Toyota Kata – Introduction and Experiences Teemu Toivonen Introduction • My name is Teemu Toivonen • I work as manager of application services at Aalto IT and have introduced Lean and Agile practices to the way we work • I have about two years of experience of Toyota Kata, and I don’t consider my self an expert. I’m a practitioner • I’m very interested in Lean Agile, Lean, Coaching and Systems Thinking – I enjoy discussing and debating these topics so please indulge me (@number_9_, [email protected] or over a beer;) Goal for the event You will have a basic understanding of the philosophy of Toyota Kata and how it works. This will be achieved by a combination of: • Short lectures • Discussion • Exercises Engaging conversation is more important than quiet listening so when you have a question or comment please share it! What is a Kata? Kata is a routine or repeating pattern for doing something Why are habits and routines important? • Can someone describe shortly the difference between driving a car: – The first time they drove – After several years of experience Routines and habits are the bases for effective and efficient action! “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” - Aristoteles Toyota Kata is about creating habits that create excellence. The Philosophy Behind Toyota Kata 1. The second law of thermodynamics: everything deteriorates over time – There is no stable condition that can be maintained – The only solution is to improve constantly 2. Grow people and maximize human potential by engaging people to continually improve as part of their everyday work Toyota Kata Philosophy: • Continually improve as part of everyday work to get better and fight entropy • Grow people and maximize human potential by engaging them in the improvement through Toyota Kata Questions or comments about the overview? Toyota Kata is two behavioral routines to realize these goals Improvement Kata Mentee Coaching Kata Mentor Improvement Kata PDCA-experiment 1. Hypothesis 2. Experiment 3. Result 4. Learning A good target condition is abouth a month away Long term vision ”North Star” Next target condition PDCA experiment your way to the target Current condition Understand deeply 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Understand the direction Understand the current condition Define the Next target condition Experiment your way to the target Start over Example: Weight lose • I will be using weight lose as an simple example of the concepts I’ll be talking about 1. Long term vision • Also known as “True North” or “North Star” • Sets the direction for short term plans • Is brief and describes the outcome and the process • Toyota manufacturing example paraphrased: – “One piece flow, zero defects and 100% value adding steps (no waste)” • Does not need to be realistically achievable • Choose wisely == TASK This seems interesting This seems important! There is always too much to do and by random choices you get nowhere A team without a North Star Things you must do! Things you can do North Star Things you can do A team with a North Star Weight lose: North Star • Enough exercise to stay on good shape and relax • Eat healthy and good food • Spend quality time with family and friends with good energy • Get enough rest and downtime 2. Understand the current condition • Understanding the current condition is the bases for going forward and means going deeper than the superficial lever – Involves Systems Thinking and a process viewpoint • “Go and see” It’s a lot harder to really see than you’d guess Current condition: Weight lose • Quality of food is poor and the amount of calories is too big – Especially too much carbohydrates and fat • Not enough exercise – Weights once a week – Basketball once a week • Weight 107 kilograms 3. Set the target condition • A target condition describes both the outcome and process and can be achieved in 1-3 months – In the beginning shorter is better for learning • A good target condition is challenging – Just right, not too easy and not too difficult • You can start with skeleton target (challenge) and fill in the details as you learn more (target condition) A good target condition is just beyond where you can see clearly Target condition: Weight lose • Regular meal and snack schedule • Less calories per meal by healthy composition of meals • Exercise – Weights 2-3 times a week – Basketball 2 times a week • Lose 5 kilograms of weight in 3 months What are the obstacles? • As part of understanding the current condition and setting the target condition you gain insights into the obstacles that are in your way • Pick one (which one seems most important) and start finding your way toward your target condition one step at a time with PDCA experiments Obstacles: Weight lose • Meal sizes are too big – food is good and I like to eat • Too busy and tired to get exercise. Mostly a feeling rather than a fact 4. PDCA experiments Time for a new plan! or How do I sustain the results? What is your hypothesis? Design a quick experiment What is the expected outcome? What was the actual outcome? Was it what you expected? What did you learn? Run the experiment “quick and light” Points of emphasis Short iteration cycles Go and see Focus on learning 4. Navigate towards the target with experiments Find the route to the target by learning from experiments and focusing on the next step forward based on that learning Experiments: Weight lose Experiment Expected outcome Actual outcome Eat smaller meals • Lunch • Dinner Less food consumption during the day More unhealthy snacks Eating smaller in the afternoon and meals makes me evening eat more snacks. Lunch: Eat half meat and half salad Less calories during the day and protein will keep hunger away Works out pretty much as planned, except when there is good desert Eating salad and protein is good diet choice and makes it easy to eat less . At the beginning difficult, but as it became a habit it got easier. Social commitment is a good motivator. New habits are difficult in the beginning. Increase basketball Social pressure will help training by making me get more exercise commitment to friends to play on two days Learning Improvement Kata PDCA-experiment 1. Hypothesis 2. Experiment 3. Result 4. Learning Remember quick experiment cycles! A good target condition is abouth a month away. Describes both outcome and process Questions before the exercise? Long term vision ”North Star” Points of emphasis Next target condition Short iteration cycles Go and see PDCA experiment your way to the target Current condition Understand deeply Focus on learning 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Understand the direction Understand the current condition Define the Next target condition Experiment your way to the target Start over Improvement Kata exercise The Coaching Kata The purpose of the Coaching Kata is to teach and coach the Improvement Kata using real world problems as practice. Improvement Kata Mentee Coaching Kata Mentor When do you need a mentor/coach? The need never goes a way. You can spend a lifetime learning the Improvement Kata and still have need for improvement. The role of the coach is to help you learn. No one questions why world class athlete’s need coaches. Why should work be different? The