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The latest book from the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) reveals the thinking underlying the A3 management process at the heart of lean management and lean leadership. “Managing to Learn: Using the A3 Management Process to Solve Problems, Gain Agreement, Mentor, and Lead” by Toyota veteran John Shook reveals how A3 thinking helps managers and executives identify, frame, and then act on problems and challenges. Shook calls this approach, which is captured in the simple structure of an A3 report, “the key to Toyota’s entire system of developing talent and continually deepening its knowledge and capabilities.”
The A3 report is a Toyota-pioneered practice of getting the problem, the analysis, the corrective actions and the action plan down on a single sheet of large (A3) paper, often with the use of graphics. A3 paper is the international term for a large sheet of paper, roughly equivalent to the 11x 17-in. U.S. sheet.
“The widespread adoption of the A3 process standardizes a methodology for innovating, planning, problem solving, and building foundational structures for sharing a broader and deeper form of thinking that produces organizational learning deeply rooted in the work itself,” said Shook, who 10 years ago co-authored “Learning to See,” an LEI publication that taught readers how to map value streams to identify and eliminate waste. “Learning to See” has sold more than 173,000 copies and been translated into 12 languages.
Visit www.lean.org for more information.