Kata for Daily Improvement

The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design

How long?

  • 3 days
  • online

The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design


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About the course

Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement, Adaptation, and Innovation

This is the definitive Kata workshop. Through an interative simulation facilitated by world-class experts, you will practice the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata together before applying these skills first-hand at a real organization — preparing you to implement a culture of continuous improvement.

Program Overview

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

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 Practitioners Day

  • Brief history of Zingerman's Mail Order (ZMO)
    • On Day Three, you will have the opportunity see Kata in action at Zingerman's Mail Order, an online gourmet food shop that does annual sales of nearly $18 million. Participants can learn firsthand from ZMO after years of practicing Kata. Learn what worked, didn't work, and adaptations that ZMO has made along the way.
  • Tour of ZMO
  • Overview of Kata Boards
  • Lunch with Zingerman’s Mail Order Staff
  • Open Book Finance Huddle
  • Kata in the Classroom 1
    • "Kata in the Classroom" (KiC), is an interactive introduction to the four steps of the Improvement Kata used to help anyone teach scientific thinking. Along with the U-M instructional team, Betty will discuss how KiC can help learners of all ages easily grasp the importance of establishing a clear target, setting achievable goals, and taking controlled steps to get there.
  • Kata in the Classroom 2 - With Mike Rother Author of Toyota Kata
  • Work with U of M Instructors on your deployment plan

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to identify a target condition
  • Practice rapid PDCA cycles
  • Understand how to create an effective storyboard
  • Learn how to coach

The Improvement Kata

A four-step sequence that is a systematic, scientific pattern for managing teams. Practicing it helps any team get better at meeting goals and challenges.

  • Understand the CHALLENGE
  • Establish your NEXT TARGET CONDITION
  • EXPERIMENT toward the Target Condition

The Coaching Kata

A set of teaching routines that help you develop coaching skill. It is a coaching pattern that helps managers teach Improvement Kata thinking and acting.

PRACTICE the five Coaching Kata questions

REVIEW proven approaches

DEVELOP a plan for deploying Kata in your organization


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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Kata for Daily Improvement at The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design

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