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There are two kata patterns, however, that provide an over arching methodology that can serve as background pattern within which all other lean tools and methods are used.
We highly recommend that you purchase the book and download the (free) accompanying Toyota Kata Handbook, because the training is far deeper than you will find in our web site. Learn more about coaching to a Strategic Challenge on our training page for Lean Principles. Every process that is currently going through a PCDA cycles should have a visual storyboard published on a large bulletin board as close as possible to the process work area. Provides a fill-in-the-blanks road map to remind each Learner to follow ALL of the steps of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata systems. When using the Improvement Kata approach to process improvement, you are specifically discouraged from combining the concepts of Process Analysis and the identification of the 7 types of waste. Take a break from continuous improvement for a while, and give your Coach more time to focus on the other teams that still need to overcome obstacles to reach the current (shared) Strategic Challenge. Your team will spiral into periods of dysfunction — with in-fighting, disengagement, and low morale.
If an internal Coach is not available, hire an external Coach to get your snowball started. Before you start Coaching, you need to be able to competently do the Improvement Kata yourself. Allow you to mentor the Coaches that you coach - to coach exactly the same way that you do? The next session should be scheduled as soon as the results from the next experiment can be known. Most commonly — the next day, often as part of a regularly-scheduled daily coaching session. Rephrased question: Under what circumstance should your mind be automatically triggered to start using the Improvement Kata? The Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata are useful ways to practice and teach continuous improvement habits to navigate unknown territory throughout every level of your organization.
It is very common to focus solely on the end result, without a lot of thought into the underlying things that drive that result.
Specifically, I have seen more than a couple of cases where a manager is working to directly influence how a patient (customer) will answer the questions on the survey.
I certainly can’t speak for the population of patients, but I can say that when I pick up on a scripted phrase, I become very aware of what it is, and it leaves a disingenuous taste. The patients’ experience is what drives how (and even if) they will answer the questions on these surveys. For example, construct a story, told from the patient’s point of view, of coming in for outpatient surgery.
What happens from the time they have their initial consultation until they are on their way home.
What experience, what story, would leave the patient with the impression that you are working as a team, that you know what you are doing, that there is a competent process at work to provide safe, effective care and actually care about their experience? Don’t forget to include your administrative communications in this process – what phone calls do they get?
Build a block diagram, a story board, of the patients’ ideal flow through the system.
The people making the improvements need to be challenged, and focused on, creating a specific experience for the patient. All of that begs the question: Who should make the linkage between process performance and patient satisfaction, because those scores do matter, in a very big way.
As part of Policy Deployment, Administration should be establishing operational standards and challenging the Department Directors to meet them.
They also are making sure the Directors are working on the cross-functional interfaces between their departments.
Key Point: Until you are consistently delivering the product or service, there is little point in trying to change things up. Your on stage process performance is ultimately driven by your back stage process execution. If you want to improve your patient satisfaction scores, establish the operational standard you want to strive for that you think will improve patient satisfaction. While simple on the surface, this question takes us in all kinds of interesting directions.
Takt time is an expression of your customer’s requirement, leveled over the time you are producing the product or service. In the simplest scenario, we have a leveled production line with nothing but manual operations (or the machine operations are trivially short compared to the takt time). If I were to measure the time required for each person on the line to perform their work on one unit of the product or service and add them up, then I have the total work required. If the takt time says I need a unit of output every 36 minutes, then I can do some simple math. But this isn’t your labor cost because that assumes the work can be perfectly balanced, and everything goes perfectly smoothly.
If we don’t know, we can start (for experimental purposes) by planning to run the line about 15% faster than the takt time.
Some people suggest slowing down the process, but this doesn’t change your labor cost per unit. First we need to really study the current process and understand why it takes 360 minutes, and where the variation is coming from.
Then we can take that information, and establish an initial target condition, and get to work.
With that information, you can determine the total labor you need on the line with the takt time.
