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Luis Saffie is a technologist with passion for building motivated teams and high impact products (more...)

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A3 Problem Solving Process

Toyota, known for its relentness ways to introspect and evolve, has crafted, over the years, a process to solve all problems as they arise.

This process is known as the A3 process. A3 comes from the paper size A3.

Bottom line is that that there are 10 steps that one must follow in the indicated order to solve a problem.

I have solved many problems in my career with different technologies and teams of all sizes that this process makes a lot of sense to me.


Without further ado, here are the steps:

step name
Step 0 Identify a problem or need
Step 1 Conduct research to understand the current situaion
Step 2 Conduct root cause analysis
Step 3 Devise countermeasures to address root causes
Step 4 Develop a target state
Step 5 Create an implementation plan
Step 6 Develop a follow-up plan with predicted outcomes
Step 7 Discuss plans with all affected parties
Step 8 Obtain approval for implementation
Step 9 Implement plans
Step 10 Evaluate the results