Kanban Kata – Kanban Leadership Retreat 2012 session #klrat


This was the first session I hosted and my intension for the session was to get answers to the following questions:

  • Validate if the concept of Katas would be useful in Kanban.
  • What would the Kanban Katas be?
  • What would the main steps be in the Kanban Katas?
  • How would we as a community move forward with Kanban Katas?

To set the stage for the discussions I went through a very early draft of a presentation on the subject. I had planed to only spend approximately 30 minutes on this before we moved on to the questions and the discussions. But it turned out that we spent almost the whole 90 minutes to discuss the content of the presentation in it’s self and I even had to skip some slides to complete in time.

We discussed in length the different concepts of the Improvement Kata and the Coaching Kata. We discussed the concept of a process vision from the Improvement Kata and its importance. David J. Anderson even realized that he had used an implicit version of a process vision and process target conditions at Corbis.

At the end of the session we started to touch on the potential Katas in Kanban. In my presentation I suggested that there is at least three Katas that we could start with:

  • The Daily meeting
  • The Operations review meeting
  • A line manager to team manager daily or weekly Improvement and Coaching Kata

We also discussed some other areas. We discussed the use of the word Kata as some of the suggestions did not really fit the Kata concept. A suggestion to use the term recipes was something the attendees seemed to like.


Gauging by the interest and the feedback(see picture above) I received from this session I would say that the Kanban Leadership Retreat attendees would agree with the statement bellow


This session spawned one more session for day 3 with these two topics:

  • Do we need a vision to get started with Improvement Kata?
  • Recipes (Katas) for improvement + discussions

I was very pleased with all the positive response I got and I will continue work in this concept and hope to be able to present the result this fall.


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