Problem Solving Using PDCA, A3, and Root-Cause

Provided by: MEP Courses

In any workplace, problems arise every day that need to be solved. In a manufacturing environment, solving problems can be challenging due to the large number of interrelated systems that exist in the typical manufacturing plant. For example, is a high defect rate due to issues with incoming materials, operator techniques, machine settings, or all of these? To solve problems correctly and efficiently, using a structured problem solving method is key. Structured problem solving allows you to use proven methods to identify the true problem, your desired target, high-potential solutions and then validate that the solutions implemented indeed solved the problem. In this course, you will learn about how the Plan-Do-Check-Act method of problem solving, the A3 problem solving tool, and the root-cause analysis technique form a foundation for effective problem solving. you will also learn how to use additional problem solving tools, including Pareto charts and fishbone diagrams.

Course Objectives:

  • Describe the concept of structured problem solving
  • List the benefits of using a structured problem solving method
  • Describe the goals of each Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) step
  • List the activities that take place during each PDCA step
  • Explain how the A3 form is used to document PDCA
  • List and describe problem solving tools and techniques, including root-cause analysis, Pareto charts, and fishbone diagrams.

Recommended Background

  • Recommended for Engineers, supervisors and team leaders, technicians, and other manufacturing employees:with at least two to three years of experience in manufacturing.

Course ID


Skill Focus

Smart People


Purdue University MEP

Employee Type


Method of Delivery


Estimated Effort

4 hours


$ 79