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The Five Coaching Kata Questions
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The Five Coaching Kata Questions


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  • 1. 12345Coaching © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 1 Mike Rother Dec. 2011 Kata Questions The
  • 2. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 2 STRUCTURED PRACTICE TO DEVELOP NEW HABITS The pattern of the Improvement Kata is Toyotaʼs fundamental pattern for improving, adapting and innovating. The goal is to make this pattern an autonomic habit. Think of the Improvement Kata as a "meta-habit" that changes our mental operating system so our creative capabilities come to greater fruition. There are several activities at Toyota where this pattern gets utilized and reinforced. These include daily management, daily problem solving, quality circles, improvement events, ʻToyota Business Practicesʼ and A3s. We found the Improvement Kata pattern being practiced with each of these activities. However, the Improvement Kata pattern is actually lodged in Toyota's people; specifically in its seasoned coaches who guide learners in repeating this way of thinking and acting. Just copying those visible Toyota activities – such as A3s – without bringing along the underlying coaching is unlikely to change much. Mindset change and skill development come from correct practice of a pattern, not just from participating in Toyota-style activities. Teams and organizations outside Toyota will require more structured routines to practice, especially for beginners. A tactic for teaching Improvement Kata thinking & acting is through daily use of the Five Questions described in this SlideShare.
  • 3. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 3 THE FIVE QUESTIONS ARE PART OF THE COACHING KATA There are Kata for the Learner, and Kata for the Coach
  • 4. BUT BOTH COACH AND LEARNER USE THE FIVE QUESTIONS © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 4 You canʼt completely separate coaching from the skill thatʼs being coached. Whether in practicing music, a sport or the Improvement Kata.... The Coach and Learner have different roles but they also learn to share a way of thinking.
  • 5. ONE COACHING CYCLE = THE 5 QUESTIONS Card can be downloaded on the Toyota Kata Website The Five Questions © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 5 Back of card - Reflection Section ------------------------------> Return to question 3 1) What is the Target Condition? 2) What is the Actual Condition now? --------(Turn Card Over)---------------------> 3) What Obstacles do you think are preventing you from reaching the target condition? Which *one* are you addressing now? 4) What is your Next Step? (next experiment) What do you expect? 5) When can we go and see what we Have Learned from taking that step? *Youʼll often work on the same obstacle for several PDCA cycles Reflect on the Last Step Taken Because you donʼt actually know what the result of a step will be! 1) What did you plan as your Last Step? 2) What did you Expect? 3) What Actually Happened? 4) What did you Learn? Card is turned over to reflect on the last step
  • 6. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 6 WHY THE FIVE QUESTIONS? The learning that is most useable for improvement, adaptation & innovation often comes from small PDCA cycles at the process Checks at higher, macro PDCA levels alone may lead only to conjecture about why something happened, rather than useful, detailed facts and data for adaptation. Those checks at the higher levels also come too late to do much about it. Long-cycle processes often involve longer PDCA cycles, which can slow your learning. When a process cycle is long, try to run experiments in a cycle that is intentionally shortened. “How can we test this step or idea as quickly as possible?” Remember, you canʼt see beyond your current knowledge threshold without actually trying your idea in some way.
  • 7. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 7 ASK THE FIVE QUESTIONS AT EACH STEP Current Condition Target Condition Learner Coach PDCA Cycles Record Used by the Learner The Five Questions Used by the Coach
  • 8. Reflection : - What did you plan as your last step? - What did you expect? - What actually happened? - What did you learn? © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 8 THE REPEATING COACHING-CYCLE PATTERN Follows the Five Coaching Kata Questions Based on a diagram by Don Clark 1 Target Condition 1 Target Condition 2 Current Condition 3 Current Obstacle Next Coaching Cycle 4 & 5 Next Step 2 Current Condition What are we striving to achieve? Where are we actually now? Reflect on the last step 3 Current Obstacle What obstacle are we focusing on now? 4 & 5 Next Step What is the threshold of knowledge? What is the next experiment? Learner Conducts the Experiment Testing a prediction through action The Five Coaching Kata Questions follow a scientific pattern of thinking and acting, and provide a structured practice routine for both the Coach and the Learner.
