A1.5. A3

A3

What should I expect the outcomes to be of using the tool?

  • As the name suggests the A3 is linked to its size – an ideal size to visually capture information about your improvement initiative.
  • An A3 is a visual tool that can be used to capture and plan ideas for improvement.
  • Data and information gathered about the improvement are presented within the A3.
  • An A3 is also a tool for presenting and reporting progress and to review outcomes of improvement work.

Tool/ method

The A3 can be used at the start of your improvement for planning, and also as you start to implement your improvement and when you are reviewing the outcomes of your improvement.

The template and guide below helps you to identify what could be added to each area of the A3 template.

Why we may choose to use this tool/ method?

An A3 is a visual tool to focus on:

  • What is the improvement you want to make?
  • What is the system to be improved?
  • Who will it involve?
  • When – the timeframe to accomplish the aim?
  • Where – all areas/one area?
  • Impact – specific measurable goals/targets?

How you might use this tool/ method?

The A3 can be used when generating ideas for improvement, these ideas may be to capture a project or initiative that has been identified as an area for improvement or they may arise from other improvement work.

An example could be that you have been asked to look at improving waiting times for a service. At the start of this work you would identify, at a high level, all of the various components of the A3 to help you identify the problem, what you are trying to achieve etc. You can then refine the A3 as you get more information and also to show progress as the project progresses. You can display the A3 on a wall or in an office to share information about the project. The A3 is a useful reporting tool as all the key elements are held on one piece of paper.

An A3 may be completed as a result of identifying potential ideas for improvement that have arisen from a brain storming session, using six hats or from mapping a process. Any ideas for improvements can be captured, and then used to prioritise and share with Sponsors. A process Owner will take an A3 and ‘own’ it to ensure it is updated and shared.

What next?

The A3 is a ‘living’ document so will be updated for the life of the improvement initiative. If the improvement is a big initiative it may be that the improvement is split into a number of improvement projects, in this case, as lower level improvements are identified, an A3 would be completed for each. Therefore one project may have a number of A3 improvement sheets linked to it.

When completing an A3 it may help to develop the aims section by using Aims statements and organising the initiatives that are associated with an improvement by using a Driver Diagram (see developing aims and driver diagram tools).

Examples/ case studies/ links to best practice/ evidence

Contact for further information

Karen McAllister – CLIC Programme Manager

Karen.McAllister@cumbriaccg.nhs.uk

 

Templates and visualisations:

 

CPS TOOLKIT

Toolkit overview
The purpose of this toolkit
What is the Cumbria Production System?
How can we transform our services?
Cumbria Production System - improvement principles
What improvement outcomes and results can we expect?
When should you use the tools?
Key tool templates and visualisations
Summary of tools
Module 1: Our approach to improvement
1.1 Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA)
1.2 After Action Review (AAR)
1.3 Data gathering and evidence and '5 whys'
1.4 Measuring for improvement
1.5 A3
Module 2: Seeing the issues and adding value for the people who use our services
2.1 Maximising value
2.2 Customer Journey Mapping (CJM)
2.3 Process mapping
2.4 Value Stream Mapping (VSM)
Module 3: Waste removal and standardisation
3.1 Waste, waste wheel, waste walk
3.2 Spaghetti diagrams
3.3 5S workplace organisation
Module 4: Flow, demand and standard operations
4.1 Demand analysis
Module 5: Taking people with us
5.1 Stakeholder analysis
Appendices
A. The tools in detail
Module 1: Our approach to improvement
A1.1 Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA)
A1.2 After Action Review (AAR)
A1.3 Data gathering and evidence and '5 whys'
A1.4 Measuring for improvement
A1.5 A3
Module 2: Seeing the issues and adding value for the people who use our services
A2.1 Maximising value
A2.2 Patient/ Customer Journey Mapping
A2.3 Process mapping
A2.4 Value Stream Mapping (VSM)
Module 3: Waste removal and standardisation
A3.1 Waste, waste wheel, waste walk
A3.2 Spaghetti diagrams
A3.3 5S workplace organisation
Module 4: Flow, demand and standard operations
A4.1 Demand analysis
Module 5: Taking people with us
A5.1 Stakeholder analysis
C. References and acknowledgements