Step three: Implement the Starter Kata

In Steps One and Two of the micro-transformation model, we outlined how to use cross-functional teams, shared outcomes and immersion to build a strong foundation for your transformation to succeed.

Now in Step Three, we’ll explore how to build on that foundation and get everyone working using a simple framework called the Starter Kata.

The Starter Kata combines scientific thinking and continuous improvement to achieve measurable outcomes. Among its many benefits, the Starter Kata is simple and accessible, and it's all-purpose applicability helps to make it an ideal framework for change at the program and the organizational level. It’s also fractal, which means that once learned, it can be scaled and deployed to all levels of the organization, enabling a common language and structure for working.

When used within Immersive Working Environments, the simplicity of the Starter Kata provides IWE coaches with a powerful way to get newly formed coalitions and pods working quickly and effectively by applying a consistent and repeatable process.

This is accomplished using the model’s simple two-phase, four-step process that does not require a steep learning curve or the use of esoteric language, unlike other popular frameworks such as Scrum.

Instead, the Starter Kata is deceptively simple in its implementation. At its root, the framework is intended to amplify organizational learning using continuous improvement experiments to move from the current condition to the target condition. After years of working with more complicated frameworks, we prefer its simplicity and focus on doing the work, rather than learning the framework. Part of its appeal is that, when you have cross-functional teams made up of people with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, experience levels and working styles, you need a framework that is easy for all these types of people to follow and use. In our hard-won experience, other popular frameworks with a steep learning curve tended to leave some people behind, destroying the possibility for real shared context.

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