Construction Kata Adapting Toyota Kata to a Lean Consruction Project Production System

Michal H. Casten1, Jason Plattenberger2, Jeffrey M. Barley3 & Charles Grier4

1Founder, Construction Concepts, Greensboro, NC 27410, USA, Phone 336-282-6850, [email protected]
2Principle, Construction Concepts, Charlotte, NC 28202, USA, Phone 704-965-0148, [email protected]
3Vice President-Construction Operations, UCI, Wichita, KS 67214, USA, Phone 316-265-9506, [email protected]
4President, UCI, Wichita, KS 67214, USA, Phone 316-265-9506, [email protected]


This paper reports on the efforts and experimentation by a team of consultants and client contractor leaders as they have worked to adapt, adopt and deploy the concepts and tenets of Toyota Kata into a lean construction project production system. The experiment has produced new learning and revealed the need for much more experimentation and research in the use of the kata within the construction environment. The paper will introduce and describe a construction project production vision equally challenging as that of Toyota’s. This production vision provides the long-term direction and impetus for continuous improvement and adaptiveness. The “conditions of production” within a manufacturing setting and a construction project will be compared and a third kata, the conformance kata, will be introduced and described. The combination of the conformance kata and adaptations of the Toyota Kata improvement kata and coaching kata provides lean construction adopters a consistent routine for striving, on a daily basis and in the service of their project production vision, to achieve conformance to required conditions, assembly process improvement and leadership development, all the while simultaneously growing a supportive culture of continuous improvement, adaptiveness and compounding learning. We call this package of kata, the Construction Kata. For the sake of brevity the paper will limit its focus to the use of the conformance kata and the initial target conditions of the production environment at the project workface. Learning to date and the opportunities for expanded use and research regarding all three of the kata within Construction Kata will be presented.


Lean construction, continuous improvement, adaptiveness, Toyota Kata, Construction Kata, Daily Crew Production Flow



Casten, M. H. , Plattenberger, J. , Barley, J. M. & Grier, C. 2013. Construction Kata Adapting Toyota Kata to a Lean Consruction Project Production System, 21th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 63-72.

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