A3 Report Checklist

Identify and solve complex problems in your business process by using an app for your A3 report.

Go paperless, conduct inspections easily and solve issues quicker with your teammates.

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A3 Report

Using a checklist for the A3 report makes it easier to gather the desired information, analyze the problem and plan the solution.

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8D Report Template

An 8D report template is used to document an understandable root-cause inspection based on the 8 Disciplines of Problem-Solving.

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5 Whys Template

Use this 5 whys template to determine the root cause of a problem so that your business teams can prevent encountering them again.

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CAPA Report Template

This template is created to help with CAPA reports.

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Kaizen Report Template

Use this Kaizen report template to easily define the project, category and section/process and to perform other processes.

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FMEA Template

This template intends to recognise and document potential problems in FMEA.

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PPAP Checklist

This checklist contains questions for each of the 18 production part approval process guidelines.

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DMAIC Template

A DMAIC template helps Six Sigma practitioners apply the DMAIC methodology as a root cause analysis for process improvements.

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What is an A3 Report?

Behind an A3 report or A3 model is a problem-solving method typically used by managers and supervisors to identify, understand and solve problems in a business environment. Originally part of the lean management philosophy of the Toyota Production System (TPS), it is now used by various industries seeking to improve their operational quality and efficiency.

Using a checklist for the A3 report makes it easier to gather the desired information, analyze the problem and plan the solution.

This article briefly explains:

1. The Top 3 Reasons for an A3 report

2. The PDCA cycle in the A3 report template

3. Structure of an A3 report form

4. When not to use an A3 report template

5. Technology to support an A3 report

The 3 Most Important Reasons to Carry Out an A3 report

Despite the plethora of problem-solving methods (8D, 5 Whys, CAPA, etc.) there are still good reasons for companies to make A3 reports an integral part of their business. If you don't create an A3 report where it is needed, this can lead to project failures, loss of productivity and process inefficiency.

1. It is a versatile problem-solving tool

A successful company is one that continually strives to operate at maximum capacity. A3 reporting helps to achieve this ideal by identifying issues, vulnerabilities and ambiguities in the business process. The knowledge gained can be used to develop possible solutions. The A3 thinking can be adapted to almost any type of company or industry through careful analysis, collaboration and critical thinking.

2. Building a culture of continuous improvement

The integration of the PDCA method into their operational framework helps companies, to face all challenges, which harm their operation and new trends, competitors or a change in the economic situation.

3. To communicate across departments and inform all stakeholders about issues/problems

Although not primarily designed as a means of communication, the A3 problem solving method can be used to manage different functions and interest groups using operational problems and plans to solve them. It is especially useful since his one-sided scheme only contains the most critical details on the matter includes.

In addition to its function as a problem-solving and reporting tool, the A3 report is also suitable for business proposals and can be used for business planning.

The PDCA cycle in the A3 report template

Each A3 report uses the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle - a standard management method. The scientific approach behind it is aimed at this:

  • To define the desired results and the proposed solution to achieve this goal (plan)

  • Test the proposed solution and collected data for effectiveness(implementation)

  • Analyse the data obtained from the test and compare the results with the desired outcome(check)

  • Adapting the solution based on the data from the "Implementation" and "Check" phases until the objectives have been achieved(action)

structure of an A3 form

A template for the A3 report is divided into seven analysis and work steps. These steps are carried out when the problem is to be solved, or a new standard is to be introduced. First, the four analysis steps are started, which refer to the planning phase of the PDCA cycle. The remaining three work steps reflect the Do, Check and Act phases of the cycle.

1. describe background and problems

This step describes the problem. It must be described so that all employees involved understand the problem and its effects. Besides, the description should show the relevance of the problem solution for achieving the company's goals.

2. capture current situation

In this section the actual state is described as vividly as possible. This can be supported by presenting facts clearly in tables and graphics to show what is happening. It is hoped to identify and analyse the origin of the problem and what is preventing those affected from reaching the target state.

3. describe target state

The target state must be clearly defined. As a rule, it is more effective to think backwards from the target than to search for a goal aim aimlessly. In this step, it must also be clarified how the target state is to be achieved. Which measurement methods should be used to measure success. Which basis or key figure is used as a benchmark for comparison?

4. carry out cause analysis

Cause analysis aims to determine the factors that have a direct influence on the problem. Starting points for effective measures can be derived from the influencing factors. An Ishikawa diagram can be used to collect the causes of the problem.

5. propose countermeasures

This step lists all measures that contribute to achieving the target status. These include measures to eliminate the causes of the problem and to improve the actual state. The following questions should be answered: What is the respective (sub-)problem? How is the problem solved? Who is responsible? When will the measure be implemented? Where will it be carried out?

6. check success effect

An important step in the A3 method with a template, which should not be neglected. Here it is checked whether the measures have led to the planned result. If there is a deviation from the target, the reasons are listed. The achieved effect of the measures is quantified. A graphic representation of the measured effect increases the comprehensibility.

7. standardisation and follow-up

In the last step, the whole process is evaluated. This reflects on which measures should be taken to secure the achieved improvements or to push them further. Particularly successful measures are standardised. Besides, consideration is given to how the experience gained can be applied to other tasks and problems and which other divisions could benefit from the solutions.

When not to use an A3 report

An A3 report is practical and flexible if the right employee supports it. However, some problems are not complex enough to require an A3 report or can be better solved with alternative problem-solving models.

When a problem can easily be solved with a simple, obvious solution

Using an A3 report template for something as simple as tightening a loose screw or updating an incorrect input in a spreadsheet is unnecessary. A3 reports should be used for complex topics that require careful analysis, critical thinking and an entire team to solve.

If a problem and the proposed solution are too complex to fill just one page

The extent and impact of an issue must be assessed appropriately before a team decides to use an A3 report to solve the problem. In cases where an A3 report is not sufficient, other, more thorough problem-solving models such as the 8D report may be a better choice.

Technology to Support an A3 Report Template

The effectiveness of the A3 model depends strongly on the successful analysis and interpretation of the data. With a versatile app for data collection, analysis and template creation like Lumiform, companies can take full advantage of an A3 problem sheet.

A template for the A3 report can be easily created via the app by tablet or smartphone - online or offline. The A3 report template is created via the desktop software and is immediately available to all responsible employees. The data is collected with the respective mobile device on-site and then evaluated in the desktop version.

Lumiform guides all employees through all documentation processes, thus significantly reducing the risk of documentation errors. The digital solution for the A3 report offers many more advantages:

  • All audit results are automatically bundled into a report and can be sent to stakeholders.

  • Generate real-time data via internal processes. This makes quality and safety measurable, and processes are continuously optimized based on the collected data.

  • Increase the efficiency of internal processes: Through more efficient communication within the team, with third parties and with management, as well as faster reporting of problems, they are solved up to 4x faster than before.

  • All data is stored centrally and can be accessed at any time.

  • Comprehensive analyses help to uncover inefficient areas in your company more quickly and thus to improve audit processes continuously.

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