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Using the Toyota Improvement Kata to solve hard problems

Using the Toyota Improvement Kata to solve hard problems

As a technical leader, working on large strategic problems can be daunting. It’s hard to know where to start or which problem to work on, and even how to approach the Sisyphean task of moving the mountain. Using our war stories, we'll show you how to look at a long term vision, approach problem solving by using scientific thinking and move towards that long term vision instead of solving the known bottlenecks.

Adarsh Shah (@shahadarsh)is a technology leader, coach, hands-on architect and a change agent with over 15 years of industry experience. He is also an organiser for the Devopsdays NYC conference and devopsnyc meetup. Adarsh has a keen interest in building systems that add business value, and is passionate about helping clients with digital transformation by improving both technical as well as non-technical aspects.

These days, Adarsh is excited about working with distributed systems architecture and cloud native technologies.

Hibri Marzook (@hibri) helps teams continuously deliver software with joy and is a technical principal at Contino, a transformational technical consultancy.

Hibri Marzook

October 11, 2019
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  1. Using the Toyota Improvement Kata to
    solve hard problems
    Hibri Marzook
    Principal Consultant
    All things Agile, TDD and Continuous Delivery
    Contino
    @hibri
    Adarsh Shah
    Technology Leader, Coach, Hands-on Architect
    Independent Consultant
    @shahadarsh 

    shahadarsh.com

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  2. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Toyota Kata
    Mike Rother
    Toyota Production System

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  3. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Toyota Kata
    Toyota Kata = Improvement Kata + Coaching Kata

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  4. @shahadarsh @hibri
    The Improvement Kata
    Routine for moving from the current situation to a new
    situation in a creative, directed, meaningful way.

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  5. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Solution 

    options
    Current
    Condition
    Usual way of problem solving
    Find current
    issues
    Find options available
    to resolve
    Solution
    Apply 1 or more solution
    1 2 3

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  6. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Long-term
    Vision
    1
    Target
    Condition
    3
    Current
    Condition
    2
    Experiments
    4
    X X X
    Zone of Uncertainty
    The Improvement Kata

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  7. @shahadarsh @hibri
    VSM & Toyota Kata
    Long-term
    Vision
    Target
    Condition
    Target
    Condition
    Target
    Condition
    Next Target
    Condition
    Next Target
    Condition
    Next Target
    Condition
    Challenge
    Practicing the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata
    involves everyone
    X X X
    X X X
    X X X
    Setting direction with VSM is
    responsibility of a few people

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  8. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Target condition - is not about
    • Not about avoiding negative outcomes
    • Not an either/or choice between existing options
    • Does not mean setting a stretch goal

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  9. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Target condition - is about
    • Achieving new outcomes
    • Aiming for all attributes. “and” not “or”
    • Giving people challenges and teaching them an
    effective way of meeting them

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  10. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Kata
    Solution
    Scientific Thinking + Practice routine

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  11. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Metacognition
    Combining a simple scientific striving pattern with
    practice routines called Kata helps you teach meta-
    cognitive strategies
    Metacognition = "cognition about cognition”

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  12. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Scientific Thinking
    A continuous process of applying rigorous skepticism to
    learn from the difference between our predictions and
    reality

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  13. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Babies do it (you can too)
    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/348/6230/91
    Infants use “unexpectedness” as a cue for learning.

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  14. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Scientific Thinking
    Learning What actually happens
    What we expect to happen

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  15. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Scientific Thinking
    Learning What actually happens
    What we expect to happen
    Learning What actually happens
    What we expect to happen
    Learning What actually happens
    What we expect to happen
    Next target condition
    Current condition

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  16. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Deliberate practice

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  17. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Neuroplasticity
    We can rewire our brains

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  18. @shahadarsh @hibri
    “You must
    unlearn
    what
    you
    have
    learned.”
    - Yoda

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  19. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Case study: Major Stock Exchange

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  20. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Context
    Migrate apps to cloud Multi-cloud support Automate

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  21. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Initial plan
    Semi-automated

    process
    1
    Multiple manual

    approvals
    ———————
    No connectivity 

    to on-prem
    ———————
    4-6 weeks
    ———————
    Security challenges
    Current State
    Combine 

    approval
    meetings
    Schedule
    weekly approval
    meeting
    Introduce SLA
    for approval

