvement
Background

Current...
Developing an A3 – Grasping the Situation
Background & Current Situation


What is the current performance?



How does ...
How are We “Solving” Problems?
Good people wanting to do the right thing
and get work done, jumping to
conclusions about p...
Is the Issue Agreement?
Do we really agree on the where we want to go?
On what the gap in performance is?
Future Sate
Do w...
How Do We Get Agreement Today?

State your case more strongly than others
Force your perspective
“Meeting” people into sub...
Engagement and Thinking
 Here

is how I see things what about you?

 What

am I missing?

 What

do you think?

 What
...
Engaging Conversations
 Candor
 Disagreement
 Informal

surface early

dialogue

 Getting

firsthand understanding

 ...
A3 as Storytelling


The A3, it’s description of the issues, proposals and
plans must make sense to others



The link b...
Key Questions


Have you identified the gap between the current and future state?



Did you go to the gemba – observe a...
Developing an A3 – Agreeing on a Plan
Goal and Analysis


What does performance need to be to fill the gap?



Why aren’...
Some Common Problems in Planning


We plan in terms of actions (tasks) rather than goals or objectives



Responsibiliti...
Before You Get to implementing the Plan?



What is the problem or issue?



Who owns the problem?



What is the root ...
Developing an A3 – Proposing Action
 What

is your recommendation /
countermeasure (make sure it relates to the
root caus...
Developing an A3 – Checking, Adjusting and Standardizing



How will we know if the actions are delivering the expected
r...
The Check on Your A3 Process


Without the underlying management philosophy, without PDCA
as a discipline of the organiza...
Summary A3 Process
The Purpose of the A3 Process is to:


Structure effective and efficient dialogue to foster understand...
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A3 Management Method Presentation

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A3 Management Method Presentation

