Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata

Using Bottom-up Improvement, Gemba Walks, and Coaching to EXCEL



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Course Description

A 3-day hands-on learning session held at the CertainTeed Fiber Cement Facility

What is kata? 
Kata simply means ‘routine’ or ‘way’. In the context of lean, it means new leadership routines that help value adders improve every day outside of kaizen events … and that help leaders teach during gemba walks and be a bridge between kaizen event team members and others who need to unlearn the old way and learn the new (download Improvement and Coaching Kata FAQ).

In an environment where these “kata” have been instilled...

  • There is a strong partnership between frontline leaders* and operators. The leader’s main responsibility is to serve the needs of the operators and enhance their ability to add value to the organization.
  • The frontline leadership team has the skills to teach operators about lean…not in a classroom setting but in the workplace.
  • You never have to worry that kaizen improvements won’t be meaningfully implemented.
  • Once a better way to work is discovered in one area it is quickly pulled into other areas that can benefit from the improvement.
  • The line between how value-adders do their work and how improvement happens is blurred; continuous improvement really is continuous.
  • Improvement isn’t held hostage waiting until the next ‘event’.

In this hands-on learning event participants will learn and practice four essential leadership routines necessary to develop a workplace where improvement happens organically--outside of events as part of daily work.

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The Four Routines:
Routine 1 – The Gemba Walk
The Gemba walk provides a simple, reliable way for managers, supervisors, and facility leaders to teach and reinforce the lean way and build a culture of continuous improvement. Master the “who, what, where, when, and why” of this important lean technique.

Routine 2 – Improvement Sustainment
If most improvement happens as a result of a kaizen-style event, and if most kaizen events are successful, why aren’t we reaching our goals? When kaizen team members return to their day-to-day responsibilities, often no one is formally charged with the job of shepherding the improvement to maturity. Like a newborn, improvements left on their own almost always die. Learn the leadership techniques that will make unsustained improvements a problem of the past.

Routine 3 – Replicating Improvements
Once strong sustaining skills are in place, the next challenge is to swiftly replicate improvements on other shifts and lines as well as in other facilities with similar processes. Learn how to multiply the value derived from your kaizen event investment by implementing new standards beyond the initial area.

Routine 4 – Bottom-up Improvement*
*improvement that happens outside of a kaizen event
Which would you rather have… one resource-intensive improvement event every month or hundreds of low cost/low cost improvements each week? Slow and steady always wins the race. Learn the leadership skills that will blur the lines between improvement activities and daily work.

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Workshop Benefits

  • Reestablish the working relationship between frontline leaders and value adders as one of collaborating partners
  • Redefine the role of the manager as coach, mentor, teacher
  • Develop a strong, enterprise-wide capability for executing and sustaining improvement
  • Create an organization-wide ability to improve continuously, outside of a kaizen event setting
  • Build a world-class ability to work in cross-ranking and cross-functional team
  • Apply a scientific approach (Plan-Do-Check-Act) to improving and to building leadership skills and capabilities
  • Initiate the process of embedding a true culture of continuous improvement via:
    • Learning the 4 key routines that make an organization lean
    • Mastering the 10-step process for “teaching” these principles organization-wide as a part of daily work

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Workshop Schedule

Day 1 8:00am – 5:00pm
Day 2 8:00am – 5:00pm
Day 3 8:00am – 3:30pm


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Who should attend?

Anyone responsible for

      • driving lean in their organization
      • delivering lean results
      • building a culture of continuous improvement
      • transforming their organization from a company doing lean things into a lean company

Including: plant managers, plant superintendents, directors, vice presidents and managers of production, division presidents and vice presidents


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Hotel Accommodations

Overnight guests can stay at the Brookside Inn & Suites in White City, Oregon.  A discounted rate of $79 plus tax is available for participants.  This rate includes a daily hot breakfast, free wired & wifi internet, and full suite amenities including small kitchenettes in each room.  They also have a swimming pool and fitness center. The Inn is located six miles from the Rogue Valley/Medford Intl. Airport. 

When calling the hotel, please mention Productivity Inc. to receive the special rate.  The hotel is located at 2020 Leigh Way, White City, OR 97503.  Their hotel phone number is 866-928-2314 or 541-826-0800.  For more information visit

The Kata workshop will take place at both the hotel and the host plant facility.  Transportation will be provided by Productivity Inc. 


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Registration Information


Registration Fee.........



For group rates please call: (203) 225-0451 or (800) 966-5423.

Note: Consultants are not permitted to attend


Cancellation Policy:

In order to provide each participant with the best learning experience, this session has been designed for a limited number of attendees. Should it become necessary for you to cancel your registration please note:

Registrations may be transferred to another colleague without charge. To be considered for a refund, we must receive notice of cancellation in writing no later than 21 business days prior to the event. Cancellations received within 21 business days are subject to the full registration fee and money will be held on account for up to one year for use at a future workshop or conference. If no notification of cancellation is provided, registration fees will be forfeited. There is a $200 processing fee for all cancellations. On rare occasions, circumstances may make it necessary to cancel or postpone an event. As such, we encourage attendees to book refundable/reusable airline tickets. We will not be responsible for incidental costs incurred by registrants.

By registering for this event, the registrant hereby acknowledges and agrees that any photographs or videos taken during the event may be used in marketing efforts, including but not limited to news and promotions (web/print) without compensation to the registrant.

Note: Consultants and university faculty may not be permitted to attend. Competitors of CertainTeed Fiber Cement will not be permitted to attend this session.


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Registrant Information

Referral Information:

Contact Productivity