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Understanding A3 Thinking: A Critical Component of Toyota's PDCA Management System
By Durward K. Sobek II and Art Smalley.
Published by Productivity Press, ISBN-10: 1563273608, ISBN-13: 978-1563273605, 184 pages (March 2008)

Understanding ThinkingThis book is easy to read and it explains with detail how to draw an A3 diagram. It gives you valuable advice on how the information is displayed or the structure. It is suggested for all lean practitioners, project managers or people who use data to understand problems and show improvements. The authors offer profound insights to A3 thinking and structure. They also paint a deeper understanding of the thinking at Toyota. Of particular interest, the explanation of Nemawashi and how the A3 author must return to those where their concerns were not addressed to explain why. The authors even give a nice overview of Tufte's graph theories while providing an easy template to choose the best graph to match your communication goal. For project managers, the A3 project status template is worth exploring. The dashboards of this structure paints a better picture while ensuring the organization's objectives are still being met (projects can chug along way past this simple goal and this report keeps it grounded). Many organizations are launching A3 to the mix of Improvement Workshops and Value Stream work. This book offers practical suggestions for starting A3 at enterprise level.

Contact the Book Review Chairs if you are interesting in getting a book reviewed:

Haleh Byrne, Product Lead for Industrial Engineering and Continuous Improvement, North Carolina State University; and

Arsalan Safari, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology