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What is Toyota Kata Coaching?

The Japanese term "KATA" comes from martial arts and means "routine". In the context of continuous improvement and increasing one's own competitiveness, the topic of leadership plays a decisive role for toyota cata coaching. Managers in all areas as well as on all hierarchical levels can participate systematically and actively, together with their employees, in these improvement activities through KATA.

The KATA includes various elements. These include the Improver KATA, the Coaching KATA, the 2nd-Coach KATA and the KATA Practice. The critical roles are those of the improver, the coach, and the second coach (2nd-Coach). The improver is responsible for implementing individual improvement steps, often by the next business day. Often the implementation is done by process observations and recordings or small experiments. The KATA represents the management standard, i.e. the routine in which the improver moves and which he internalizes over time. Together with his coach, usually the next higher executive, a next step is agreed upon in each appointment, which results from obstacles that occur and their influencing factors. The coach bears the responsibility for results as well as development, supports the improver through regular coaching discussions and sets the goal. True to the motto "only good leadership leads to good improvement", the coach also has the task of deriving the concrete direction for the improvement activities of his area from the company's goals and anchoring them in the everyday life of his employees. The regular coaching sessions, which always run in the same way on the basis of the KATA, ensure that work on the goals is continuous.

The second coach (2nd-Coach) has the function to develop the coach and to support him in learning the necessary leadership qualities and skills. He accompanies the coaching sessions at all hierarchical levels, prepares the coach for the discussions and provides constructive feedback. So here, too, a continuous development process takes place.

KATA-Training at apra

In the first phase of KATA training starting in the fall of 2020, the management and several other executives or department heads were trained at apra. After a few sessions, in which the KATA system was first introduced and taught partly theoretically and partly by means of small exercises, the participants were already introduced to their own practical projects. These were selected and defined by the participants themselves. This included, among other things, the formulation of the objective as well as the concrete process description. In order to be able to measure progress or development, a continuous comparison is made between the current and target status. The basis for this are concrete, measurable process indicators. These can be, for example, processing times, the number of employees involved in the process, or the frequency of malfunctions. Selected practical projects included the systematic development of store floor indicators, the reduction of lead times for purchased part complaints, the self-organization of the workday, or the structured execution of standstills within a specified time. In all projects, the constant work on the process and regular coaching quickly led to initial successes. Even obstacles that initially seemed complex were eliminated through the solution-neutral approach and "thinking" in small steps.

Overall, with the routine as well as the successes, the motivation and own drive of all participants also developed rapidly to pursue KATA further and to spread it in the organization. As a consequence of the exclusively positive experiences and the achieved results, also in cooperation with the management consultancy Lean Partners Projekt Gesellschaft mbH & CO. KG, several new apra-KATA projects have meanwhile been created in various company divisions. Numerous other executives, who have been learning KATA under the supervision of Lean Partners since mid-May and are working with high commitment in their teams, are slipping into the role of "improvers". Those managers who have already gone through the first phase of KATA training and have already completed their own projects are now acting as "coaches". The medium-term goal is to spread this leadership culture throughout the entire organization in order to act successfully together and develop apra further.

Modular products based on the Lean Management principle
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Modular products based on the Lean Management principle
for every application

With the tool island, the assembly island, the cleaning island and the store floor island, apra-lean offers a product range that ensures order and transparency at your workplace and also supports high-quality work processes.

Due to the modular construction principle you can also compose your Lean Management products individually. The high process adaptability, the possibility of subsequent additions or adjustments and the resulting increase in productivity in the manufacturing process are essential features of the apra-lean product range.

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in the field of Lean Management.