Toyota Kata

Monday, Oct. 19 Location Code
8:00am-5:00pm Jr. Ballroom A, 3rd floor MW/11

Improving and coaching your people for success

Hear and see how companies utilize the Toyota Kata methodology of Coaching Kata and Improvement Kata to coach for daily continuous improvement (CI); learn a four-step, iterative PDCA routine for addressing obstacles to short-term and long-term progress; get a daily routine for teaching the Improvement kata thinking pattern; participate in a four-round simulation to understand the integration of Toyota Kata components.


Find answers to the question:  How can we lead our company so it will survive and thrive in the long term? Realizing that the solutions we employ today (lean techniques, current profitable products etc.) may be ineffective in the future, learn to understand current conditions and create smart, fitting solutions through the Toyota Kata routine. Channel and use the capabilities of all members as you strive for CI. Hear about companies using the Toyota Kata methodology of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata in coaching for daily CI. Review the Toyota Kata Handbook found on author Mike Rother’s website. Learn the Improvement Kata, a scientific, four-step routine addressing obstacles to achieving short-term conditions aligned with a long-term vision/challenge. Get information on the Coaching Kata, a daily routine using five questions to help teach the Improvement Kata thinking pattern and ensure that it is embedded in an organization. Participate in a four-round simulation exercise, interwoven with slide material, to easily understand how the Toyota Kata trajectory components (vision/challenge, current condition, target condition, obstacles, PDCAs and coaching) come together.


W3 Group LLC is a globally-recognized consulting and training group that assists organizations striving to create a culture of deliberate continuous improvement based on innovation and adaptiveness. The methodologies, principles and techniques W3 Group teaches are on the cutting edge of understanding about deliberate culture creation, organizational alignment and lean deployment. It has expertise in teaching and organizational deployment of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata, defined in the book Toyota Kata by Mike Rother.

Speakers: Brandon Brown / Bill Kraus / John Brandt

Brandon Brown is a W3 Group Kata coach and lean instructor/facilitator. Since 2006, he has been a professor of operations management at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, teaching courses in the industrial engineering department such as lean production and leadership principles and practices, for the operations management degree program. He previously advanced through management leadership at Central States Manufacturing. A member of the AME Southeast region board, Brown has worked with companies deploying Toyota Kata for the past three years.

Bill Kraus is a member and past president of the AME Southeast region board. He has promoted Toyota Kata for the past three 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.

John Brandt is the vice president of quality and continuous improvement for Cloyes Gear & Products, Inc., and is responsible for the quality performance of six plants. He has been with Cloyes for 27 years, holding positions of controller, director of operations and VP of operations. For the past 10 years, Brandt has focused on strategic planning, leadership development and best practices, helpimg lead the Cloyes team to implement world-class processes and techniques. Brandt is a six sigma master black belt. He holds a B.S. degree in both accounting and economics from the Ohio State University.