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A3 Report Checklist

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

See our ready-made templates:

A3 Report Template

Use a checklist for the A3 report to make 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

Identify, address, and prevent the occurrence of regulatory and organizational non-conformance with this CAPA report template.

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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 FMEA template intends to recognize and document potential problems in FMEA.

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PPAP Checklist Template

This PPAP 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 users apply the DMAIC method as a root cause analysis for process improvement.

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What is an A3 Report?

Originally a part of the lean management philosophy of the Toyota Production System (TPS), A3 Reports are one-page reports used for recording the information progress reporting and rational decision-making.

A3 Reports make reporting simple since they look like summaries of numerous detailed reports and analyses. To be more precise, they are usually compiled only in one page and use visuals like graphs, charts, and bullet points to convey the message. Therefore, they are often called “one-pagers”. The name “A3” derived from the metric paper size that the report is produced on (equivalent to a paper size of 11 inches x 17 inches).

This article briefly explains:

1. 7 elements of A3 report thinking

2. The PDCA cycle in the A3 report template

3. Structure of an A3 report form

4. Benefits of A3 problem-solving

5. Technology to support an A3 report

Our tip:

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A3 thinking aims to develop a specific mindset towards problem-solving. It can be summarized in 7 elements:

  1. Logical Thinking – A3 is a step-based process.

  2. Straightforward and objective representation of information.

  3. Always sharing what and how the end results were achieved.

  4. Giving only necessary information and using as many visuals as possible.

  5. All the actions must comply with the company’s strategy and objectives.

  6. The goal is to create a consistent perspective that can be adjusted across the whole company.

  7. Making the problem-solving process more structured.

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.

Benefits of A3 problem-solving

The advantages of A3 model can be summarized in the following bullet points:

  • A3 reporting is a consistent reporting tool that promotes mentoring and team-building, in general.

  • It encourages information sharing within the organisation thus promoting learning and continuous improvement.

  • The A3 system stands for a commitment to common objectives which strengthens the levels of responsibility.

  • A3 report is used not just for problem-solving but also for suggesting improvements, reporting, coaching etc.

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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