A3 Problem Solving 

The solving problem does not have a similar way of solving every problem. A3 problem solving is a continuous way of solving problems and a continuous improvement of all the approaches. This structure of problem-solving provides a strict approach which leads to a solution to the problems. Writing an A3 is the first and basic step towards the learning and the proper use of an A3 structure. The best result is expected when properly executed the way on how to deal with the problem at hand. The A3 problem solving is quite related to the problem-solving approach being presented by Deming’s PDCA cycle. The only difference between these two is the processes and the number of steps.


A3 problem-solving leads to problem-solving which is placed based on ISO A3 sheet paper. This is where it gets its name. The process of solving the problem which is also identified as Systematic Problem Solving. The process of solving the problems in this manner is based on the principles and belief of Edward Deming.


The systematic approach is divided into numbers of steps. Specifically, there are 7 steps in a problem-solving. Here are some of the steps in an A3 Problem Solving Structure:

  • Background
  • Statement of the problem
  • Setting the target
  • Cause and Effect
  • Countermeasures
  • Confirmation
  • Follow Up Action

Background – the first step of the problem solving is the background. Clearly, state the impact of the problem to the business objectives. How this will affect the business, the customers, the process, the finance and the new products.

Statement of the problem – it is where the details of the problem are placed. This also includes the intense of the problem and when and where the problem happened and how does this will affect the business. You can help bring back the life of the business by solving the problem.

Setting the target – clear out the goals that you want to achieve and set a time and deadlines for these goals. You have to state the goal in order for you to accomplish these goals with accordance to the A3 problem-solving structure.

Cause and Effect – the root cause analysis is also called as the cause and effect part of the solving problem step. You have to determine and carry out the most basic reason of the problem.

Countermeasures – it is important to come up with a countermeasure that will serve as your guide in solving your problem. You can also draw a plan that will deploy the countermeasures.

Effect Confirmation – once you are done implementing all the countermeasures, you have to look at the results. Identify whether the result is indicating that your countermeasures are all effective and this will help you to achieve your objective.

Follow Up Action – upon achieving the results, it is important to deploy the sustaining gains. Make sure to take all the necessary actions that will help not just you but the business and organization.

The A3 problem solving is a simple yet effective way of solving problems. But, it is not that simple. This also requires the right context and the right conditions.

— Slimane Zouggari