Problem Solving Using PDCA, A3, and Root Cause Analysis

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. Together, this new knowledge and skill will help you solve problems in a more streamlined and efficient manner, making you a valuable resource within your organization.

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



Company Choice


Purdue University MEP


Communication, Critical Thinking, Personal Effectiveness, Problem Solving Tools (A3, PDCA, Process Mapping, etc...)

Method of Delivery


Estimated Effort

4 hours


$ 79