Achieving OKRs the Toyota Kata Way

Invented by the late Andy Grove, the founder and chairman of Intel, Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are popular with product teams; whether in product companies or IT. Andy explained OKR in this two minutes video. Rather than being a form of documentation, OKR is a way to bring alignment to teams towards achieving stretchContinue reading “Achieving OKRs the Toyota Kata Way”

Causal Loop Diagram

Causal-loop-diagram is a Design Thinking tool that teams can use to create a shared understanding of how the various variables interact, leading to the existing performance. Teams calculate process-performance during grasping-current-condition step. This step helps the team to drive data, observations, and modeling of how the focus-process performs. Operating according to the desired-operating-pattern will generateContinue reading “Causal Loop Diagram”

Using Checklists

“History Is Just One Damn Thing after Another.” Winston Churchill Ralph Stacey , an organizational theorist, adapts Churchill’s quote by saying “An organization’s life is just one damn thing after another”. In the presence of complexity, failure can happen because of myriad of variables that unpredictably interact in an unimagined way. There is no guaranteeContinue reading “Using Checklists”

Noticing the unexpected

This blog is about a starter-kata for daily counting of the results that do not match your expectations about various events. It is about clicking a mechanical counter when something happened that is different from what I expected. Kata Coach Gemma Jones published more detailed instructions in LinkedIn here. Below is a Run Chart fromContinue reading “Noticing the unexpected”

Can Pat lose weight without having a weight scale?

Rather than being a reduced version of the Direction, the outcome-metric of the Target Condition can be an entirely different. Pat weight loss Target Condition is a design of the desired operating pattern. It is a hypothesis, in this example “Walking daily can reduce Pat’s weight” – that yet to be validated. Pat validates thisContinue reading “Can Pat lose weight without having a weight scale?”

Virtual Kata in Classroom (vKiC-1)

I coach IT teams to grow by helping them adopt Toyota Kata to realize various Directions. The Improvement Kata provides me as a coach a scientific thinking pattern to help teams in their journey. KiC-1 as described in is a simulation activity for teams to practice Improvement Kata. This week, I facilitated a virtualContinue reading “Virtual Kata in Classroom (vKiC-1)”

Delivering a Backlog-item

Product teams work out of a Product Backlog that consists of customer-valued backlog-items. Despite using Agile practices, often we have unacceptable long lead-time of a backlog-item. This post discusses the underlying thinking — often exists in product delivery — that impacts delivery of backlog-items. 1. Current way of work Upon identifying customer valued backlog-items, oftenContinue reading “Delivering a Backlog-item”

Dependencies Over-rated

Often dependencies – also occasionally called blockers, impediments, issues and risks – are the cause of missing both delivery targets and expected customer value. The broader the team formation – meaning it can cover on its own all the work needed to deliver customer value – the less likely it will incur dependencies. However, teamsContinue reading “Dependencies Over-rated”

Leaders are the real Coaches

Leaders act as coaches for their teams on applying Scientific Thinking as the way of delivery. Scientific Thinking is about teams designing and doing small steps (aka experiments) following the next points: – Reality of the step-up, technology, requirements, solution complexity, and more.– Team Target: to guide the steps towards what the team aspires for.–Continue reading “Leaders are the real Coaches”

Daily Improvements

A couple of hours of training given sporadically, then followed by extended time of business-as-usual, will most probably not lead to meaningful improvements. Improvement is a daily commitment by everyone, in fact it’s the way of doing the work. Managers are the real coaches for their people to facilitate that the latter experiment daily toContinue reading “Daily Improvements”