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The Improvement Kata: Reconnecting Managers with Self-organizing Teams and Supercharging Agile Retrospectives for Continuous Improvement

308 SW 2nd Ave Fifth Floor
Portland, OR 97204, US (map)
Public WiFi



In the face of unpredictable business conditions, ever changing customer needs, and rapidly evolving technologies, the only sustainable advantage comes from your organization's ability to adapt and continuously improve.

In response to this modern reality, Agile methods have changed technology management by shifting the focus of production away from the individual contributor and toward the self-organizing team. But supervisors and managers have sometimes struggled to exert their influence without sacrificing the benefits of self-organization even as teams have struggled to fully situate themselves in the context of business value.

When they reflect at regular intervals by conducting retrospectives, Agile teams embody the most basic element of continuous improvement. But, lacking a defined mechanism for understanding the organizational system outside their own boundary, teams are frequently unable to sustain the pace of improvement over time.

The Improvement Kata is a basic pattern of practice for continuous improvement that aligns tightly focused improvement experiments across the breadth and depth of the organization using teachable coaching protocols. Profound in its simplicity, the Improvement Kata embodies truly scientific management!

Attend this talk to learn more about what the Improvement Kata is, to understand where it came from and how it operates, and to appreciate what can be gained by combining the Improvement Kata with selected Lean and Agile ideas and practices.

Adam Light is Management Consultant and Principal at SoTech Advisors where he helps technology leaders apply Lean and Agile methods to deliver increased customer value, enhance organizational capability, and improve the lives of their employees.

Adam has more than 20 years of technology experience. He began his career as an application developer before becoming a manager of projects and people. Adam first experienced the power of Lean and Agile methods when he adopted them as Director of Planning and Program Management at TransUnion. That initial knowledge led him to found SoTech Advisors and he has built his consulting practice steadily by seeking knowledge of new and better management methods at every opportunity. Working with enterprise clients to adopt, integrate, and adapt Lean and Agile practices, Adam helps people learn to think and act differently by deepening their understanding. He focuses on pragmatic techniques that increase organizational capacity by improving leadership capability.