Auburn Technical Assistance Center 
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Toyota's Improvement Kata

Reinforcing the Improvement Kata process
Friday, Oct. 28 Location Code
8:00am-12:00pm Majestic 1, 37th floor FW/30

Practice and apply the Toyota Kata methodologies, models and tools regarding the Improvement Kata. Recognize the value of the Coaching Kata methodology and how it can engage people.


Toyota Kata channels and utilizes the capabilities of all its team members better than traditional management methods, allowing non-traditional, outstanding results. Learn the framework for a sustainable problem-solving culture that incorporates targeted experimentation and personal learning utilizing two specific behavior routines or katas. This hands-on workshop includes presentation of the methodology, an Improvement Kata simulation and a Coaching Kata experience. Attendees will be introduced to the Improvement Kata process, a repeating routine of establishing challenging target conditions, working step-by-step through obstacles and learning from problems encountered. Then participate in Coaching Kata sessions using the 5 Questions pattern of teaching the Improvement Kata to employees at every level.


Since 1976, Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) -Auburn University's affiliate of the Alabama Technology Network (ATN), Economic Development Administration University Center and part of the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business - has helped business, industry, not-for-profit entities and government agencies learn how to improve and enhance their competitiveness and efficiency through a variety of educational, training, consulting and outreach services. Improve and grow your business with process improvement assistance from ATAC.

Presenters: Hank Czarnecki / Bill Kraus / Chris Hayes

Hank Czarnecki serves as lean group leader for Auburn University's Technical Assistance program. He has more than 20 years of experience teaching lean, facilitating kaizen improvement events and coaching companies on their lean journey. Czarnecki is an AME SE Region board member and is the ASQ Lean Enterprise Division Communications chair.  

Bill Kraus is a member and past president of the AME Southeast region board. He has promoted Toyota Kata for the past four years. He primarily focuses on training, facilitating and coaching in lean manufacturing, Training Within Industry and Toyota Kata. Kraus spent 28 years with Monsanto, Engelhard and two privately-held companies as superintendent, plant manager and vice president of operations for construction, maintenance and manufacturing operations.

Chris Hayes provides vision and strategic direction to insure the customer's voice is always the loudest. With a background that includes healthcare, manufacturing, distribution, aerospace and non-profit, she has provided services that have directly resulted in over $100 million in verified savings. She has worked with companies such as Dannon, ITT, and Thermo Fisher, where she utilized integrated process improvement techniques that emphasize engaging the workforce, meeting objectives and sustaining results. Hayes is chair elect for ASQ’s Lean Enterprise Division.