If that does not make a grammatically coherent statement that makes sense, then the obstacle probably needs to be more specific. The details of the #2 and #3 can take a number of forms, but today I want to talk about the achieve-by date. For example, if a process is carried out in multiple departments, two weeks is enough to try experiments in one of them, but not enough to implement a change across the whole organization. Instead, missing the date is time to step back, reflect, and go back through the steps of the improvement kata. If you hit your target way early, or miss the date, it is also time to reflect on what you didn’t understand about your current condition when you established that target. Pick one obstacle (an easy one, not the one you were beating your head on for the last two weeks!), and design your next experiment.
Even though the keynote addresses were not coordinated, one message emerged across them all. I know I have said this before, but now I see the beginning of a shift in the larger community, away from “kata as a problem solving tool” and toward “kata as a practice routine” for something bigger than the kata themselves.
If they are working on developing the improvement skills of line management, then all well and good. What differentiates excellent organizations from their competitors is effective execution of strategy. It doesn’t do any good to have a Grand Vision if it is vague, or so diluted that Everything Is Important.
A long discussion is a symptom of lack of clarity on the current condition or the challenge. In other words, “What are we trying to accomplish here, and where are we now?” never get asked or clarified.
Dave Kilgore’s presentation (full disclosure: I nominated Dave as a keynote) highlighted an organizational culture as the challenge for his advance team.


Every time someone has to come and ask you something, it means you are an obstacle to their success. Dave Kilgore emphasized the same thing and uses David Marquet’s “Ladder of Leadership” model both as a way to advance the culture, as well as a way to assess the current condition by listening to people.
This year looks to be more of a cross-section of people and companies that are working on their own versions of the culture shift. I have a little insight into one of those presentations – Dave Kilgore of Continental Automotive in Newport News, VA. He talks about the journey of organizing his advance team, what they do, and why they do it. And they have developed a pretty cool “kata” for coaching coaches that is simple and effective.
Thus, I believe the original purpose of hoshin kanri was to provide a mechanism for reaching consensus and alignment within a large, complex organization.
However, I’m not comfortable that what we have ended up with in the west meets the original concept or intent.
The leadership sees or sets a challenge for the organization – something they must be able to do that, today, they cannot.
Different parts of the organization may get a piece of the challenge, or the leadership team may, as a whole, work to figure out what they need to accomplish. This can take the form of KPI targets, but that is not what you are doing if there is a simple percent improvement expected with no over-arching rationale. Instead, the conversation might sound something like “We need to improve our yield by 7% to enable our expected market growth.
In other words, please grasp your current condition, and come back with your next target condition.
An executive I am working with mentioned today that Toyota Kata is what is informing their policy deployment process. Toyota Kata is a practice routine for learning the thinking pattern that makes hoshin kanri (or policy deployment) function as intended.
In hoshin planning, you are planning the destination, and perhaps breaking down individual efforts to get there, but nothing says you already know how to get there.
We set shorter term target conditions so we aren’t overwhelmed trying to fix everything at once, and to have a stable anchor for the next step.
However, in Toyota Kata, while we might not know exactly how to get there, but we are absolutely clear where we have to end up. They now have active improvement boards running in pre-op, post-op, surgery, radiology, the lab, the emergency department, the cardio-vascular floor, medical-surgery floor, ICU, cardiac rehab, billing, admissions, case management, and supplies. Several of these departments have more than one board, and a few are beginning to get started spontaneously. Directors and managers are starting to reach across organizational boundaries to deal with obstacles and problems at the departmental interfaces. We started out with two weeks of pretty intense “kick-start.” One week was half-days of training and simulation (with a morning and afternoon group), getting a feel for the rhythm of the improvement kata, and a taste of the coaching kata, and culminating with the first round of improvement boards getting set up with at least a direction, if not a clear challenge. Because they had kept at it, the first round of boards now had a routine for their improvement cycles and coaching. Establish a target condition, have them practice to that pattern, grasp the current condition, establish a new target… for the team’s practice. To be clear, this is my normal approach (and it is different, I am told, from what a lot of others try to do), but I am getting a lot of validation for it here.
