The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design

Kata for Daily Improvement

Available dates

Mar 16—18, 2020
3 days
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
USD 2100
USD 700 per day


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About the course

Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement, Adaptation, and Innovation

This practical three-day workshop taught by experts Drew Locher and Toni Benner will focus on the Improvement Kata—a routine for rapid PDCA cycles—and the Coaching Kata, a routine for leaders to develop the improvement skills of others. You will have the opportunity to practice both Katas in a simulation. Together, they provide the methodology to create a culture of daily improvement.

Schedule and Special Events

Day 1 - Simulation, Overview of Improvement & Coaching Kata

  • Welcome, Introductions
  • Introduction to Simulation
    • Round 1 of the simulation, collect baseline metrics
    • Identify opportunities for improvement
  • Overview of Improvement and Coaching Kata
    • Background
    • Compare & contrast to continuous improvement practices at your organization
  • Improvement Kata Practice
    • Understanding the direction
    • Create high level Value Stream Map for simulation
  • Introduction to Storyboards
    • Identify vision, challenge, and focus process for simulation storyboard of round 2 of simulation, collect current condition data
  • Grasp the Current Condition
    • Create Value Stream Map for simulation
    • Update storyboards
  • Identifying a Target Condition
  • The PDCA process
  • Round 3 of simulation, conduct first experiment, collect new current condition data - Reflections of Day 1

After a long day, we have a fun change of pace for you that has a connection with the growing Kata community. Mike Rother will join Drew and Toni to discuss what's happening with Kata in education and take you through a simple exercise that helps anyone teach scientific thinking. It's called "Kata in the Classroom" (KiC).

The KiC exercise is now also being used by companies as a simple and highly interactive introduction to the four steps of the Improvement Kata. We'd like to share the KiC exercise as you may find it useful in your own deployment of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata, and it would be highly useful for school teachers in your community.

To see Mike talk about several unique qualities of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata, check out his opening remarks from the 2016 Kata Summit.

Day 2 - Coaching Kata, Deploying Kata in Your Organization

  • The Coaching Kata
    • Demonstration
    • Attendees practice in conjunction with simulation PDCA cycles (Rounds 4 & 5)
  • Deploying Kata in your organization
    • Review proven approaches
    • Developing second coaches
    • Developing your plan, participants share their plans going forward
  • Reflections of Day 2

Day 3 - Zingerman's Mail Order Practitioner Day

  • Observe Zingerman’s Mail Order (ZMO) Kata practice
  • Review ZMO’s Kata journey, deployment approach, lessons learned, Q & A
  • Tour of Zingerman’s Mail Order
  • Observe ZMO’s ‘Open Book’ meeting with associates
  • Participants get to select from the following activity:
    • Practice Improvement Kata in assigned area in ZMO, conduct a rapid PDCA cycle and a coaching cycle
    • Receive one-on-one coaching from course instructors on your kata deployment
  • Q&A and wrap-up

Trust the experts

Drew Locher

Drew first became involved in the development and delivery of innovative Business Improvement programs while working for General Electric in the 1980s. Since leaving GE in 1990 and forming Change Management Associates, he has provided Operational Excellence consulting and organizational developme...


Toni Benner

Toni Benner is a coach, speaker, instructor, and advocate for change. Toni has over 20 years of experience in facilitation, training, team development, and continuous improvement from manufacturing, product development, and supply chain within both the automotive and healthcare industry. She is a...


Betty Gratopp

Betty Gratopp is the lead production manager at Zingerman's Mail Order, an online gourmet food shop located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Zingerman's Mail Order has annual sales of $18 million and offers about 1,000 different products ranging from fresh bread to aged cheese to estate-bottled olive oils...


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