As described in earlier posts, Kata coaching and the Improvement Kata are especially useful in the implementation of Super7 Operations. As you know, the theory and examples of Kata coaching can be found on www.lean.org/kata or in the excellent books and you-tube posts of Mike Rother. In this blog post I’ll explain the Improvement Kata in more detail.
Traditional improvent is project based – see figure 1.
The Improvement Kata doesn’t plan the whole route: only the next target condition is clearly defined. See figure 2.
The Improvement Kata doesn’t tell you how to get to the next target condition, let alone how to get to your desired situation. It doesn’t tell you which steps to take to reach this year’s target. The Improvement Kata lets you discover the route as you go. See figure 3.
The improvement Kata is a radically different approach to improvement. It does however show strong similarities to Agile or Scrum software development – but, the improvement Kata is applied on the shop foor, not in project teams or development teams. For me, it’s the best way to get to a true learning organisation and continuous improvement. And only a learning organisation that can improve continuously is capable to cope with the ever changing demands of customers, especially in the current market for Financial Services.
Menno R. van Dijk.