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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the Most Important Book on Lean in the last 10 Years, 16 Feb 2010
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Mr. Ross Maynard (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results (Hardcover)
"Toyota Kata" could be the most important book on "lean" since "The Toyota Way". Based on six years research at Toyota, Mike Rother's book provides a very readable and straightforward approach to embedding continuous improvement - putting the "principles" of the Toyota Production System into action.

Interestingly, Mr Rother argues that the "Kaizen Event" approach to improvement is not effective or sustainable because, at best, each process area will only get one or two bursts of improvement in a year. This is not continuous improvement and does truly engage the workforce. He also argues that such events produce lists of improvements which are taken on by engineers and managers as "projects" to be completed. The project approach to improvement has little impact on changing the culture of the organisation.

Instead Mike Rother argues for constant daily improvement - thus "kata" - a simple PDCA routine which is enacted every day by everyone in the process, and supported and coached by managers and team leaders who have roughly 50% of their time allocated to teaching this approach to improvement. Small step-by-step improvements are more effective over time than occasional kaizen bursts, and have a significantly greater impact on the organisation culture -creating an environment of involvement and improvement.

The book describes this "improvement kata" routine with a rapid cycle of small improvements. It is one of the most interesting books I have read in years. The "lean tools" are touched on briefly - described as methods for highlighting obstacles in a controlled manner for improvement - but this book is about the behavioural routines that, by persistent and regular teaching at all levels in the organisation, become the embedded culture.

Everyone working in the field of lean, in any industry or organisation, should read this book. It will open your eyes to what is really necessary. If you only read one business book this year, then this should be it. This book has changed my thinking on lean - particularly on implementation. It is truly an excellent work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Competitive advantage lies in "katas", 20 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results (Hardcover)
What I find particularly interesting in this book is the author's view that an organization's processes and practices are an outcome of people's thinking and behavior. The traditional view is that by defining processes you can control peoples behavior, but it is actually the other way around. So the question becomes, if processes are an outcome, then how do you accomplish continuous improvements, adaptiveness, and superior performance? The answer is through katas. In Japan, a "kata" is a way of thinking and conducting oneself. The book describes two katas, an improvement kata and a coaching kata. The key point is that if you want to understand Toyota and emulate its success, then these katas should be implemented, not the company's practices and techniques. The competitive advantage of a company doesn't lie in the processes themselves but in the ability of the company to understand the current situation and create fitting, smart solutions. There is one area where I disagree with the author and it is in his view of self-organization. My view is that self-organization is an excellent way of putting our capability for improvement, resourcefulness, and creativity to use. The view held by the author might be valid in a manufacturing environment, but it is not valid in general. Also, I would like to stress, as the author does, that kata is a general concept applicable not only to manufacturing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 27 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results (Hardcover)
Would recomend this for your reading pleasure on moving your company forward in search of continuos improvement for your operators.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toyota Kata, 6 July 2010
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Mr. S. Saddiq - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results (Hardcover)
Excellent book. Explains several aspects of Kaizen and coaching which are important. It explains in a step by step approach the link between Business Vision, Short term targets and Kaizen. I found this context setting of the use of Kaizen interesting and helpful. Also the book then goes on to explain who Kaizen is aimed at and the typical outcomes expected. I found this useful in that it counters some of the ways in which I have seen Kaizen being used before and helps me to better understand some of the problems that I have encountered when deploying kaizen. Finally I found the sections about coaching very interesting and explained in a way that I had not previously seen. Some sound practical advice about simple generic questions that can be used to kick-start a coaching style. Overall I found it an excellent book and have practically used the lessons from it already.
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5.0 out of 5 stars powerful stuff!, 18 Aug 2013
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This should be the FIRST book for anyone wanting to understand Lean. All other books suggest solutions to problems. (levelling flow, changing culture, reducing waste etc.) This book tells you about the system (kata) that helps you identify what your next step needs to be and therefore what problem you should seek to solve. It gives no solutions, but is strengthened rather than diminished by this!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A challenge of behaviours, 24 Mar 2013
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A powerful insight into behaviors of a company that continues to excel.

This challenge is not for the faint hearted or those without belief.

Any senior leader with a will and desire to continuously improve should read this book and set about changing an old outraged management system to a Kata management system.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results (Hardcover)
Best book I have read for getting TPS to "stick"
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