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School of Lean

Toyota Kata

In Lean, there’s a lot of talk about con­tin­u­ous improve­ment and chang­ing for the bet­ter. But in order for a strat­e­gy to be suc­cess­ful, these changes need to have a last­ing impact.

The real­i­ty is, many changes don’t stick. Old habits creep back in, and improve­ment cycles lose momen­tum before stop­ping com­plete­ly.

Toy­ota Kata is a method­ol­o­gy designed to con­front Lean’s biggest chal­lenge by chang­ing the way we think, learn, and solve prob­lems. This process enforces a struc­tured, sus­tain­able sys­tem for devel­op­ing new habits that enable con­tin­u­ous improve­ment.

Gem­ba Academy’s Toy­ota Kata train­ing course begins with the fun­da­men­tals of Toy­ota Kata, then intro­duces more advanced tools and tac­tics for imple­ment­ing this prac­tice into dai­ly operations.

What You’ll Learn in this Toyota Kata Video Series

The term Toy­ota Kata” was coined by Lean expert Mike Rother in his book of the same name. The idea behind Toy­ota Kata is that by prac­tic­ing improve­ment rou­tines reg­u­lar­ly, the process becomes sec­ond nature. Over time, you’ll begin to devel­op a sci­en­tif­ic approach to think­ing crit­i­cal­ly, solv­ing prob­lems, and mak­ing quick deci­sions about what comes next. Kata” itself is a Japan­ese mar­tial arts term for prac­tice rou­tines that devel­op strong, vir­tu­ous habits over time.

In this Kata train­ing course, you will learn the con­cept of Toy­ota Kata, its ori­gins, and how to imple­ment both Improve­ment Kata and Coach­ing Kata into dai­ly activ­i­ties. Additionally:

  • Where to begin mak­ing improve­ments to your organization’s process­es. We’ll show you how to imple­ment Improve­ment Kata using the sci­en­tif­ic prob­lem-solv­ing cycle of PDCA (plan, do, check, act).
  • How peo­ple learn and devel­op new skills, and how to change old habits by estab­lish­ing new rou­tines. This series will help you iden­ti­fy rec­og­niz­able behav­iors and prob­lems, and show you how to use them as the basis for con­tin­u­ous improvement. 
  • How to use tools like cur­rent and tar­get con­di­tions work­sheets, exper­i­ment records, and tim­ing work­sheets to under­stand the cur­rent con­di­tion, iden­ti­fy chal­lenges, and run exper­i­ments against obstacles.
  • How to devel­op a rou­tine for coach­ing the Improve­ment Kata. We’ll intro­duce the five ques­tions of coach­ing Kata” and teach prac­ti­tion­ers how to use Kata coach­ing cards.
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Benefits of this Gemba Academy Toyota Kata Training Course

Toy­ota Kata strength­ens any Lean man­age­ment pro­gram and its relat­ed method­olo­gies and tools like val­ue stream map­ping, kan­ban, and stan­dard work.

At the end of this Lean Kata train­ing mod­ule, you’ll learn how to move from your cur­rent state to a more desir­able future state by apply­ing Toy­ota Kata’s four-step learn­ing and dis­cov­ery process.

  • Built with reten­tion in mind. All Gem­ba Acad­e­my online train­ing cours­es break lessons into a series of man­age­able, short seg­ments — no longer than 15-min­utes each. This approach gives learn­ers lessons that they can imme­di­ate­ly apply to their day-to-day routines.
  • Apply Lean tools and method­olo­gies into exist­ing work­flows. Gem­ba Academy’s online train­ing cours­es also include tem­plates and tools that make it easy to put Lean lessons to work imme­di­ate­ly after watch­ing a video. For exam­ple, the Toy­ota Kata mod­ule includes sup­ple­men­tal mate­r­i­al such as a Kata sto­ry­board tem­plate, coach­ing Kata cards, exper­i­ment records, cur­rent con­di­tions work­sheet, and more.