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A (very) Brief Introduction to Toyota Kata

A quick intro to the questioning method presented in Mike Rother's excellent book, "The Toyota Kata."

Eric Burton

on 31 August 2015

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Transcript of A (very) Brief Introduction to Toyota Kata

Managers generate a To-Do list
(Do it or else!)

Obstacle 1
Obstacle 2
Obstacle 3
1. What are we trying to achieve?
2. Where are we now?
With the goal in mind, you must understand where you are!
Or "What is our target condition?"
Toyota Kata
A Powerful set of questions
for Lean Improvement
4. What is our next step and What do we expect If we take it?
The Challenge:
There's more waste than any one person
(or team) can address!
How this Looks:
Managers learn "lean" and see waste everywhere!
The Result
The Result -cont-
Improvements occur, but they are haphazard.
Over time we are no closer to our long term goal.
Instead of disconnected improvements...
We want a focused improvement effort
The Kata:
The Kata is different from traditional waste walks and "drive-by kaizen"... It is a set of directed questions that keep a focus on the goal.
A word about "Target Condition"
A quick tip for making the kata more enjoyable...
Don't just ask about the"target condition," be specific! For example: "How should it look when team members implement daily kaizen?"
This question asks about the target condition for daily kaizen in a directed and specific way.
Only after you know where you are can you begin to identify...
3. What Obstacle is now in our way?
5. When can we see what we've learned from taking the step?
Come back at the scheduled time. Observe. Are we better? Did the change occur? What could we have done better? Are we ready to begin the kata again?
As you understand your obstacles using PDCA, the obstacles will become clear. In the example above, the first obstacle is the fish. When you've identified your obstacle, you are ready to ask the next kata question(s):
This step is complete when the next action is clear and there's a plan in place. (Jump over the fish)
This kata is repeated for each obstacle...
Until we Reach our Goal!
Let's Kata!
leads to action, but is it the right action??

Is there a better way?
Full transcript