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Toyota Kata

Have you ever found yourself asking:

  • How do we keep improvement going?
  • How do we align our organization so that daily improvements move us toward strategic goals?
  • How can we work to develop solutions scientifically, instead of trying to implement preconceived solutions?


What is Toyota Kata?

Around the world, within the United States, and here in Arkansas, Toyota Kata is being utilized to address process, people and communication issues.

The practice routines of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata will make you, your team and your organization better at improving, adapting, innovating and achieving whatever you set out to do. It’s about the practical application of Scientific Thinking for pursuing challenging goals, while simultaneously developing people to solve problems. The Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata turn scientific thinking into a practical skill anyone can learn, by combining a four-step scientific working pattern with techniques of deliberate practice.

Kata are systematic and scientific problem solving routines that address challenges and opportunities in areas such as:

Process: Quality, Cost and Delivery

Communication: Accurate, Complete and Timely

People: Safety, Environment and Morale

The Improvement Kata

The Improvement Kata is a routine for moving from the current situation to the new situation in a creative, directed, meaningful way.

Four-Part Model:

  • Vision or Direction
  • Understanding of Current Condition
  • Defining the Target Condition
  • Uncovering Obstacles While Working Toward Target Condition

The Improvement Kata builds on what is discovered along the way. Teams using the Improvement Kata learn and adapt based on what they’ve discovered while on their journey to reaching their Target Condition.

Kata 1

Coaching Kata

The Coaching Kata is a practice routine for teaching the Improvement Kata pattern.

As with every skill, practicing should be done under regular observation of an experienced coach. Without coaching we lose our way and don’t practice the correct pattern, or become inefficient in our practice.

Once Improvement Kata is learned, the Coaching Kata develops your skill for teaching the Improvement Kata pattern in everyday work environments. The Coaching Kata is a practice routine specifically for teaching a scientific working pattern like the Improvement Kata.

Coaching Cycles

The core practice routine of the Coaching Kata is Coaching Cycles. One coaching cycle involves the Coach asking the Five Coaching Kata Questions of the learner while using the PDCA Cycles Record. This is done daily at a regularly scheduled time.

2017 Kata Practitioner Day Presentations