Continuous improvement: the "A3" lean thinking course

De Angeli Prodotti keep their employees up-to-date with periodical education courses. On February and March a few meetings regarding  “A3” took place in our company.

"A3 is a structured problem solving and continuous improvement approach, first employed at Toyota and typically used by lean manufacturing practitioners.[1] It provides a simple and strict approach systematically leading towards problem solving over structured approaches." - Source: WikiPedia 

A3 problem solving

A3 are paper sheets (A3 format) that help to solve problems and organize projects involving more people, trough a synthetic and visual layout.

The schematic representation is extremely efficient in order to achieve a common goal using the contribution of everyone, to explain the context and planning the timing and the way to act in a visual way.
The A3 allows several people to share the ideas in a summarize, schematic and sequential manner. You can use this tool to better avoid the excess of information, which can create confusion and don’t lead to the goal.
It is a brainstorming session, where more people share and discuss together to find a useful way to achieve a certain goal.

 

A3 problem solving

Aims of the course

To enhance the own know-how with the knowledge of a new tool to organize the work, as well to take advantage from A3 in practical situations for business and thus increasing the efficiency and the quality of work.

 

Operating methods

The course provided meetings in groups of 15 people, involving the department’s managers,  the sales and administrative employees, the R&D engineers.
The course is divided into two main steps: the first one to understand the matter of what you are talking about, the second one to practice and assimilate.

 

A3 problem solving

Performed activities

The acquisition of the necessary skills for the correct use of the instrument has been supported by the dynamism of the lessons, that helped to fix the theoretical concepts through group’s activities in order to achieve a common goal in real time.

 

Our Feedback!

We have received extremely positive feedback, even if different personalities took part to the course. It has been developed including a playful component, to involve all the participant. In addition, the utility of the A3 as an organizing way, has been recognized for its efficiency and welcomed in the daily work of every employee.