responsibilities of the mentor • Teach the basics of the Improvement Kata to the mentee • Develop the mentees abilities by coaching him in the use of the Improvement Kata through real problems/challenges • The mentor can not give solutions to the mentee, but is responsible for the results Requirements for the mentor The mentor must have first hand knowledge and experience of using the Improvement Kata. The mentor must be involved in the Improvement Kata in order to coach properly. Don’t coach blind. Coaching Kata Before the target condition is set Focus on understanding the long term direction and current condition in order to set a good and challenging next target condition. After the target condition is set Keep the target condition clear in the mind while focusing on the next step towards that target condition. A mindset of experimenting and learning is crucial. Coaching before the target condition is set • Is there a clear and shared vision for the long term goal to set the direction? • Does the mentee understand the current condition deeply? • Does he know what is the next target condition? Do you need to give him a challenge that he can turn into the target condition? Coaching after the target condition is set The five questions: 1. What is the target condition? 2. What is the actual condition now? 3. What obstacles are now preventing you from reaching the target condition? Which one are you addressing now? 4. What is your next step (PDCA experiment) 5. When can we go and see what we have learned form taking that step? From Toyota Kata by Mike Rother The next step The most important thing is making sure that the next step is clear for the mentee. It is better for the mentee to figure out the next step, but if necessary the mentor can decide it. Go and see XYZ! Remember routines are powerful… … even in coaching! Coaching Kata Key points • • • • The purpose of the Coaching Kata is to teach and coach the Improvement Kata using real world problems as practice. • • Focus on guiding the Improvement Kata pattern Ask question, don’t give answers In unclear situations suggest: go and see Remind the mentee about the key aspects of the Improvement Kata Short and frequent coaching discussions Is the next step clear? Coaching questions Before the target condition is set 1. 2. 3. 4. What is the North Star? What is the Current Condition? What is the next Target Condition? What is the first step? After the target condition is set 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. What is the Target Condition? What is the Actual Condition? Which Obstacle are you working on? What is your Next Step When can we Go and See? Coaching Kata exercise A3 - template A3 is a single page document to support the Improvement and Coaching Katas. A3document Mentee Mentor A3 – documents help to… Learn the Kata Create shared understanding Create structure (thinking and coaching) The A3 is not a form to fill! It is a living document that is updated and revised throughout the Kata. A3 and organizational learning Solutions are documented together with their context The why behind the solutions is also documented A3 documents also reveal the thinking process that lead to finding the solution Share the failures. Worst practice is as valuable as best practice A3 exercise Study the A3 template and try to understand how you could use it to help you in the: – Improvement Kata – Coaching Kata Experiences and lessons learned Toyota Kata at application services unit in Aalto IT • About 35 people • Almost everyone has used the Improvement Kata and A3 documents in their work • 5-10 people use the Improvement Kata actively on their own accord. The rest use it on occasion • I and few other people can act as coaches, but this is our bottleneck. • Using Toyota Kata and A3 templates has already made a considerable improvement for us To what kind of work do we apply the Improvement Kata on? • Process improvement work • Improving our production services by understanding and eliminating root causes behind the incidents • Good substitute for a lot of traditional project work – For example a design of a new service can be a series of Improvement Katas Get started by practicing the Improvement Kata. Start with a simple problem to practice the form, but quickly move to more challenging problems. Remember to keep the time scales small in the beginning (at most a month). You will learn better this way. Better yet. Find someone who wants to learn with you and share your experiences about the Improvement Kata. Do not start with the Coaching Kata before you gain experience in the Improvement Kata. Choose the initial group of Improvement Kata pioneers. Organizational position can be a factor, but you should also consider how enthusiastic the person is. I made the initial mistake of choosing just my team leaders. Soon I added more enthusiastic pioneers to the group. Teach the pioneers the basics of the Improvement Kata and get them to experiment with it. Start using the Coaching Kata with them after a while. Be honest about your expertise level. Emphasize learning together. Start scaling up by giving training sessions on the Improvement Kata and A3 – documents. Several short trainings sessions are better than one “big” one. Make sure there is background material that people can study. Do everything you can to encourage experimenting. Try to find ways to make Toyota Kata desirable. Not just the management fad of the month. Have your pioneers share their experiences and learning. A3 – documents can be a great help in teaching the Toyota Kata and making the results visible. Remember that there is a real risk that it becomes too much about writing the A3 – documents instead of the thinking and behavioral patterns. Develop your coaching capability by teaching your pioneers (and other who show promise in the Improvement Kata) the coaching Kata and ask them to choose people who they will start mentoring. Follow up on their coaching efforts regularly. Remember to support and encourage their efforts. Be explicit about teaching the Coaching Kata. I made the mistake of assuming people will learn it from being Coached. Teaching it explicitly will save you time and frustration. Some will learn the Improvement Kata with ease. Most won’t. Be patient. There are no shortcuts. The level of coaching is critical in developing people in the Improvement Kata. People who can do the Coaching Kata will be your bottleneck. Focus on developing this competence. There are no shortcuts here either. Developing a real capability in Toyota Kata is really long term process. Trying to force the issue will only result in superficial learning. Analogy to Agile: It is relative to easy to do Agile aka implement Scrum, but it is really difficult to actually be Agile. Sources and additional information Toyota Kata by Mike Rother It is the single best book about Lean I have read and read a lot Håkan Forss has also interesting things to say about Toyota Kata. Q&A Improvement Kata Coaching Kata • Comments? • Questions? • Feedback? Mentee Mentor Contact me if you want to discuss afterwards: [email protected] @number_9_ “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” - Aristoteles Toyota Kata is about creating habits that create excellence.