Kata coaching is especially useful in the implementation of Super7 Operations. 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. Recently, I’ve applied Kata coaching during an implementation project of Super7 Operations. Every week, I used the Improvement Kata questions to challenge the team managers to make one improvement step on each of the 7 principle elements of Super7 Operations. And in turn, the team managers have used Kata coaching questions to get their teams to improve. The effect of applying the Kata coaching questions to the 7 principles of Super7 Operations was impressive: not only did this lead to exiting improvement experiments on the shop floor, but it had a profound effect on morale as well. I have found that Kata coaching is an effective way to get and keep things moving towards the desired direction. It just isn’t possible to implement perfection in one blow, and this isn’t any different for Super7 Operations.
The 7 principles of Super7 Operations:
- Customer is central: The Super7 team has a goal that is relevant for the customer.
- Flexibility in skills and capacity
- Team manager steers on output and is supportive to the Super 7 team
- Daily rhythm and quick response to disruptions
- Super 7 team is autonomous in work distribution and in imporving the way of working.
- Continuous improvement of performance, supported by planning and forecasting.
- Visible management to create openness, transparancy and Super 7 team pride.
The Kata Coaching Questions (my own free interpretation – please refer to www.lean.org/kata for the standard):
- What does perfection look like to you on this element of Super7 Operations?
- How does the current situation look like?
- Where do you want to be next week on the development of this element of Super7 Operations and, what obstacles are in your way?
- What action or experiment will you undertake to get to where you want to be next week?
- What do you expect from this action?
- When will be able to evaluate what you have learned from this action or experiment?And afterwards:
- What did you learn from this action / experiment
- …start again at step 1
More on Super7 operations can be found in my book: Super7 Operations – the Next Step for Lean in Financial Services.