Summary of The Toyota Kata Practice Guide

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  • Well Structured
  • Overview
  • Concrete Examples


If you have ever trained in martial arts, you may be familiar with kata, the Japanese term for a routine or pattern that improves your practice. Based on this approach, Toyota created a routine that supports continual improvement. This heavily illustrated guide to Toyota Kata offers a thorough, detailed explanation of how to learn and coach “Starter Kata” and “Improvement Kata.” The graphics on nearly every page, combined with examples from sports, music and business, make the technique easy to follow. This guide complements Mike Rother’s 2017 book, Toyota Kata Culture, and you’ll need both books to implement Kata. The details make the difference in putting the process into action versus simply understanding it. Whereas the earlier, much shorter book might suffice for senior executives, getAbstract finds that every Kata learner and coach in your organization could work from this practical guide.

About the Author

Mike Rother, an engineer, researcher, teacher and Kata expert, helps individuals, teams and organizations develop scientific thinking.



“Scientific Thinking”

Toyota Kata emphasizes steps that lead to continual learning and improvement. Practicing Kata teaches you to think scientifically, which boosts your creativity and problem-solving skills. Scientific thinking means experimenting and learning systematically. It calls for taking small steps, observing and learning from the results, adjusting your approach, and then trying again. Repeating this process gets you closer and closer to a good solution. As you attack problems this way, you’ll form a habit and begin to apply scientific thinking to any situation or problem.

Practicing Kata

At first, learners and coaches should follow this system’s techniques exactly. Repeat them until you feel comfortable performing them. As the routines become second nature, you’ll perform them subconsciously. Then you can adapt them and experiment with your own unique elements. Once you master the fundamentals, you can construct your personal implementation methods.

Practicing Kata 20 minutes each day should help you achieve proficiency in several months, but it requires “deliberate practice” and feedback. As a learner, ...

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