The A3 Form is an excellent tool for screening and managing a portfolio of projects. These projects can range from small improvements or supporting projects to major innovations. In effect, the A3 Form is a 2-page summary business plan that outlines the key components of an opportunity in a format that is easy to read and review. It can also be adapted to a computer database for searching, archiving and secured sharing.
The A3 form and the related A3 problem solving and continuous improvement methodology was first used by Toyota in the 1960’s and still used today. It was based on W. Edwards Deming’s teachings in Japan after World War II including his Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) process, and brought to North America in the 1980’s. The A3 Form is named after the European paper size equivalent of two standard size pieces of paper i.e. about 11”x17”.
The standard form is comprised of a header and seven sections [split 1-4 (Plan) and then 5, 6, 7 (Do, Act, Check) over two pages] as follows:
0: Title: A descriptive title along with the names of the author and manager, the date and version number is provided.
Employing this tool provides a number of benefits:
Good examples of A3 Forms (from a simple search of the internet):
Duncan Jones, Hexagon Innovating (2015) is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.