What Am I Pitching?
A3 Reports are a simple and concise way of reporting project progress and analytical data. There comes a moment where you are asked for a quick update on your project. In that moment, you need to have an ‘elevator pitch’ ready for your project. The A3 Report prepares you for just such a situation. It puts a clear, concise overview of your project at your fingertips.
The Power of the A3 Report
It’s just a piece of paper. But, it’s one of the most powerful and effective Lean tools available. An A3 Report is a generic name applied to a document written on a large sheet of paper. It refers to the international standard for an 11-by-17-inch paper. The A3 process is a Toyota-pioneered practice of getting a problem, an analysis, a corrective action, and an action plan written down on a single sheet of large paper, often with the use of simple graphics. An A3 Report should contain the following information:
- Background – A brief description of the problem. Telling the story.
- Current Situation – Visual depictions of the problem.
- Analysis – Work performed to determine root cause(s).
- Goal – What does the situation need to be.
- Recommendations – Describe the solution(s).
- Implementation Plan – Tasks, start dates, duration, responsibilities, and completion status.
- Follow Up – Ensure you are maintaining.
- Results Report – Charted progress of measurable results.
Results and Outcomes
Never underestimate the power of the A3 Report. When properly accomplished, it can provide insight and complete clarity to those both inside and outside the scope of the project. Don’t allow yourself to believe this is a quick ‘fill in the blank’ form. It requires thought and preparation to properly document the data fields. You are trying to tell a complete story of your project on one page, in other words, provide an ‘elevator pitch’ for the advocacy of your project. The same quality and thoughtful preparation that goes in will provide the absolute best results.