Learning together via Kata Practitioner Days (KPD)
As you read in The Take, “Lean remains an important competitive tool even in the age of digitization and Manufacturing 4.0. And in order to remain relevant lean must adapt by enabling greater agility and faster improvement.”
There is one agility tool that leads to faster improvement and that’s Mike Rother’s Toyota KATA thinking. Its uptake is crawling at the moment across Canada but one outstanding application is to be found in Cornwall, Ontario, at SigmaPoint Technologies. They ‘blew over 200 North American practitioners away’ at the KATACon2 conference in Florida last year.
One question is, how much can you learn from the experiences of others? Or do you have to try – fail – experiment – and reflect, all on your own? According to Tracy Defoe (a key contributor to ATJ), there may be a better way especially if you are trying to get a grip on the Toyota KATA process which is growing globally.
Tracy Defoe was the sparkplug for the spontaneous KATA Practitioner Day (KPD) held at Asco Aerospace in the Vancouver area in September.
As you may know, a KATA Practitioner Learning Day is an informal and somewhat spontaneous event. The people who organized the Asco event were looking for a learning experience that focused on Mike Rother’s Toyota KATA pattern duo – the Improvement KATA (IK) and the Coaching KATA (CK). Tracy spotted their interest in getting together to share their reflections and experiences, and to do it in a way that would introduce the IK and CK routines to neophytes, well-prepared practitioners and a few coming in cold. Tracy’s goal was to start a ‘community of practice’ for learning, sharing, and support. To get it started, Tracy facilitated the development of a practical and high-value agenda consisting of two presentations, a site tour, two hands-on exercises and frequent pauses for open reflection over six hours.
How did it go?
Well, the 20 participants rated it as a solid “very good” and the session drew KPD folks from across Canada and from Washington State. However, the clearest evidence of its value was the expression of commitment by all twenty attendees to come together again. They appreciated that the event offered them: “Great spirit of community”, “Open, frank, and honest sharing of experience,” and “Effective simulations.”
Want to try it out?
If you would see value in getting together with others to increase the effectiveness of IK and CK routines and in sharing continuous improvement successes, starting your own KPD is always an option. Starting a local network would be a good beginning and so would some investigation of Lean Frontiers, who, along with Mike Rother, have been pioneering KPD agendas. Tracy and her colleagues would be glad to share their agenda with you via her blog at www.thelearningfactor.ca/blog
The cutting edge- KATACon3, February 22, 2016
There are growing options for learning and enhancing KATA skills from Quebec to BC. About a third of the Asco KPD participants in Vancouver were doing two days of training with Mark Rosenthal through Impact Washington. You can find Mark at www.theLeanthinker.com . However, the next largest event in 2017 is KATACon3 in snow-free San Diego CA, February 21-22. Check out the details at www.KATAsummit.com Tracy Defoe is a practitioner-researcher who specializes in workplace education; setting up shop floor Kaizen Clubs; and in investigating the challenges of participation and leadership in continuous improvement. Contact: www.thelearningfactor.ca/blog
ATJ’s Vision To make a difference that matters. ATJ is committed to the first principle of lean and believes value is determined from the standpoint of the customer (our readers). Mission ATJ is a voluntary operation that respects, supports, and seeks input from all sources including our readers through an open trust-and-integrity based process that acknowledges all contributions, while always seeking to provide increasing value. Designed by: M&O Lean Communications 2016