A member of the administration (leadership team) who is actively coaching shared this chart with me today.
The vertical red line represents when they started applying the Improvement Kata to this process. As one of my early Japanese teachers said “To save a minute, you must find sixty ways to save a second.” and that is exactly what they are doing here.
Sometimes people fall into a trap of believing they understand a process if they can successfully predict it’s outcome.
We knew this would happen because our understanding of orbital mechanics allows us to predict these events… right? The photo below is of a sophisticated computer that predicted lunar eclipses, solar eclipses, and other astronomical events in 1600BC (and earlier). The ability to predict the level of quality fallout does not indicate understanding of why it occurs. Likewise, the ability to predict how long something takes does not indicate understanding of why. If your tank holds 15 gallons of fuel, you’ll be looking to fill after driving about 300 miles. In both of those cases, if you don’t know how the car operated to deliver 26 miles-per-gallon, it is going to be pretty tough.
Here’s an even more frustrating scenario: On the last tank of fuel, you measured 30 miles per gallon, but have no idea why things improved!
If you are managing to KPIs only, and can’t explain the process mechanics behind the measurements you are getting, you are operating in the same neolithic process used by the builders of Stonehenge.
Beijing, though, (as well as Shanghai) is well known for having a serious problem with air pollution.
In the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, Chinese officials were determined to present clear skies to the international audience.
Four out of five government vehicles will be taken off the road between now and the parade and private vehicles will be allowed on the roads only on alternate days, based on odd- and even-numbered license plates. Almost all steel mills in Beijing, Heibei and Tianjin are to be shut down in the lead up to the military parade, Xu Xiangchun, chief analyst at Mysteel Research told Bloomberg last month. They shut down production in the last month of the fiscal year to get the inventory numbers up. Anyone can make the numbers for a quarter, maybe even for a year, just as Beijing can clean up their skies for a couple of weeks. A target condition describes not only the goal, but how the process should operate to achieve it. This two-way conversation is what strengthens the organization and keeps things from becoming silly exercises that achieve nothing but encouraging people to hide the truth. Boss: What is the status on reaching the American clean air standards with the TDI engines?
Boss: Where are we on the challenge of reaching the American clean air standards with the TDI engines? Head Engineer: My current target condition is to pass the test by programming the car to detect when the test is being run, and adjust the engine performance to meet the standards while it is being tested. More than a few times I have seen an improver working on a challenge to improve these patient satisfaction numbers.
If everything the patient experienced were something you were doing on purpose, because it contributed to the experience you want the patient to have, what would that look like? That is if you are trying to create a safe, professional and competent impression to your patients.
One thing I am seeing is, yes, every case is different but in reality, most are handled within a routine.
From their perspective, these are an important (along with patient safety, quality, length-of-stay, financial performance, etc) aspects of how the organization is performing.
Those standards are based on what Administration believes will move the needle on the patient satisfaction scores. It says nothing about your ability to meet that requirement, nor does it say anything about the people, space or equipment required to do it.
This should be close to the time it would take one person to do the job from beginning to end.


Remember, we added a 15% pad by reducing the customer takt time of 36 minutes to a planned cycle time (or operational takt time, same thing, different words) of 30 minutes.
Your labor cost per unit is driven by the total manual cycle time and the process variation. You need to take a holistic approach and use these tools to grow your business rather than cut your costs.
For a typical process that is carried out every day, I usually suggest a two week time horizon. Having that time horizon helps establish the principle of small, quick, steps rather than trying to develop some kind of implementation plan. This means erasing the old target condition, starting with a clean obstacle sheet, looking at the current condition and establishing a new target condition. I mean it is about developing good thinking and leadership skills in everyone who chooses to deliberately learn. But in the vast majority of organizations, improvement is the job of the Continuous Improvement Department, or the Quality Department, or some other staff department. If you want your organization to actually learn a new behavior, then people and teams have to deliberately practice it until it is a habit. But those models all require shifts in how people respond, especially under stress, to the unexpected.
