Sunday, August 11, 2013

A3: A Lean Champion's Best Friend

A friend of mine, Mr. Wayne Pegolo, Continuous Improvement Manager at Alinabal (Milford, CT), was kind enough to send me along some observations he has made comparing doing A3 vs. 3 day kaizan events as the vehicle to make improvements. Here is Wayne's note:

Dear Bill,

I have a topic you can share with everyone on your blog based on my recent experience in coaching A3 projects to the employees here at Alinabal. What I have discovered is that teaching, coaching, and mentoring team leaders to facilitate an A3 project requires far less effort, time, and patience, for a Lean Champion (such as myself) then it does to train an employee on how to run and facilitate a Kaizen event. In the past 3 months at Alinabal, I have trained over a dozen team leaders on the A3 concept. We currently have 17 active A3 projects in process and another 20 or so that have been assigned to a team leader but not started just yet.

If we were to do the 17 A3 projects as a Kaizen event. Here’s what would of happened: 

  1. I would have to train employees on how to facilitate and run a Kaizen event. To train just 1 person on facilitating a Kaizen event could take months. That person would also have to be on at least 2 or more events before they can even think about being a facilitator. 
  2. Because we don’t have employees that are experienced in facilitating a Kaizan Event, I would have to be the Kaizen Facilitator. This means we would probably have 12 events the whole year as compared to the 40 plus A3 ‘s we already have projected for this year. Which would you prefer to have? 40+ A3 projects per year, or 12 Kaizan Events per year?
With the training I gave to the A3 team leaders, we now have over 15 team leaders doing A3 problem solving projects and using effective root cause analysis. They are using the 5 Whys & fishbone diagrams because it is imbedded right on the A3 form for them to use. There is no reason for the Team Leader not to use these problem solving tools.

Take care.

Wayne Pegolo


Continuous Improvement Manager

Direct Tel. 203-301-6118

Office Tel. 203-877-3241 Ext: 218

Fax. 203-874-5063

Alinabal Inc. | The Alinabal Group of Companies | Achieving Excellence Worldwide

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