Kata is a Japanese word meaning “form” or routine. It is a detailed choreographed pattern of martial arts movements to be memorized through practice in order to perfect it.
In process improvement terms, it is called Toyota Kata. There are two main elements:
- Improvement Kata
- Coaching Kata
Improvement Kata is a 4-step process to apply and practice scientific thinking.
Coaching Kata is the process by which the coach teaches the student how to learn the Improvement Kata approach.
To facilitate the discussion, the coach asks the following 5 questions (5Q) to the student:
- What is the Target Condition?
- What is the Actual Condition?
- What did you plan as your Last Step (last countermeasure)?
- What did you Expect?
- What Actually Happened?
- What did you Learn?
- What Obstacles do you think are preventing you from reaching the target condition? Which ones are you addressing now?
- What is your Next Step (next experiment)? What do you expect?
- How quickly can we go and see what we Have Learned from taking that step?
This approach is repeated until the student can consistently answer the questions from the coach. Then they can practice becoming a coach to develop a student.
- Toyota Kata
- The Toyota Kata Practice Guide
- Toyota Kata Culture: Building Organizational Capability And Mindset Through Kata Coaching
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