Extending the A3: A Study of Kaizen and Problem Solving

  • Eric O. Olsen (California Polytechnic State University)
  • Darren Kraker (California Polytechnic State University)
  • Jesse K. Wilkie (Shopatron, Inc.)


A case study of a continuous improvement, or kaizen, event is used to demonstrate how allowing “extended” responses to the respective sections of lean A3 problem solving format can enhance student, teacher, and researcher understanding of problem solving. Extended responses provide background and reasoning that are not readily provided by the frugal statements and graphics typically provided in A3s. This approach is an alternative to the iterative one-on-one mentoring most often recommended for learning A3 methodology and improves the efficiency in teaching. The case problem referenced involves a lecturer hiring process at a large state university.

Keywords: lean manufacturing/Six Sigma, management, teaching methods, teamwork, visual communications, information technology, quality control

How to Cite:

Olsen, E. O. & Kraker, D. & Wilkie, J. K., (2014) “Extending the A3: A Study of Kaizen and Problem Solving”, The Journal of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering 30(3).

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Published on
07 Jan 2014