  1. 1. A3 Method OSI Systems
  2. 2. Organizational Life  It’s about getting results  We have good projects, ideas, programs and initiatives often failing to achieve the desired results  Most important issues transcend functional or departmental boundaries  Results can only be achieved with the help and cooperation of others What is organizational life like today (current-state)?
  3. 3. Is there line outside your office?  “The problem is we need the new software upgrade to be Movex compliant”  “We need to upgrade the machines with quick-change tooling as part of our lean implementation”  Our competitor has reduced prices and we need this sales promotion to prevent losing market share” With all the issues today how do get them aligned?
  4. 4. A Lot of Good Ideas  “I think we should increase new product development to beat the competition”  “I think we should outsource more to China to reduce our costs”  “I think we should trim the product line to get rid of the low margin, low runners” With all the good ideas today how do get them aligned?
  5. 5. So Many Solutions!  “We need to implement lean to reduce waste and improve efficiency”  “We need a new supply chain initiative to buy more from low cost countries and reduce cost from current suppliers”  We need to do 80/20 analysis to weed out low margin business With all the good solutions today how do get them aligned?
  6. 6. How Do We Get Aligned? A3 is a problem solving approach intended to align the issues, ideas and countermeasures
  7. 7. A3 Discipline (key concepts)  States the issue and why it is important  Provides background to facilitate understanding  Current performance and future goals  Analysis and root cause  Countermeasures and action plans  Measurement and adjustment P D C A
  8. 8. Three Keys to Lean Leadership  Go See – Management must spent time on the front lines  Ask Why – Use the “Why?” technique daily  Show Respect – Respect your people. Let the people solve the problem. Not management. A3 should change the way we manage and think
  9. 9. The A3 Management Discipline A3 (PDCA) Story Board Heading Hypothesis Try Do 11” Grasp the situation Plan Check Footnotes Act Reflect Adjust 17” Cycles of learning and continuous work process improvement Notice the Planning section is large (focus on the plan (not the solution))
  10. 10. A Format for Planning and Proposing – A3  “A3” is just a paper size (international 11” X 17”)  A3 planning began in the 60s as the Quality Circle problem solving report-out format  At Toyota, it evolved to become the standard format for problem solving proposals, plans and status reviews  What is important is not the format, but rather the process and thinking behind it Again…A3 should be a way of thinking
  11. 11. An A3 is a PDCA Story Board (not a form, not even a standardized format)  Adjust for the type of story being told (quality problem versus company strategy)  Always the four steps of Plan, Do, Check and Act/Adjust  No exact or specific look or format  The more visual the better (pictures, charts, no small print)  Fits on one page (use baby A3s for complicated stories)  Must flow as a story (visual story teller)
  12. 12. A3 Process – The Scientific Method Forces individuals to:  Observe reality - “go see”  Presents facts  Proposed working countermeasures designed to achieve a stated goal  Gain agreement  Develop a plan for success  Follow-up with a process of checking and adjusting for actual results Toyota does not use the term solution. Countermeasures are thought to be experiments
  13. 13. A3s Work at Different Levels  Individuals use A3 thinking to propose projects, take initiative, show ownership, sell ideas, gain agreement and learn  Managers use A3 to coach and teach, assign clear responsibility, ownership and accountability, get good plans from subordinates and mentor employees  An organization uses A3 thinking to get decisions made, to achieve objectives, to get things done, to align people and teams along common goals and to learn Forcan be used as a visual out & used toof a 50 other departments A3 is also used as a reportcan beinsteadprocess page PowerPoint middle managers - A3 check of the engage
  14. 14. The A3 Process  It fosters dialogue within the organization  It develops thinking problem solvers  It encourages front-line initiative  It encourages PDCA  It clarifies the link between true problems and countermeasures  It serves as an organizational learning tool  It leads to results through effective countermeasures and solutions based on facts, data and analysis
  15. 15. PDCA & A3s  PDCA is the process to plan improvements and learn one’s way to successful implementation  PDCA thinking is used to propose and manage changes as experiments  A3 Storyboards are used to prepare and present the business case for proposed changes and/or countermeasures to problems  A3 process proactively seeks input and feedback to align proposed changes with priorities throughout the organization
  16. 16. PDCA Cycle of Learning for Results …and Grasp, Plan & TEST Again ADJUST (The theory for better or sustained results) REFLECT (Analysis of the what and why of the results) GRASP the SITUATION ACT CHECK PLAN DO Observations of what is happening & why HYPOTHESIS (a theory of why it is happening and what will “fix” it)) TRY (Actions planned and implemented to test the theory)
  17. 17. Typical A3 Layout Date, Team, Business Unit, Author Title What is this A3 is about Recommendations What is the standard of performance? The countermeasures being proposed and the logic behind them (how they impact the root cause) What is the history/context for this story? Plan Current Situation Action plan complete with Who, What, Where, When of all activities Background What is our performance versus the standard? What is the situation that dictates what we must do? What are the gaps? Goal What performance do we want? What objectives do we want to achieve? Analysis Follow-up How will we check to see if we are getting the desired results? What remaining issues must we address? What is (are) the root cause(s) of the problem What requirements, constraints and alternatives need to be considered? Sign offs Must understand what really is the problem?
  18. 18. What is the “Right” Format? The tool needs to be flexible!  As varied as the problems  As diverse as the people who will use it  The focus needs to be on a rigorous thinking process that leads to robust problem solving rather than a standardized format for the “form”
  19. 19. Many Different Tools Could Be Used Do Plan Check Background Graph Sketch Investigation/Current State Tally-sheet Histogram Pareto Diagram Graph Scatter Diagram Sketch Control Chart CS Map Target, Outcomes Chart Sketch Action Plan Gantt Chart Analysis Cause-and-effect Fishbone Control Chart Relation Diagram Histogram Tree Diagram Graph Pareto Diagram Sketch Scatter Diagram Countermeasures Pareto Diagram Graph Sketch Scatter Diagram Review/Critique FS Map Histogram Preventions Chart Sketch Verification of Countermeasures Graph Chart Sketch Chart Act
  20. 20. A3 Discipline  Stating the issue and why it is important  Providing background to facilitate understanding  Current performance and future goals  Analysis and root cause  Countermeasures and action plans  Measurement and adjustment
