Preparing your kata practice
Following the storyboard
When you learn a new skill you first try to master the technique and the tools before you start personalizing them. The same applies here: You start with the standard storyboard as shown above.
Understand the challenge
Grasp the current situation
We have talked about most of the metrics in my previous posts about value stream mapping. Aside from understanding the metrics you also need to understand process patterns. Why does it produce the results it does? What means are used?
The idea is to keep learning and improve your understanding during the entire cycle. So it is advised to have your board and coaching cycles at the places the process is executed. You keep coming back to the process and keep learning. This will also mean measuring certain metrics several times during the improvement cycle because new information has become available.
Be kind to yourself when are still practicing. This step can take a couple of days the first times. You then take the step you have analyzed to the daily coaching moment until you have an initial grasp of the current operating pattern. When you have your current state you can put it on the board.
Defining your next current condition (target condition)
A target condition consists of:
You can add more detail to your target condition, but you cannot change the target condition or the achieve by date. As you can see the target condition does not state solutions or actions, just desired outcomes. It is not necessary to change all the metrics on the form above during one cycle. You can also (preferably) change one of two. This way you will keep a firm grasp on possible causes for surprises and be able to keep focussing on scientific thinking more easily.
When coach and learner are talking through the target condition they will see obstacles to reaching the target condition. These go on the obstacles parking lot. The obstacles parking lot is not an action list. You do not need to solve them right now. In the next coaching cycles you can improve on them or you can remove them when new information shows they are no longer relevant.
When you do not reach your target condition on the achieve by date it is still a great learning opportunity.
Experimenting towards the target condition
Learn and improve
You need to keep evaluating on a meta level as well as the micro level. The meta level is about how your are doing in your new pattern of thinking. What worked well this cycle and what did not yet work so well. How can you improve on this for the next cycle? It is about self reflection and reflection on the role of the other as well. You look at your mindset (open, learning disposition), your questions as a coach and a learner during the cycle, preparation of the cycles, collaboration and interaction with colleagues during the cycle, setting target condition and grasping the current condition. You look at people and processes as well as the problem.
I have learned a lot from the approach of Mike Rother and borrowed heavily from him. The pictures are from his work and links are included to the original presentation. I have also included my own thoughts in a previous blog and a quiz. In a next blog we will look at the starter kata for coaches.