There are a few good things to be done in order to get a good start. One thing we always recommend is to visit one of our  current customers  who have started working with Toyota Kata. Please contact us to get in touch with companies that fit your situation. 

In addition to this, we have developed a T3  Enabling Process, that will enable you to develop your organization, so it becomes a natural part of your culture. Culture is what you do every day! 

This Toyota Kata  T Enabling Process is divided into 3 main phases, built on the 40-20-40 model, that illustrates how the outcome of a development activity, should not just be seen as an event - with a narrow focus on the training itself. This model was developed by Robert O. Brinkerhoff.   

Based on our learnings working with Toyota Kata for many years and change and learning management  theory. We work after the thinking around these 4 questions, when you need to change you culture:  

  1. What is the desired culture?  
  2. What organisation structure, roles and responsibilities is needed to support this culture?  
  3. What abilities does this pull, to fill out the roles and responsibilities? 
  4. What is the current stage compared to the desired future stage?  

The 7 starting steps  

1. The formation of a Steering Group

The first step you need to undertake is to design the framework for managing your Toyota Kata launch, including determining sponsors, steering group members, and a Toyota Kata champion. 

Once you have chosen your Toyota Kata steering group, it is wise to study and make sense of Toyota Kata and - so that you have the knowledge required to support the launch and the subsequent journey. This can be done by reading books and articles, participating in Toyota Kata introduction workshops, attending one of our Conferences, or possibly by making company visits. 

We strongly suggest the “Toyota Kata practice guide” which gives a hands-on approach to the reader.  

Afterwards, the steering group may favorably write down the first thoughts about a start-up plan, extent and resources, and not least why Toyota Kata is chosen. This is an important part as proper preparation is a necessity to ensure sustainable implementation. It is important to understand which problem the company wants to solve with the introduction of the Toyota Kata programs. Some companies use A3 tools to clarify these parts. 

You can find additional inspiration and information in the form of articles, books, videos and activities in the form of workshops and conferences on in our Our News and Cases 

We also strongly recommend that you focus on how you will handle the change process. We have developed a process that looks like follows: 

2. Identify Pilot Project and Team Members

To ensure the best start to a Toyota Kata process, we recommend that you begin with testing in a minor area. You start on a small sce and then build the structure according to a sequential pattern of thinking. When selecting these pilot areas, you may keep in mind that it must be a current problem that you need to solve. 

Here it may be beneficial to continue working with the above-mentioned A3, which we recommend that everyone from the steering group sign, to ensure proper commitment (like a contract). Here there can also in some cases, be a need for a mother and daughter A3´s.  

Once you know your pilot areas, the next step is to select the Supervisors who will be your Coaches.  

We provide a training in selecting the right Supervisors. This may be used with advantage when selecting the pilot area. (for more information click on the picture below). The importance of putting together the right team may be crucial to your success in the pilot project. 

By clicking on the picture below, you can read more about our Spot the Talent program.  

Spot the Talent 

3. Basic training and practice period inToyota Kata

In this step, we recommend three minor steps where we as an officially certified Toyota Kata Institute partner can assist you with the right Toyota Kata courses, coaching and certification. That is, 10% training, 20% coaching and 70% practice to master a skill. This will help increasing your success in the pilot project. It's important that team members feel that they are qualified before they go "live". During this period, the group members will prepare themselves to go live in the pilot area. The length of this period will vary relative to the organization and the maturity of the process. 

From experience we know that both Coaches, Learners and 2nd Coaches need specific and solid training. You are learning a new skill, a pattern of thinking so it becomes internalized.  

For the pattern to become strong, and to develop good coaches who in time will become 2nd Coaches, all needs to experience what it is like to be a Learner, no matter what my position in the company is. You simply cannot coach and develop people if you don’t know what they are going through. You can see a chart of how an example journey can look like here (add link to image) 

4. Carry out pilot project

In the pilot project itself, the team will now use this pattern of thinking in the pilot area. 

During the pilot project, it is important to support, coach and continuously guide the pilot project team. In this way, the risk of failure will be reduced. The focus here should be on the improvement process and on creating and maintaining good relations with workers. 

An important part of the implementation of the pilot project is that executives perform a confirmatory process with their employees to ensure that the pilot team has practiced effectively. That is, the worker is sufficiently qualified and motivated to follow what has been learned. This is a difficult process to carry out and requires good leadership skills and training - so you don't create guilt and shame among the workers. 

NOTE: Be sure to have valid data before starting the pilot project and make measurements during and after the pilot project - so that there is valid data to demonstrate the impact of the pilot project. 

5. Publication of the results of the pilot project

For a wider expansion of Toyota Kata, the results of the pilot project are of crucial importance. Therefore, it is important before, during and immediately after the actual pilot project to make measurements of the effect. When this is done, the next step is to clarify the reactionary results and not the rational results in order to make an impression on the rest of the organization. 

This makes the work of spreading Toyota Kata and/or Kata to the rest of the organization a lot easier. Talk speaks well for itself and is a good catalyst for opening the "doors" of those who have not been part of the pilot project.  

6. Develop internalToyota KataTrainers 

Choose your future Toyota Kata 10-hour course Trainers from the pilot project group. Then let them participate in a Toyota Kata 40-hour "train-the-trainer" course. After this they will be ready to train their own Toyota Kata 10-hour courses and develop new supervisors in Toyota Kata mindset. 

7. Roll outToyota Kataon a larger scale 

When you undertake the expansion of Toyota Kata on a larger scale in your organization, we strongly recommend using the same model as the one used above. Each time you start a new area, it means repeating steps 1-5 again - and maybe step 6 as well. 

Be careful to: 

  • Spread Toyota Kata slowly but steadily 
  • Not all areas at the same time 
  • Make sure you have the management's commitment 
  • Continue to coach your supervisors 

Keep in mind that these 7 pillars should only be seen as inspiration for your launch plan. Feel free to  contact us  when you're about to get started with this important planning process.