  • 9. A Reflect Focus © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 9 Next coaching cycle 1) What is the target condition? 2) What is the actual condition now? -- Flip card & reflect on the last step -- 3) What obstacles do you think are preventing you from reaching the target condition? Which *one* are you addressing now? 4) What is your next step? (next experiment) What do you expect? 5) When can we go and see what we have learned from taking that step? P C D Frame Next PDCA experiment Next coaching cycle A COACHING CYCLE SHOULD LEAD TO SOME KIND OF PDCA EXPERIMENT The Coach guides the Learner into making a chain of PDCA cycles, where one step builds on what was learned in the last step. In most cases the dialog of one coaching cycle should focus down to one PDCA cycle. (That PDCA cycle may be as simple as “go and see.”)
  • 10. “MACRO” AND “MICRO” PDCA CYCLES Shorter PDCA cycles are nested within the larger objective Shorter, rapid PDCA cycles are kicked off at Questions 4 & 5 ACT Go and See ACT Questions 1 & 2: MACRO What is the target condition? What is the actual condition now? PLAN ACT PLAN ACT PLAN ACT PLAN ACT Questions 4 & 5: MICRO What is your next step? What do you expect? When can we go and see what we have learned from taking that step? Illustration from Toyota Kata, page 144 © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 10 PLAN CHECK DO or Study PLAN CHECK DO CHECK DO CHECK DO CHECK DO CHECK DO And a lot of learning, improvement, adaptation, innovation and evolution comes from those micro PDCA cycles!
  • 11. HOW PDCA HELPS YOU LEARN AND IMPROVE Learning happens when there is surprise... when reality differs from expectation Illustration from The Team Handbook, page 3-33 The “C” of PDCA is a reflection... What are we learning from this? What do we need to adjust? © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 11 The “P” of PDCA is an expectation or a prediction... ...a hypothesis When a hypothesis is refuted this is in particular when we can gain new insight that helps us reach new performance levels... ...because a refuted hypotheses reveals your knowledge threshold
  • 12. YOUR KNOWLEDGE THRESHOLD © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 12 Thereʼs an invisible knowledge threshold around us. What makes it visible are comments like could be, might, I think and fractures; when something other than what we expect happens. A refuted hypothesis -- when a plan, step, belief or thought turns out to be incorrect -- is an opportunity for learning, improvement, adaptation and invention. Itʼs the learning edge. The threshold of knowledge is the place for your next PDCA experiment. Use the pattern of the 5 Questions to help you: A) Spot knowledge thresholds B) Define a hypothesis (a step) and test that hypothesis as simply and quickly as possible C) Learn how you need to adjust and adapt in order to reach your next target condition
  • 13. IMPROVING, ADAPTING, INNOVATING How will you make your kanban system work? How will you achieve 1x1 flow? How will you achieve shorter value-stream lead time? How will you achieve your objective? The way forward is iterative & experimenting, aimed at a desired condition that we donʼt yet know how we will achieve We want to be here next Obstacles ? ? Unclear Territory ? © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 13 Predictable Zone Uncertainty / Learning Zone Next Target Condition Your Current Knowledge Threshold Learn to spot the knowledge threshold
  • 14. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 14 THE WAY TO A GOAL IS ITERATIVE Napkin drawing by Carl Richards
  • 15. We know how a kanban system works, but we donʼt know what will make your kanban system work Experimenting © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 15 EXAMPLE Predictable Zone Uncertainty / Learning Zone Kanban system between processes A & B working as designed, by (date) Your Current Knowledge Threshold Target Condition Spot the knowledge threshold, conduct your next PDCA experiment there and ask the Five Questions ...repeat
  • 16. Persons who consciously acknowledge uncertainty are more able to influence their responses to it © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 16 WHY YOU SHOULD TRY TO SEE THE KNOWLEDGE THRESHOLD (1) Our unconscious responses to uncertainty are fast, automatic and emotional. They may not lead us where we want to go.
