Kata Level 3A - Lean Competency System

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Level 3A - Enterprise Development

Level Descriptor Summary

Level 3A level is aimed at experienced Coaches who want to demonstrate their capability and competence to modify an organisation’s culture towards a more scientific, learning and exploring mindset and way of working together and can also demonstrate a high level of competency and practical experience in acting as a Second Coach.

This level recognises that an experienced Coach – having demonstrated their own coaching capability, as well as their ability to develop others as Coaches in Level 2 – can go on to modify organisational culture by using Toyota Kata and has personally attained a deep and intuitive understanding of scientific thinking, such that they are able to play a lead role as a Second Coach across entire organisations.

To gain Level 3A, the Coach must show appropriate knowledge and evidence of building organisational capability and mindset through coaching and purposefully designing and managing the change process.

As every organisation and every team is different, the path to establishing a true learning culture cannot be determined in advance, so using a scientific step by step approach and learning and adapting is considered appropriate.

The goal: to develop a culture within an organisation, where scientific thinking and coaching for scientific thinking are practised regularly on all levels, focussing on meeting shared organisational challenges as described through strategy deployment processes.

Prerequisites for Level 3A

KCS Levels 1A & 1B. KCS Levels 2A, 2B, 2C

Knowledge requirements

The Level 3A Enterprise Development practitioner shall know and understand:

  1. How to create and provide Strategic direction for the organisation
  2. The role of Leadership
  3. The role of the Challenge
  4. Deploying the strategy to an initial Value Stream level – and defining Value Stream loop challenges
  5. Deploying strategy throughout an organisation – through setting Target Conditions
  6. How to Execute strategy through daily experiments and Coaching cycles
  7. Horizontal and vertical expansion of Improvement and Coaching Kata
  8. How to conduct Group Coaching Cycles

Application requirements

Level 3A builds on Level 2 capability and focuses on an experienced Coach’s ability to design and implement a Kata deployment throughout an entire organisation. This requires both considerable experience in the use of Toyota Kata and specific management and leadership skills.

A Level 3A Enterprise Development practitioner shall be able to:

  1. Use Toyota Kata as a skill building process and shift mindsets and habits to a scientific way of thinking through working across multiple teams or an entire organisation. 
  2. Establish a sustainable process that deploys strategic challenges and establishes Target Conditions at each level of the organisation. 
  3. To establish and develop Starter Kata that Learners and Coaches within the organisation can use for practicing
  4. Establish a process to continuously support new and  experienced coaches in their personal development by a second coach.

Course outcomes

At the end of a programme aligned to Level 3A Enterprise Development, a practitioner shall be able to:

  • Design and deploy a change management programme based on the principles of scientific thinking and the use of the Improvement and Coaching Kata.
  • Link the deployment of Toyota Kata at Value Stream Level to an organisation’s objectives through Policy Deployment
  • Lead by example in the use of Improvement and Coaching Kata across multiple areas and levels of the organisation.
  • Develop and manage a training and coaching programme for new and experienced Coaches.

Topic examples

A programme aligned to Level 3A shall reference several of the following topics:

Skill-building process with Toyota Kata.

  • Leading by example in the use and promotion of the Improvement and Coaching Kata
  • Creating a shared skill-set

Change management in a scientific way – Introducing Kata with Kata

  • Designing and implementing a change management process using the principles of Scientific Thinking and an Improvement Kata mindset

Strategy deployment and Hoshin Kanri

  • How to link the deployment of Toyota Kata at Value Stream Level to an organisations objectives through Policy Deployment (Hoshin Kanri)

Perpetual target deployment process.

  • Establishing the process of review and adjust so that organisational targets meet strategic objectives

Coaching cascade

  • Developing an inter-linked coaching process that allows Strategic objectives to be achieved through Value Stream Loops from top-level to process level

Coaching teams and dealing with interdependencies

  • Developing a standard and routines for Group Coaching Cycles

Level assessment

The assessment shall demonstrate that the outcomes have been achieved.


A knowledge assessment that demonstrates the learner can remember and understand Level 3A Kata knowledge, for example, through a multiple choice test, problem or case-based exams, oral exam, essay exam.

Practical application

A Level 3A coach should be able to show that they have used Toyota Kata to develop a more scientific, learning and exploring mindset and way of working together across multiple teams or an entire organization, which has resulted in substantial and evident culture modification. 

Specific areas of evidence include:

  • The habitual and daily use of Improvement and Coaching Kata in several teams, areas of an organisation or value stream, at all management levels. 
  • That habits became established with managers coaching for scientific thinking.
  • That the challenges and subsequent individual target conditions being worked on were clearly linked to the highest level of organisational strategy.
  • That by practicing Toyota Kata an organisation achieved a significant improvement or challenge.

Evidence shall be provided through case study, which should include:

  • Training records and proof of achievement for Improvers and Coaches (showing attainment of Levels 1 and 2 of this model)
  • Evidence of Improvement & Coaching cycles and how they take place on a regular basis delivering multiple Target Conditions
  • Explanation of how the improvement efforts links to strategy, how this strategy has been deployed to all levels and how Target Conditions have been developed
  • Testimonials from leaders, managers and team members through transcripts, video, recordings.