Kata means pattern, routine, habits or way of doing things. Kata is about creating a fast “muscle memory” of how to take action instantaneously in a situation without having to go through a slower logical procedure. A Kata is something that you practice over and over striving for perfection. In the book “Managing Flow”, Ikujiro Nonaka describes Kata as a traditional Japanese code of knowledge that describes a process of synthesizing thought and behavior in skillful action; the metacognition of reflection in action. If the Kata itself is relative static, the content of the Kata, as we execute it is modified based on the situation and context in real-time as it happens. Nonaka also describes Kata as different from a routine in that it contains a continuous self-renewal process.
Kata is not to blindly copy some else method, but to improve on it in an evolutionary way. You learn and evolve a Kata through the three stages of the learning cycle Shu (learn), Ha (break) and Ri (create). In the first stage Shu, you learn by following the teacher. You imitate the teacher’s practices, values and thinking. You will only move on to the next stage when you have made the teacher’s Kata your own. In the Ha stage, you break from the teacher’s practices and make modifications based on your own creativity. In the Ri stage, you leave the teacher and you start creating your own unique Kata. As you expand your knowledge into new areas, you will loop back to the Shu stage for those areas in an ever-growing spiral of knowledge.
In October I had the great opportunity to be part of the 3rd Lean IT Summit in Paris. On the second day of the conference I talked about Toyota Kata – habits for continuous improvements.
Below you can find the recording of that talk and my slides.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
What are the habits, or routines, you need to put in place to continuously strive for excellence? How do we create a culture of continuous improvement?
In this session you will learn about continuous improvement routines that help you close the gap between your current condition and you desired future state. You will learn how you can probe through the unknown in small deliberate steps. You will also be introduced to the leadership routines to build a continuous improvement culture. These routines are what we call Toyota Kata.
In October I had the great opportunity to be part of the 3rd Lean IT Summit in Paris. This conference was really one of the highlight of my 2013 conference season.
On the second day of the conference I had the great opportunity to be part of the Lean Agile roundtable. The participants of the panel was (from the left) Pierre Pezziardi, Steve Bell , me, Mike Orzen, Michael Ballé, Daniel T Jones, Regis Medina, Takashi Tanaka, Laurent Bossavit, and Antoine Contal (moderator). Below is the recording of the roundtable. Please enjoy.
Last week I had the great pleasure to co-present with Erik Schön at the Lean Kanban Central Europe conference. In our session “Flow Thinking – The Mental Leaps” we shared some of the mental leaps Ericsson’s 3G Product Development Unit has made during the last three years transformation towards flow thinking.
The main mental leaps we talked about was:
Methods & Tools
Principles & Mindset
Here is the recording of the presentation
Here are the slides from the presentation
You read more about Flow Efficiency here
It was great to get to Edinburgh and be able to present at Lean Agile Scotland. Unfortunately there was some technical issues in the beginning of the session. Sorry about that! Hope you enjoyed the session anyway. Big thank you to Chris McDermott @chrisvmcd, the rest of the organizers, all the attendees, all the speakers and the sponsors for making this great even happen.
Hope to see you next year.
Time is valuable, and when it is gone, it is gone. Are you focusing on flow or just keeping yourself busy? How much has the red brick cancer spread in your processes?
In this session we will talk about time. We will explore the differences between systems with high resource efficiency and systems focused on flow efficiency. We take a look at how to remove the red brick cancer in your processes. You will learn how to understand and improve the end to end flow in your system.
It really looks like it going to be an interesting conference with lots of great speakers and as much as four parallel tracks!
To learn more and and signing up for the conference please visit http://www.leanagilescotland.com/
Start where you are, create a shared and visual understanding of flow of work and then evolutionary improve. In short; this is the Kanban Method.
With the Kanban Method you have a proven approach for moving towards your state of excellence.
Start where you are
The Kanban Method builds on both small and large organizations current strengths; including current roles and processes. It acts as a catalyst for evolutionary change towards excellence – it’s a method for introducing a continuous improvement (kaizen) culture. It is proven approach for knowledge worker organizations to go Lean.
Create a shared and visual understanding
The starting point is a shared and visual understanding of the current flow of work. To create a shared understanding of the inherently invisible flow of knowledge work it has to be made visible. The saying; “a picture is worth more than thousand words” really applies when it comes to understand the flow of knowledge work. To even further deepen your understanding of the flow of work a pull system is established by limiting the work-in-process. Contrary to common reflexes, the technique of limiting the work-in-process usually has the added benefits of improving the flow and reducing stress.
With a shared understanding of the flow of work the Kanban Method encourages small evolutionary changes, changes towards a state of excellence. The method encourages the knowledge worker to apply a scientific approach and run experiments to strive towards excellence. The method itself does not define the state of excellence or the specific improvement method to use. The state of excellent has to be defined based on the organizations context and business philosophy.
Common models used to move towards excellence are; The Theory of Constraints, The System of Profound Knowledge and Lean Economic Model. And common improvement methods used are; Improvement Kata/Coaching Kata and A3 Thinking.
Time to move towards excellence – Stop Starting, Start Finishing!