  • 17. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 17 WHY YOU SHOULD TRY TO SEE THE KNOWLEDGE THRESHOLD (2) Napkin drawing by Carl Richards
  • 18. MOVING AWAY FROM THE MECHANISTIC VIEW The idea that learning comes from surprise is known in science, but in business and the popular press we often miss that point © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 18 The Five Questions are an attempt to change that! What we may think scientific is What scientific really is • Quantification and precision • Objective and certain • Reveals what is there Eg: We have made the right plan • Involves uncertainty, ambiguity & incompleteness • Never free from error • A process of discovery, via systematic trial and error Eg: Our plan is a hypothesis
  • 19. THE FIVE QUESTIONS ARE A COACHING KATA • They give you a form for coaching, which is an ingredient for acquiring new skills • They mirror a scientific behavior and thought pattern to teach and practice so it becomes second nature Four ingredients for acquiring a skill © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 19 COACHING Corrective feedback KATA Structured routine to practice MASTERY Overcoming obstacles PRACTICE Daily 3 4 1 2
  • 20. HEREʼS ONE WAY TO PRACTICE Pick 2 processes and 2 people, coach one another daily with the 5Q © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 20 Process 1 Coach Learner Working with Process 1 Process 2 Coach Learner Working with Process 2
  • 21. Five Basic TK Questions © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 21 YOU CAN PRACTICE SCIENTIFIC THINKING EVERYWHERE EVERY DAY Use the Five Coaching Kata Questions whenever youʼre involved in any team effort Every time you do or think something, youʼre more likely to do it again. The pattern of these questions is easy to learn, and each time you think through them and apply them it can strengthen the scientific pattern of the Improvement Kata in your brainʼs wiring. 1. What are we trying to achieve? 2. Where are we now? 3. Whatʼs currently in our way? 4. Whatʼs our next step, and what do we expect? 5. When can we see what weʼve learned from taking that step?
  • 22. Here substitute the word “you” for “we” Five Basic TK Questions © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 22 DONʼT TEACH RANDOM IMPROVEMENT When you do a Gemba Walk (at each stop), Tier Meeting or Huddle, use the Five Questions to teach purpose-driven thinking 1. What are you trying to achieve? 2. Where are you now? 3. Whatʼs currently in your way? 4. Whatʼs your next step, and what do you expect? 5. When can we see what youʼve learned from taking that step?
  • 23. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 23 TIP: BE CAREFUL ASKING WHY? The Lean community promotes “asking why five times” as a means to help get to the root cause of a problem. This is a team brainstorming technique, not a coaching technique. When a coach asks a learner “why” it can easily feel confrontational rather than constructive, especially if “why” is asked repeatedly. Youʼre asking questions to help you SEE the Learnerʼs current thinking pattern, and for that purpose it may be better to say, “Tell me more about...” or “show me”. Think of the 5 Whys as Five Experiments rather than five “whys”
  • 24. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 24 FINALLY, REMEMBER WHAT KATA ARE FOR The Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata are Practiced to Develop Scientific Thinking Kata Practice To develop foundational skill and mindset Beginners should follow Kata exactly; not deviating from them, so the Learner can internalize the patterns. But with increasing proficiency each Learner can start to (within limits) develop their own style. Likewise, over time each organization can evolve the Kata it began with to better suit and mesh with its culture. The original Kata evolve into organization-specific practice routines.
  • 25. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 25 Best wishes for fostering more systematic & scientific thinking with the Five Coaching Kata Questions! Bill Costantino Mike Rother