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:
- Understand the problem; what are we trying to solve?
- Validating the problem
- See more in User Interviews
- Build a solution to learn more
- Explore to understand the customers better
- Prove where there is value in solving the problem
- See more in Hypothesis/ Solution Exploration Testing
- Ensure everyone understands the context and work that needs to be done with techniques like User Story Mapping
- Prioritise the work to do
- Escaping the Build Trap by Melissa Perri