Kata Level 2A - Lean Competency System

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Level 2A - Kata Coach


A Level 2A Kata Coach has the ability to act as the Coach to others through daily coaching cycles with a single learner, who is simultaneously practicing the Improvement Kata. 

A Kata Coach can successfully apply five question phases and is able to help a learner achieve a series of consecutive target conditions and ultimately meet the greater  challenge, thus through regular coaching helping the learner to practice and develop a more scientific way of thinking.

KCS Level 2A focuses on developing a coach’s the mindset to be able to:

  • Focus on the other person’s way of thinking and approach, rather than the technical content of the conversation
  • Be “solution open” and freely give true autonomy to the learner
  • Focus on developing the other person’s way of thinking, adaptiveness and ability  to work towards and reach challenging goals.

Prerequisites for Level 2A

KCS Level 1A & 1B

Knowledge requirements

The Level 2B Kata Coach shall know and understand:

  1. The Coaching Kata 5 questions as a Starter Kata for the coach.
  2. An appropriate model to teach the Coaching Kata.
  3. Navigating a coaching cycle using the Coaching Kata.
  4. Desired pattern of thinking for each of the 5 phases of the Coaching Kata.
  5. How to compare  the learner’s response to the desired pattern of thinking.
  6. When and how to use deepening questions.
  7. When and how to instruct/teach.
  8. Different types of questions and their purpose and effect.
  9. How to identify  the learner’s threshold of knowledge.
  10. How to make the learner feel at ease when starting  a coaching cycle.
  11. How to reflect after and prepare for the next coaching cycle.
  12. How to start coaching with a new learner.

Application requirements

The Level 2A Kata Coach shall be able to:

  1. Use the 5 questions of the Coaching Kata as an underlying structure for a coaching cycle.
  2. Help the learner to identify the threshold of knowledge.
  3. Make the learner feel at ease when hitting the threshold of knowledge.
  4. Understand the learner’s current ability and pattern of thinking.
  5. Identify where the learner’s current pattern of thinking deviates from the desired pattern of thinking.
  6. Use the Improvement Kata Starter Kata to understand the learner’s current pattern of thinking and identify where it deviates from the desired way of thinking.
  7. Help the learner to practice and develop a more scientific way of thinking and acting through asking deepening questions.

Course outcomes

At the end of the course/programme aligned to L2A the Kata Coach shall be able to:

  • Act as the coach to others through daily coaching cycles.
  • Apply an appropriate model to teach the Coaching Kata. 
  • Help a learner achieve a series of target conditions and meet an actual workplace or personal challenge.
  • Help a learner to practice and develop a more scientific way of thinking. 

Topic examples

A programme aligned to Level 2A shall include practical application of the Coaching Kata through regular, usually daily, coaching cycles in the workplace supporting a single learner to meet a well-defined challenge. A common means to achieve this would be practicing in a learning group.

The coach/learner relationship

The need for a learner to have a coach. The success criteria for coaching the Improvement Kata to assist learners in achieving challenging, real target conditions Putting the learner at ease

The five phases of the coaching cycle

The importance of daily Coaching Cycles The main purpose of the 5 Coaching Kata questions - to reinforce the pattern of the Improvement Kata and to reveal how the learner is thinking. The coach’s pattern of coaching (Ask - Listen - Compare - Instruct) Spotting the ‘Threshold of Knowledge’.

Clarifying and Deepening Questions

Different types of questions: the effect they have, and their purpose Asking deepening questions – when and how

Different questioner’s postures

The use of the four questioner postures (Actor, Observer, Introspect and Thinker)

What to avoid / not to do as a coach

For example: Giving a direct order, the non-utilisation of why

How to work in a Kata learning group (or advance group)

Conducting the coaching cycles in the learning group Observing a coaching cycle in a structured way Giving structured feedback in the learning group

Preparation as coach for the next coaching cycle

Preparing coaching cycle learning objectives towards a learner’s individual development target condition When to challenge the timescale for the next coaching cycle

Level assessment

The assessment shall demonstrate that the outcomes have been achieved.

Application is the main focus of assessment and must be evidenced by conducting coaching cycles over a longer period with regular observation and feedback by an experienced second coach.


A knowledge assessment shall demonstrate the learner can remember and understand L2A Kata knowledge, for example, through a multiple choice test, problem or case-based exams, oral exam, essay exam.

Practical application

The successful Level 2A practitioner shall provide evidence that they have:

  • Regularly, at least twice a week,  used  the Coaching Kata in a real working situation leading a learner to meeting a minimum of consecutive 3 Target Conditions on the way to achieving a well-defined challenge
  • Completed a minimum of 60 coaching cycles, 20 of which include observation and feedback from a second coach. 

Evidence shall be provided through completion of appropriate online or physical documents in various formats, including a storyboard, case study, record of coaching cycles or video.