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What is Kata?

Kata is improvement. Kata practice routines are systematic. Kata develops scientific thinking on the frontlines.

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What is Kata in Lean and Continuous Improvement?

The term “Kata” is used in the martial arts to refer to a set pattern of movements. The objective is to practice and master these movements so that they become embedded in the mind and body. A given pattern becomes second nature.

In the world of business and people management, Kata unifies skill, practice and culture. Kata, along with the PDCA cycle — Plan, Do, Check Act — is a scientific, systematic and structured way for an organization to continuously improve. Kata becomes ingrained in an organization’s people and procedures. The essence of Kata is the way to work, experiment and innovate. The beauty of Kata is that it instills an instinct to seek and pursue process improvements on a daily basis.

In the workplace, there are two basic Kata patterns — Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata.

The Improvement Kata template uses a four-phase model for problem solving and innovation.

  1. Understanding where you need to be — the Desired Condition and why it is necessary to achieve.
  2. Realizing where you are right now — the Current Condition.
  3. Setting a series of incremental Target Conditions that paves the way forward.
  4. Addressing and removing obstacles along the way that prevent achieving the Desired Condition.

The Coaching Kata is a structured and ongoing pattern of questions a coach asks of those doing the work and improving it. It is a proven method for workers to learn by doing and build up a culture of determination to improve. The Coaching Kata gives managers and leaders a way to systematically strive toward target conditions by best use of people’s capabilities.

Program Structure
  • What is Kata?
  • Why Kata?
  • Understanding Direction by Setting a Challenge/Goal
  • Grasping the Current Condition
  • Setting the First and Subsequent Target Conditions
  • Experimenting Toward the Target Condition
  • Continuation

Let’s Talk Kata

Kata Knowledge Certification: The Best Way to Start Your Kata Journey

Acquiring a formative education through Kata Knowledge Certification will help you grasp the substance of Kata as you gain a greater understanding of what Kata is in Lean management, what it does, how it works and how it is learned. The Kata Knowledge Certification gives you access to the world’s most experienced Kata practitioners, led by Oscar Roche, Director of TWI Institute Australasia, noted speaker and author.
Ideal for:

An organization in the early stages of assessing “What is Kata in Lean and Continuous Improvement?” Those on the evaluation team will learn what Kata is, its benefits and how it delivers ROI to the organization.

For people in an organization planning to start Kata training. The Kata Knowledge Certification is the ideal pre-requisite for Kata programs and will reduce training time.

Individuals who work in any organization and want to expand their Kata skill base. Individuals completing this Certification will gain an excellent footing in Kata.

For individuals interested in becoming a Kata Certified Trainer.

Kata Delivers Results Across a Spectrum of Industries and Departments

What is Kata? Kata develops frontline people as the foundation for sustained continuous improvement — for themselves and your workplace, no matter where your workplace may be.

What Our Clients Say

With guidance from the TWI Institute, the Toyota Kata patterns have radically improved the way our managers and supervisors interact with their reports and has helped drive our organization to be a leader in its’ field.
Andrew Francis, Chief Operating Officer From Parkes Shire Council

Our end-to-end approach sets us apart

Our proven methods stretch far beyond essential TWI, Kata and Standardized Work training. From initial preparation to ongoing consulting, we prepare people and workplaces for continuous improvement, better outcomes and increased engagement.
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Step One:

We start with an assessment and provide tailored recommendations for your workers and your workplace. KPIs are set, a communication strategy is planned and workforce orientation begins.

Step Two:

Supervisors, team leaders and those who direct the work of others attend, participate and learn in our cornerstone programs: TWI, Kata and Standardized Work.

Step Three:

We work with you to plan a pilot program and teams begin to learn by doing. Through workplace practice and coaching, we help students accept the ideas and put them to work. We’re with you through every step of the journey.

Step Four:

We assess learning, validate pilot results, incorporate skills into routines, evaluate practices and culture, and measure performance against KPIs.

Step Five:

We execute worker and workplace certifications, including TWI Certification (student and trainer), Kata Certification (student and trainer) Train-the-Trainer Certification, and TWI:2018 Certification.

Step Six:

We stay connected with planned reassessments, KPI checks, remedial coaching, and re-certifications to protect and grow your return on investment.

Get Started with Kata Knowledge Certification

Explore Our Kata Programs

There are three basic Kata programs. All enable and empower your frontline leaders and workers with the skills to solve more problems and innovate improvements. We can advise you on staging and sequencing our programs depending on what you need to do or problems you need to solve.

See where TWI Institute can take you.