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  22. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Kata in action
    IPAM
    Account
    provisioning
    Self service 

    environment

    provisioning
    Challenge
    Automated Sandbox 

    provisioning

    ———————————-
    AWS US Region only
    ———————————
    Connectivity back
    to on-prem network
    ——————————-
    Under 30 mins
    Automated 

    Sandbox

    provisioning
    3
    1st Target condition
    Semi-automated

    process
    2
    Multiple manual

    approvals
    ———————
    No connectivity 

    to on-prem
    ———————
    4-6 weeks
    ———————
    Security challenges
    Current State
    Platform as
    a Product
    1
    Vision
    Leadership
    —————
    Visibility
    —————-
    Messaging
    4
    Experiments
    X X X

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  23. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Kata in action
    Experiments
    X X X
    IPAM
    Account
    provisioning
    Self service 

    environment

    provisioning
    Challenge
    Automated Sandbox 

    provisioning

    ———————————-
    AWS US Region only
    ———————————
    Connectivity back
    to on-prem network
    ——————————-
    Under 30 mins
    Automated 

    Sandbox

    provisioning
    3
    1st Target condition
    Semi-automated

    process
    2
    Multiple manual

    approvals
    ———————
    No connectivity 

    to on-prem
    ———————
    4-6 weeks
    ———————
    Security challenges
    Current State
    Platform as
    a Product
    1
    Vision
    Leadership
    —————
    Visibility
    —————-
    Messaging
    Automated QA 

    provisioning

    ———————————-
    AWS US Region only
    ———————————
    Connectivity back
    to on-prem network
    ——————————-
    Under 30 mins
    Automated 

    QA

    provisioning
    5
    2nd Target condition
    Experiments
    X X X
    4

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  24. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Scientific thinking & Deliberate practice
    • Infrastructure as Code
    • Test automation
    • Pair programming
    • Driver-navigator model (Coaching Kata)

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  25. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Case study: Major Online Gambling Platform

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  26. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Context

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  27. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Kata in action
    Experiments
    X X X
    Pair programming
    Try TDD
    Stable product
    Challenge
    Unstable Product
    2
    No CI
    ———————
    Manual tests
    ———————
    No collaboration
    ———————
    Prod outages
    Current State
    A reliable and
    performant
    platform
    1
    Vision
    Leadership
    —————
    Visibility
    —————-
    Messaging
    Automated tests for key journeys

    ———————————-
    Tests run as part of CI
    ———————————
    Start doing TDD
    ——————————-
    Collaborative ways of working
    3
    1st Target condition
    10 or
    more
    stable
    Releases
    Experiments
    X X X
    Mock
    dependencies Deal with outside
    interruptions

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  28. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Scientific thinking & Deliberate practice
    • Standups
    • Test Driven Development
    • Pair programming
    • 3 Amigos
    • IaC to for test environments

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  29. @shahadarsh @hibri
    We failed

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  30. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Kata in action
    Experiments
    X X X Stable product
    Challenge
    Automated tests for key journeys

    ———————————-
    Tests run as part of CI
    ———————————
    Start doing TDD
    ——————————-
    Collaborative ways of working
    3
    1st Target condition
    Unstable Product
    2
    No CI
    ———————
    Manual tests
    ———————
    No collaboration
    ———————
    Prod outages
    Current State
    A reliable and
    performant
    platform
    1
    Vision
    Leadership
    —————
    Visibility
    —————-
    Messaging
    10 or
    more
    stable
    Releases
    STOP

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  31. @shahadarsh @hibri
    What can you start doing next week?
    If you are a leader
    • Vision
    • Deliberate Practice
    • Scientific Thinking
    If you are a doer
    • Vision
    • Deliberate Practice
    • Scientific Thinking

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  32. @shahadarsh @hibri
    Book recommendations

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  33. Questions
    Hibri Marzook
    Principal Consultant
    Contino
    @hibri
    Adarsh Shah
    Technology Leader, Coach, Hands-on Architect
    Independent Consultant
    @shahadarsh 

    shahadarsh.com

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