Toyota Kata – Improvement and Coaching

Toyota Kata (Improvement and Coaching)

Customer needs will continually change and develop driven by us the consumer, mostly.


One thing we must all remember is that the number one priority of our workplace is to deliver the service or product we are making on time, in full, in specification, at cost. Production or service provision must be our priority. That means everything else, including improvement, comes second.


But we must improve. No improvement means, at the very best, you stay where you are. In this world now, that won’t be enough to survive.


So where do we start, on which improvement do we focus our attention, which gets the finite resources?

As suppliers of a service or makers of a product, we need to develop improvement habits in forever changing conditions and dynamic environments.


Toyota Kata (A Japanese word meaning “way of doing”. A kata is a pattern you practise to learn a skill), which includes problem solving and coaching, is scientific goal directed work.


Our strong thanks go to Mike Rother, author of the book “Toyota Kata”. He is the source of much of what we believe and thus purvey.


The idea is that through practise, the pattern of a kata becomes second nature. Little concentration is needed, it comes easily.


An “improvement kata” is a pattern of thinking – a systematic way of thinking in order to improve.

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The Improvement Kata

  1. Understanding where we need to be in the medium to longer term and why there is an imperative to get there.
  2. Realising where we are right NOW.
  3. Setting ourselves conditions (target “states”) in getting there.
  4. Then removing obstacles along the way that are stopping us reaching the target state.

The Coaching Kata

The Coaching Kata is the pattern of questions the coach will ask every time they have contact with the Learner, the person doing the improvement work.

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Watch the Video

Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata Overview

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