Posted in Product

Product Kata

A scientific, systematic way to build better products inspired by ‘The Four Steps to the Improvement Kata’ from Toyota Kata Practice Guide by Mike Rother

Product Kata Overview


Product Kata at two levels: Company and Product. For the Product level the example relates to the imaginary case study in the book of an online course company where teachers upload course content and students pay to access them.

Product Kata Walkthrough

1) Understand the direction


Create or establish the direction metrics

  • Ensure they aren’t vanity metrics and that when they increase/ decrease it actually means something
  • See the metrics page for more on creating good metrics

Example: To double revenue growth


Example: To increase course content

2) Analyse the Current State

  • Where do you stand in relation to your vision?
  • Reflect the current state of outcomes
  • Collect a baseline for your Product Metrics

Example: Current revenue growth is 15% Year on Year (YoY)


Example: Publish course rate is 25% and second course is 10%

3) Set the Next Goal


Name outcomes that you need to achieve to make progress toward the direction. They can be learning outcomes.


Example: Retain existing users


Example: Learn what the problems are with users creating the courses

4) Experiment Toward the Target Condition

Experiment with the following techniques to systematically reach the goal:

Problem exploration
  • Understand the problem; what are we trying to solve?
  • Validating the problem
  • See more in User Interviews
Solution exploration
Solution optimization


  1. Escaping the Build Trap by Melissa Perri

Explore more


Which direction


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