Building beams
School of Lean

A3 Thinking

The term A3” tech­ni­cal­ly refers to an 11×17 sheet of paper. In Lean, the A3 is so much more than a piece of paper — it’s a valu­able tool that helps work­ers visu­al­ize the think­ing behind the prob­lem-solv­ing process. 

A3 Think­ing is part tool, part method­ol­o­gy, designed to help teams iden­ti­fy the most crit­i­cal aspects of a prob­lem using the PDCA cycle, then using that infor­ma­tion to cre­ate a one-page sto­ry. A3s are valu­able coach­ing tools, as they pro­vide a win­dow into the learner’s thought process.

The goal with A3 Think­ing is to devel­op a con­sis­tent, sus­tain­able process for plan­ning and prob­lem-solv­ing, as well as improv­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion through­out the entire organization.

What You’ll Learn in this A3 Problem-Solving Training Course

Gem­ba Academy’s Lean A3 train­ing course is a nine-part series that intro­duces the con­cept of A3 and how it can be used as both a method­ol­o­gy and a prob­lem-solv­ing tool.

This A3 train­ing will:

  • Intro­duce the fun­da­men­tals of A3 Think­ing and why it’s an impor­tant part of Lean management.
  • Explain each of the nine steps of A3 Thinking.
  • Exam­ine the rela­tion­ship between A3 Think­ing and the PDCA cycle.
  • Show you how to use A3 to dis­till the most crit­i­cal ele­ments of a prob­lem into a one-page sto­ry, keep­ing things con­cise and focused.
  • Teach you how to use A3 Think­ing for prob­lem-solv­ing, deci­sion-mak­ing, plan­ning, and more using an A3 train­ing exer­cise. We’ll walk you through the process of fill­ing out the tem­plate and explain how A3s can be adapt­ed to dif­fer­ent situations.
Technician on laptop in factory

Benefits of this Gemba Academy Online A3 Training Course

A3 Think­ing can be used across a wide range of appli­ca­tions, from deci­sion-mak­ing and prob­lem-solv­ing to plan­ning, report­ing, and coach­ing employees.

At the end of this course, you’ll under­stand how to use this tool to build con­sen­sus and encour­age col­lab­o­ra­tion in your own organization.

  • Hear from experts with real-world experience.

    All cours­es are designed and led by Lean experts who draw from lessons learned from work­ing with com­pa­nies all over the world.

  • On-demand learn­ing.

    Our A3 Think­ing train­ing course is part of an asset library of 2,000+ on-demand video cours­es. Gem­ba Acad­e­my sub­scribers have unlim­it­ed access to all cours­es and can watch any­time, on any device.

  • Cours­es are designed for con­tin­u­ous improvement.

    Gem­ba Academy’s online Lean man­age­ment cours­es are designed for con­tin­u­ous improve­ment. All lessons are 15 min­utes or less and offer prac­ti­cal insights and instruc­tion that teach­es learn­ers to iden­ti­fy, under­stand, and solve problems.

You can watch the first video in every course series for free, includ­ing the first mod­ule in our A3 train­ing series.