A3 THINKING METHODOLOGY

Hello to everyone,

Since we were the last lessons working on solving problems that have arisen in warehouses, I would like to introduce the A3 Thinking, which is a problem-solving tool. We were requested to use it in one of the last logistic activities, so I thought that it would be interesting to tell you more about this process.

A3 is also known as SPS, which stands for “Systematic Problem Solving” The process is based on the principles  PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act). Here we have an example of the worksheet used in “A3 problem solving” methodology.

The A3 approach is divided into a number of steps which can vary. Most often, eight (8) problem-solving steps are used.

  1. Problem description, Initial Perception (PLAN)
  2. Breakdown of the Problem, Problem Clarification (PLAN)
    • Mapping out for this step can be driven by a set of questions. For example, the “5 W’s (what, where, when, why, who) and 2H’s” (how, how many).
  3. Point of Cause, Setting Target (PLAN)
  4. Containment (PLAN)
  5. Cause and Effect, Ishikawa (PLAN)
  6. Follow Up Action, Corrective Actions (DO)
  7. Effect Confirmation (CHECK)
  8. Share the successfully implemented actions (ACT)

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In conclusion, by following this methodology we will be more efficient while we are solving problems or at least we will increase our possibilities to solve the problem using this process. It is very important, as the JP says always to create the perfect environment to work, removing things that are not relevant and starting with a solid base, as we can see in this tool where 5 points are based on planning our actions.

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