A3 Document Types & Uses – Skill Level 1: Knowledge

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A3 document types and uses course. In this module, learn about the four different types of A3 and their typical uses. Part of our Lean Learning Journey platform.


Published: February 2021

Author: David Marriott Courses, Lean Enterprise Academy


In this module, learn about the four different types of A3 and their typical uses. This is a key topic area for all lean thinkers. Part of our Lean Learning Journey platform.

A3 Thinking was widely popularised by the launch of the book “Managing to Learn” by John Shook in 2009. The core story shares how a young manager discovers the content and meaning of the A3 process by tackling a document translation problem.

However, that is only one type of problem and one A3. There are actually four basic types of A3. Use each depending upon your situation. These are:

  1. Proposal – Activity planningPlan.
  2. Problem Solving – Resolve business issuesDo.
  3. Status – Report progress against milestonesCheck.
  4. Reflection – Share learning / informationAct.

The course is divided into sections. These are as follows:

  • In Purpose, learn why A3’s are important, what to use them for and how. We will also explain some of the benefits of using them.
  • For Process, we explain the four different types, their content and how to apply them to different situations.
  • In People, understand the behaviours and leadership skills required around A3’s and how that supports the capability development of people.

In summary, the material includes:

    • 4 Topics – Background, Purpose, Process and People
    • Examples and templates to download on each type.
    • A3 document types and uses.

This product is included with our Learning Platform Subscription.