Toyota Kata Strengthens the Application of A3 Problem-Solving

Summary and Objectives

Toyota Kata strengthens the application of A3 Problem-Solving

Oscar Roche and Gene Kaschak will collaborate and lead this session.

The traditional application of A3 Problem-Solving establishes a goal, conducts root cause analysis, implements an action plan (being a list of countermeasures), then checks and acts (or adjusts).   Through years of teaching A3 problem solving, Gene observed that many teams fail to implement proposed countermeasures identified by the A3 process because the action plan was not appropriate to close the gap.  Creating an action plan from the furthest point from the goal, the maximum point of uncertainty, feels a little impulsive. Further, if within the root cause analysis, people go beyond their knowledge threshold (beyond facts and data and into opinions and beliefs), then the analysis itself may not lead to a reliable action plan.

The Toyota Kata patterns fit perfectly into A3s and strengthens them.  They don’t replace A3s.  These patterns allow the users of A3 to explore the “Grey Zone” of our understanding without committing to an action plan prematurely.  During this round table, we will discuss examples of how integrating the Toyota Kata patterns into the A3 process has increased the success rate of the problem-solving process, what we have learned through our A3 experimentation, and what our next steps will be


Gene Kaschak, is a Lean Coach and Strategy Manager with Manufacturers Resource Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.   Prior to joining MRC in 2014, Gene was an Engineering Project Leader at Lutron Electronics.  Having 25 years in manufacturing with experience in product development, manufacturing engineering, maintenance leadership, information technology, and continuous improvement facilitation, Gene approaches all his projects with a strong customer-focused perspective.

Gene earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a certificate in Leadership and Business Management from the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College.  He is a TWI Institute Certified Kata 10-Hour Trainer.