I tell about Mike Rother’s work with Lean since the late 80’s, the learning to see book, his work implementing lean at companies and his frustration with the system not “sticking”. So around 2003-2004, he began going back to Toyota Facilities to learn why lean/CI sustains as a part of their culture, when it does not at other places.
Introduce the MEP system Lean House. Explain our typical way of implementing lean which includes lean overview training on the 8-Wastes and the tools we use to attack waste. We use to VSM to target the areas of improvement and we use the tools to attack the waste.
So, we typically do a VSM early-on in a Lean implementation, we target areas to improve, we prioritize them and schedule kaizen events. The Kaizen events are usually done every 3 – 6 weeks, they include primarily a Lean Team with a few folks from the local area, we make significant improvements to the process/operation, and move across the plant to another process to target next.
For the employees at the local operation, there is no structured continuing efforts focused on improving the process that keep them engaged. When something goes wrong with the newly configured operation, the easy answer is to revert back to the old way.
Even the TPS house does not mention a management system for keeping focus on Continuous Improvement. “its just the way they work”
The daily managementroutine that sustains focus on lean is the invisible element when you go-see how Toyota works. Its easy to see the tools and how they are implemented, so that’s what we have traditionally immulated.
We were introduced to Toyota Kata by a GM at oneof our partner companies who had decided to implement Toyota Kata, and offered to have us observe, so we could help other TN companies embrace the practice. He asked if I had ever heard of Toyota Kata. I said “No” but I do know what “Kata” is. So, I tell my story about taking Isshinryu Karate at age 10. We practiced stretching and spelling I-S-S-H-I-N-R-Y-U for the first 3 weeks! (I still know how to spell it without hesitation) Then we began our first KATA. KATA in Karate is a routine of karate moves that is practiced in sequence and at a required pace (like a dance). The student must practice it and demonstrate it over and over until it is repeatedly demonstrated perfectly. Only then will the instructor will allow the student to graduate to add the second KATA. Through the practice, the routine become second nature. So, when sparring, the student instinctively uses the moves. There is no time to think about which move to use.(if you do, you will quickly be defeated). Toyota Kata is practicing the use of continuous improvement routine daily, with intent to make this pattern an instinctive way we deal with problems in the business as they arise (becoming adaptive).
Subconscious (instinctive) responses are processed by our brains in billions of bits per secondConversely, we can only process deliberate thinking at a few thousand bits per second.1,000,000 time faster!
My son (Mason) is the second from the right. This was the smallest team in the instructional league, but they practiced hitting for an hour before every game. They became the best hitting team in the league, and won the championship!
Daniel Coyle studied hotbeds of talent. Examples: top tennis players from a very modest academy in Russia. Top soccer players from Brazil., etc He found that they all practice a lot (as expected) but it’s the way they practice that made the difference. They are “striving” to improve in their practice routine. The book opens with a story and a link to a little girl (Clarissa) practicing playing a song on the piano. She practices to failure in successive tries with amazing focus, until she puts it all together and plays the song perfectly from beginning to end. Its amazing.
Trying to reach a goal beyond our current Knowledge threshold causes us to “strive” (which means fail and learn from it)
I usually have a couple of MikeRother Toyota Kata Books that I give-out as door prizes when I present this slide (guess the closest number)I hand-out flyers promoting the upcoming TK classesI also print this sheet to hand-out
Toyota KATA Overview Presentation
develop a sustaining culture of
Continuous Improvement in
Some Quick History…
efforts chronicled in this book
and credited with coining the
• Non-Value Added
• Underutilized People
Elimination of Waste
Shortcomings of our approach
• The energy and the gains are difficult to
sustain and as a result of entropy.
• There is not enough activity to facilitate a
learning experience across the
What is missing in our approach?
The element of the Toyota Production
System that has been difficult to recognize
is the daily management and coaching
routine that maintains focus and energy
on the goal of improvement.
There is activity at every process daily to
advance the process toward the vision.
What is a KATA?
A routine that is practiced
deliberately in effort to make its
pattern a habit.
National League Champs!
Practice - Practice - Practice
The Talent Code
by Daniel Coyle
The right kind of
practice moves us
2 Kata Routines
Improvement Kata – How we Improve
Coaching Kata – How we support and
maintain the Improvement Kata
A Continuous Improvement
routine that occurs daily at all
processes in the organization, to
move each process toward its
long-term vision or performance
challenge. (+ develop capacity
The way forward is iterative & experimenting, aimed at a desired
condition that we don’t yet know how we will achieve.
Copyright: Mike Rother – Improvement KATA Handbook
A routine that occurs daily in
conjunction with the
Improvement Kata to support
and maintain it.
Learn More about Toyota Kata!
Attend a UT-CIS 1-day Toyota Kata Workshop:
• Nashville – November 12, 2013
• Knoxville – January 28, 2014
• Memphis – January 30, 2014
• Cookeville – February 11, 2014
• Jackson – March 11, 2014
• Johnson City – May 20, 2014
Read the Toyota Kata Book!
Visit Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata Homepage:
Visit Lean Enterprise Institute’s Kata Page: http://www.lean.org/kata/
Join the Toyota Kata Learning Network on LinkedIn:
Contact me: Dwaine Raper, UT-Center for Industrial Services
phone: 423-741-4898 e-mail: email@example.com