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A3 problem solving method

Monday 12 February 2007 by emmanuel

- People are the first asset of a company.

- Economy during the last 50 years gradually came from the era where cost of products - at the time rare (6 months of waiting for a car,…)- was relatively more important than human cost, to an era where human cost is dominating compared to cost of materials and components. The
development of people competence at all levels is a major factor of good health for companies.

- It is in any case the practice of Toyota, which deploys its own method of problem solving, from the chairman to the operator : the “A3” method. [1]

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La méthode A3 permet à Toyota de faire croitre les compétences de ses personnels.
A3 problem solving method helps people grow : hito-zukuri.

- knowing to solve a problem or a customer “crisis” is a key competence for the company: transform your company with the Toyota A3 method.

- Lysippe trains you with the method A3 Toyota. A Lysippe exclusiveness in France / Europe. In north America we can advise you the best experts, former Toyota people. For a training on the Gemba, please contact us.

- A3 method is not only a technique, it is a means of growing people and leaders by requiring them to be extremely precise and to think.

- The A3 method:

  • Is pragmatic and focused on problems description, thus facilitating installation of simple, economic, and effective solutions.
  • Includes concepts of Toyota Production System which are relevant when it comes to “seeing problems”.
  • Allows to describe problems in such way, and with such a precision, that it becomes easy to find counter-measures.
  • Practiced daily by all allows appearance of a team spirit thus developing a powerful company.
  • Makes people grow.
  • Is the elementary “brick” of the Toyota house.

[1A3 is the paper sheet format (approx 11"x17") on which the synthesis of the problem solving path is written and told as a story to people taking part in this resolution. A3 = 420mm X 297mm sheet of paper. Toyota adopted this format because it is a wasting to present a work in more than one page.

[2Jidoka, sometimes translated Autonomation, or automation with human judgement, is a whole set of techniques. Jidoka is firstly the will to use only one operator to control several machines. Secondly production of a defect or the possibility of producing a defect is immediately announced by the automatic machine which stops instantaneously. Thirdly in manual operations, operators who encounter a “problem” (defect, variation, impossibility of following “standard” of work) must immediately warn their team leader by drawing on a cord. Line is stoped at the end of the operating cycle.


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