  21. 21. Does it tell a complete PDCA story? Sample A3 Acme Stamping Steering Bracket Valve Stream Improvement Background Current Situation •Production: •Create •18,400 Stamped-steel steering brackets (left and right hand drive). brackets/month; daily shipments in pallets of 10 trays of 20 brackets continuous flow in through Weld and Assembly •Establish Takt Time: Base the pace of work through Weld and Assembly on customer demand •Customer State Street Assembly is requesting price cuts and tightening delivery requirements •Set new Weld-assembly cell as pacemaker for entire value stream Current Situation •Establish EPEX build schedule for stamping based on actual use of pacemaker cell and pull steel coils from supplier based on actual usage by stamping •Production Lead time: 23.6 days •Reduce changeover time in Stamping and Weld time: only 188 seconds •Improve uptime in Weld •Processing •Large •Long S material handling routes for frequent with drawl and delivery •Establish changeover times: downtime in welding new production instruction system with Leveling Box Future State Map Current State Map I •Establish inventories of material between each process Planning Planning I W I W I A I A Pacemaker Cell S I 4.5 Days Lead Time Lead Time 23.6 Days Deliverables Analysis Kaizen Each process operates as isolated islands, disconnected from customer Pacemaker 3 4 5 6 Responsible Review Assy Sup Plt Manager Mt’l Handling MH Manager C/O Each process builds according to its own operating constraints (changeover, downtime, etc 2 Weld Push system; material builds up between each processes 1 Plans based on 90 and 30 day forecasts from customer. Weekly schedule for each department. System is frequently overridden to make delivery. Daily Delivery Follow-up Confirm reviews and involvement of related departments” Goals: Improve profitability while meeting tougher customer demands: Reduce lead time – 23.6 days to < 5 days Reduce inventories: Stamping < 2 days / Welding – Eliminate / Shipping < 2 days Production Control and Material Handling, Purchasing, Maintenance, Human Resources, Finance
  22. 22. Developing an A3 – Grasping the Situation Background & Current Situation  What is the current performance?  How does it vary from the standard?  What are the facts that you have observed?  Why is this important?  How does this relate to the purpose of the organization?  What analysis is needed to full understand the current situation? What is the problem? Why do we need to work on this? Graphs & charts should Should for understanding Avoid sellingstatements.be only background. State only the facts. broad the solution in the be specific
  23. 23. How are We “Solving” Problems? Good people wanting to do the right thing and get work done, jumping to conclusions about perceived problems based on gut instinct and hearsay, applying poor fixes that are doomed to fail over the long-term. Does this describe OSI? Focus on understanding the problem not the solution.
  24. 24. Is the Issue Agreement? Do we really agree on the where we want to go? On what the gap in performance is? Future Sate Do we really agree on how we will get there? Current Sate itio s an Tr n lan P Do we really agree on the where we are? On the current condition?
  25. 25. How Do We Get Agreement Today? State your case more strongly than others Force your perspective “Meeting” people into submission I’ve got the data Do the “hard sell”
  26. 26. Engagement and Thinking  Here is how I see things what about you?  What am I missing?  What do you think?  What have you seen? “Gemba”  How can we go see together?
  27. 27. Engaging Conversations  Candor  Disagreement  Informal surface early dialogue  Getting firsthand understanding  Taking personalities out of the process
  28. 28. A3 as Storytelling  The A3, it’s description of the issues, proposals and plans must make sense to others  The link between the actions and the issue need to be based on the facts of the actual situation  The story must be complete (PDCA)  Your purpose is to get agreement that leads to action (engagement rather than convincing) Ask the deep “why” questions. Get down to the root to get Try to create common understanding & agreements cause good results
  29. 29. Key Questions  Have you identified the gap between the current and future state?  Did you go to the gemba – observe and talk to the people who do the work in order to full grasp the situation?  Did you clarify the true business objective(s)?  Did you isolate the real root cause?  Did you uncover the right information to support good analysis?  Did you construct the A3 in the most clear and concise manner? Do we really understand how this meets our objective?
  30. 30. Developing an A3 – Agreeing on a Plan Goal and Analysis  What does performance need to be to fill the gap?  Why aren’t we getting that performance today?  What will it take to change our performance?  What should our goal be for this issue?  What tools/methods/process will we use to determine the root cause and/or best solution?  What is the root cause? Why this goal? What are the alternatives? How do you know you fully understand what needs to be done? 
  31. 31. Some Common Problems in Planning  We plan in terms of actions (tasks) rather than goals or objectives  Responsibilities and the specifics of deliverables are not clear  We plan in silos, out of context of the rest of organization or operation  We underestimate the time and effort required to implement  We don’t make reviews part of the plan
  32. 32. Before You Get to implementing the Plan?  What is the problem or issue?  Who owns the problem?  What is the root cause?  What are some of the possible countermeasures?  How will you decide which countermeasures to propose?  How will you get agreement from everyone concerned? Think Focus onis to problem beforeproblem to get locked into 1 countermeasure. Are you about countermeasures. attempt to agreement. Purposeworking on the right you Don’tto getfind countermeasures. robustly the create an understanding begin with?
  33. 33. Developing an A3 – Proposing Action  What is your recommendation / countermeasure (make sure it relates to the root cause)?  What   is the plan (who, what, where, when)? Gantt chart with exact timelines Deliverables Why did you pick this countermeasure? How do you know this will work? How will you make sure it gets done? Remember you are writing a story
  34. 34. Developing an A3 – Checking, Adjusting and Standardizing  How will we know if the actions are delivering the expected results (measurements, timing)?  How will we make adjustments?  How can we standardize the new processes once they are working?  What other areas do we need to look at?  How do we review with everyone and spread the lessons learned? What have we learned? How can we spread this learning? How can we sustain the improvement?
  35. 35. The Check on Your A3 Process  Without the underlying management philosophy, without PDCA as a discipline of the organization A3 can become just a new form to display old thinking.  Are we making better decisions and implementing them better and faster?  Are people more engaged in decision making? Is there more candid dialogue?  Is the focus on the process and the scientific method rather than the idea or the person?  Are we reducing the time to business results?
  36. 36. Summary A3 Process The Purpose of the A3 Process is to:  Structure effective and efficient dialogue to foster understanding and reach agreement Heading Do 11” Plan Check Footnotes 17” Act
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