Toyota Kata Strengthens the Application of A3 Problem-Solving

A Lean Frontiers Online Workshop with Oscar Roche and Gene Kaschak.

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Join our online, interactive workshop!

Toyota Kata Strengthens the Application of A3 Problem-Solving- About the Workshop

An Online, Interactive Learning Experience

Gene has seen first-hand how the best improvement ideas usually get started by the people doing the work each and every day.  His early projects in continuous improvement were focused on bringing these ideas to life by listening to small suggestions or comments and designing the proposed solutions. 

As a Lean Coach with the Manufacturers Resource Center, part of the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Gene’s focus now is to develop the scientific thinking skills in the local manufacturing community to bring these improvement ideas to life through daily experiments.  Learning from a small experiment provides the confidence to try a larger or different experiment the next day.  These experiments help achieve goals for the company and expand the knowledge of the people doing the work, leading to true continuous improvement.


Oscar believes in 2 things that drive his endeavors in building capability. 1) people must have trust in his intent; 2) nothing is more effective and liberating than saying “I’m not sure” then learning by doing.

As Director of the Australian, New Zealand and South East Asian TWI Institute Global Partnership Oscar is mindful of these 2 things daily. He frequently quotes a manager he’s met who said “the more I know the more I realize I don’t know”. He feels that as long as he maintains that mindset he can be of service to others.

Finally, he loves Mark Rosenthal’s quote of “Teach to extend their Knowledge Threshold, not demonstrate your own.”


Workshop Details

“A3” is not about the size of the piece of paper, it is how we are thinking as we work through problems.

Toyota Kata is not about a 4-step method and a 5-question card as we aim to improve. It is about how we are thinking and how we are developing that thinking in others.

Can the two come together? Yes, of course. They are complementary. If you’re already using A3s, strengthen them through the Toyota Kata habits. If you’re striving now with Toyota Kata and wish to use the same patterns in a “return to standard” approach like A3, you can and should.

After attending this session, you will understand and be able to explain to others:

  • “A3” Problem-Solving and Toyota Kata for what they really are.
  • Why “action lists” written into project plans at the start don’t really lead to sustainable improvements.
  • The importance of facts as well as data in the Current Situation or Condition.
  • Where skills developed via Toyota Kata can be applied in A3 Problem-Solving.
  • What a Toyota Kata’ised A3 might look like and how to use it.

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