Published 15 Aug 2023
What is an A3 Report?
An A3 report or A3 Model is a problem-solving method typically used by managers and supervisors to identify, understand, and resolve problems in a business setting. Having evolved from the Toyota Production System’s (TPS) lean management philosophy, it is now commonly used by various industries looking to improve their operational quality and efficiency.
The PDCA (plan-do-check-act or plan-do-check-adjust) is a management method utilized within the A3 Model. It is a scientific method that aims to:
- Establish the desired result and propose a solution to achieve it (plan)
- Test the proposed solution and gather data regarding its effectiveness (do)
- Analyze the data gathered from the test and compare results to the desired outcome (check)
- Make adjustments to the solution based on the data from the “do” and “check” phases until the goal is achieved (act or adjust)
In this article
- Top 3 Reasons to Use A3 Reports
- When NOT to Use an A3 Report
- Technology to Assist in A3 Reporting
- The Best A3 Report Templates
Top 3 Reasons to Use A3 Reports
Despite the abundance of problem-solving models (8D, 5 Whys, CAPA, etc), there are still compelling reasons for businesses to make A3 lean reports an integral part of their organization. Failing to do an A3 report where it is warranted could result in project blowouts, productivity loss, and process inefficiency.
It is a versatile problem-solving tool
A successful business is one that constantly strives to operate at maximum capacity. A3 reporting helps achieve this ideal by identifying issues, inefficiencies, and ambiguities in the business process, then coming up with possible solutions. Through careful analysis, collaboration, and critical thinking, the A3 model can adapt to almost any type of business or industry.
Integrating the PDCA Method into their operational framework helps businesses adapt to any challenges that could negatively affect their operations, e.g., new trends, competition, or a shift in the economic landscape.
To communicate across functions and keep stakeholders informed of issues/problems
Though not primarily designed to be a communication tool, an A3 Report can be used to inform different functions as well as stakeholders regarding operational issues and plans to resolve them. It’s especially effective since its one-page format includes only the most relevant details of the matter.
Aside from functioning as a problem-solving and reporting tool, the A3 model can also be used for business proposals and business planning.
When NOT to Use an A3 Report
A3 reports are flexible and effective in the hands of a capable team. However, some issues aren’t complex enough to necessitate an A3 or may be addressed better with alternative problem-solving models.
If a problem can easily be fixed with a simple, obvious solution
Using an A3 Report on something as simple as tightening a loose screw or updating an erroneous entry on a spreadsheet is unnecessary. A3 Reports should be reserved for complex issues that require careful analysis, critical thinking, and a team to resolve.
If the problem and proposed solutions are too complex to fit in one-page
A problem’s scale and its impact must be properly evaluated before a team decides to use A3 to solve it. In such instances where A3 will not suffice, other, more thorough problem-solving models such as 8D may be the better option.
Technology to Assist in A3 Reporting
The effectiveness of the A3 model relies heavily on the successful analysis and interpretation of data. Using a versatile data collection, analysis, and template-building app like SafetyCulture can help businesses reap the benefits of A3 reporting.
Convenient data collection
- Collect data from the field anytime with your phone or tablet, even while offline!
- Validate your findings with digital signatures.
- Save and secure your information with unlimited cloud storage.
Generate and share A3 reports instantly
- After completing the A3 report template, you can immediately generate a report to be shared with colleagues and stakeholders!
- Easily customize our pre-made A3 Report Templates to fit your business needs.
- Export your A3 report in a variety of formats including PDF, DOC, and CSV.
Manage teams easier
- Assign and track corrective actions to team members through a single app.
- Update assigned corrective actions from your mobile device and receive notifications in real-time!
- World-class 24/5 customer support to assist you with your SafetyCulture queries.
The Best A3 Report Templates
Use this 5 whys template to resolve the root cause of a problem so that your business teams can avoid encountering them again. Begin by clearly stating the problem and answer why the problem occurred until the root cause is discovered. To complete the 5 whys template, provide a solution to the root cause of the problem and create actions.
Use this root-cause analysis template to analyze a recurring problem and help eliminate the root causes. Begin by describing the issue and its impact. Next, list potential reasons why the issue happened and identify the root cause and take/attach photo evidence for verification. Provide a prevention strategy and recommend solutions before completing the RCA template with digital signatures.
A CAPA Report form is designed to help identify, address, and prevent the occurence of regulatory and organizational non-conformance. This can be used by compliance officers when formulating a corrective action to resolve the issue, and a preventive action to lower the risk of its recurrence.
A kaizen report template is used by kaizen implementers to present changes in job tasks or processes after continuous improvement efforts. This kaizen report template has been designed to make it easier for employees and management to identify any of the 8 wastes and eliminate them for increased morale, productivity, and competitiveness.
A PPAP checklist is used by quality managers to comply with all customer specifications, manufacture conforming parts, and ship them as scheduled. This comprehensive PPAP checklist includes detailed questions for each of the 18 production part approval process guidelines—from design records to part submission warrant.
This A3 deficiency checklist is ideal for the construction and engineering industry to regularly check and continually improve the weaknesses found on their site. These deficiencies, if not properly addressed—can cause a negative impact on the safety of workers and the overall health of the site. As an A3 management process template, it enables site inspectors to examine specific spots and determine if there’s a need for change in the general procedure being followed. Additionally, this checklist can be used to inspect the following areas for deficiencies:
- Radio-Frequency (RF) engineering
- Communications, Navigation, and Identification (CNI)
- Housekeeping Items
This PDCA template can function as an A3 management process template and is applicable across industries and in various sectors. It contains a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a comprehensive problem-identification and problem-solving process, similar with how straightforward A3 reports are. This template also allows users to include additional notes they deem necessary for the successful completion of the technique.