Understanding A3 Thinking: A Critical Component of Toyota's PDCA Management System
Art Smalley, Durward K. Sobek
Winner of a 2009 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Prize. The A3 report has proven to be a key tool In Toyotaâ€™s successful move toward organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and improvement, especially within its engineering and R&D organizations. The power of the A3 report, however, derives not from the report itself, but rather from the development of the culture and mindset required for the implementation of the A3 system. In other words, A3 reports are not just an end product but are evidence of a powerful set of dynamics that is referred to as A3 Thinking.
Respect for People
"The fifth item of my list pertains to development of employee talent over time. Respect for people means developing their latent skills in both on the job and off the job training. It is easy to invest money in new technology, software, or equipment. It takes time, effort, and planning to invest in employee skills development. Canned training programs and Powerpoint slide presentations do not do the job."
Shigeo Shingo: Influence on TPS
An Interview with Mr. Isao Kato. "his main contribution to Toyota was actually as an instructor of fundamental process improvement methods and developer of several thousand manufacturing engineers in the company. This influence should be properly recognized as we all learned a great deal from him on how to see problems in production."