I have worked with a few organizations, and one in particular, where everyone adamantly agrees what changes must be made.
Your job (management) is to be clear so people don’t waste their time working hard on something that doesn’t make a difference. When the community was asked to nominate prospective keynote presenters last fall, I was quick to get Dave’s name up there because I think he has a compelling story. We westerners need to understand that Japanese culture generally places a high value on harmony and harmonious action.
Without that foundation of thinking, their policy deployment would have been an exercise in assigning action items and negotiating the goals. Rather, it is specific about what you must accomplish, and if you accomplish those things, then the results are predicted to add up to what you need. It enables safer learning by limiting the impact of learning that something didn’t work. Staff are getting engaged in improving the work flows, administration team members are more engaged with the staff.
When confronted with a list of problems, leaders are starting to ask “OK, which one are we addressing first?” Leaders are asking “What do you expect to happen?” and “What did we learn?” when talking about actions.
And now that I’ve done it a few times, I can incorporate more health care language and examples into the sessions, which just makes it easier. We coached the established boards to tighten up their game, while establishing a series of new ones. Get the improvement engine running, even if roughly, then work on tuning it for performance. Rather, there have been dozens (or more) of changes that each save a little bit of time that is adding up.
They are finding a minute here, a few seconds there, and anchoring them in changes to the way they organize the work flow. Except we have been predicting astronomical events like this for thousands of years, long before Newton, or even Copernicus. That is, a sufficient level of understanding to describe the phenomena the builders were observing.
All it tells you is that you have made enough observations that you can conclude the process is stable, and will likely keep operating that way unless something materially changes. That is all statistical process control tells you.
This drill, which was first trialed when I was spending time there prior to the Olympics, is now routine. But the story here is that many organizations drive the exact same behavior with their metrics driven cultures. Shortages resulting in missed shipments because they hadn’t made anything for a month. We’ll met the performance goals by shutting off the emissions controls during normal operation.
Those scores provide a percentile rank of how that facility stacks up against others across various categories. The opposite is even more true. One bad experience will negatively bias all of their answers.
But leaving them parked in the hallways with no interaction might be (for example), something that creates discomfort. And they will get snippy with someone who persists in doing something unsafe in spite of courteous requests.
Once things are somewhat stable, then you can evaluate whether your standard is adequate or not.
The more variation there is, the more extra people (and other stuff) you will need to absorb it. Question: What sources of instability can we reduce so we can use a planned cycle time of 33 minutes rather than 30? The “kata” are a structure for that learning, but learning the kata themselves is not the goal. They are working hard to make sure you are getting a diverse set of speakers with compelling messages. Where many Americans (I can’t speak for Europeans as well) may well be comfortable with constant advocacy and debate about what should be worked on, that kind of discussion can be unsettling for a Japanese management team. They provide general guidance (if they even do that), and then maybe have the sub-organization come tell and report what they expect to accomplish. Then I can come back periodically and propose adjustments on one or two items that let them step it up to the next level. Suffice it to say these three lines represent the percentage of deliveries of three separate (but related) processes within or before the target turn-around time of 30 minutes.
A problem or performance gap will be discussed, and an action item will be assigned to implement a solution.
In the other case, you will need to determine what has changed and restore the operation to the prior conditions.
We have a record month or quarter, it is clearly beyond random fluctuation, but we don’t know what happened. The scores are also made public, and often influence public funding decisions within a region. Two weeks is enough time to understand and significantly improve a handful of steps in a complex process.
My overall process coaching is getting much more nuanced, because they are “getting” the fundamentals. And all of these models are useful for their intended purpose: Creating estimates of the future based on the past. It is a short enough time to keep the improver from trying to fix a complex or global issue all at once. You can’t talk to people about performance until they can demonstrate consistent execution.



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Comments to «Coaching kata pdf»

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  2. JUSTICE writes:
    And as soon as you discover the process?it?can.