For the young-guns out there, one of the most powerful management tools to facilitate a idea, turn it into a story and solve problems is the classic A3 Report.

The premise comes from lean manufacturing ( and helps to break down a problem or define it on the left side of the paper and proposes solutions on the right.

Typically its used for continuous improvement projects but really could be used for any problem.  The beauty of how it works is that an A3 is a standard paper size 11 x 17 inches so it is big enough that when printed everyone can see it on the wall and small enough that not only do you need to pré·cis your sentences to fit within the space but if you cannot describe the problem or solution within the defined space then the scope of your project is too big and you need another A3.

It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain ‘ I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead’

So what happens if you take the idea and concept of the A3 and weave it into your storyboard with Microsoft’s latest product called Sway.

The benefits of being over 40 mean that I actually understand the value and power of paper, yet relatively young enough that I dislike it and am willing and able to change.  But if you’re over 50 – I’ve just attached a template for you to use.  It works wonders.


Call me if you have questions on how to use it

Mike Fontaine