Toyota Kata Crossword Puzzle

By Jon Miller Updated on January 24th, 2021

One of my weekly responsibilities is to contribute a blog post. The hardest part of this is coming up with something to write about. I’ve managed to keep it up for quite a few years, but finding topics is starting to get challenging. This hasn’t been helped by the reduced opportunities to get out of the building and meet clients due to COVID. On the other hand, a full 30% of my bog posts last year were inspired by that topic. Lemonade from lemons, as they say.

People have written about the reduction in innovation as a result from working from home, due to fewer chance encounters between people that lead to creative ideas. Well, this week, inspiration hit due to a chance encounter in my kitchen. I was thinking about the Toyota Kata Essentials course I’ve been working on. This will be coming out in a few months. It will be a companion to our existing kata workshop course Practice Makes Progress. There will be a few dozen short videos covering many practical aspects of the improvement kata and coaching kata.

Inspiration hit as I was reflecting on my week’s work while doing a crossword puzzle and wondering where to find a topic for this week’s blog article. Who said multi-tasking was bad?

Why not create a Toyota Kata crossword puzzle?

I proceeded to write down a list of kata keywords and concepts. Then, I wrote hints for each one. I located an app that organized these into a crossword grid. The results are below. The hints are designed to challenge the thinker to make new neural connections. Unlike Toyota Kata itself, this crossword isn’t intended for complete beginners. You’ll need at least some familiarity with kata concepts terminology.

Podcasts to Brush Up on Toyota Kata

For those who wish to learn more about Toyota Kata, here is a selection of our podcasts on the topic.

Play the Toyota Kata Crossword Puzzle!

If you’d like to play, click on the image, expand it to your preferred size and print it out, and follow the hints below. The answers are given at the bottom of this page.

Hints for the Toyota Kata Crossword Puzzle


3. Actually the card has six more of these, but who’s counting.

5. Failed experiments do this, and it’s an apt anagram for the kata coiner.

6. A palindromic way of making airbags?

7. Make one before each experiment, or ask a psychic.

9. It’s tempting to jump on one of these, but don’t.

10. Practice makes…

11. It was refuted, eureka!

13. There’s no place for this when practicing improvement kata.

14. When you don’t know, you know you are here.

17. You might find 23 across here.

19. Learners must be immersed in this type of 27 across to understand it, also what amperes measure.

21. Walking or standing, these charts often follow a zig zag path.

23. We should only work on one at a time, when experimenting.

24. It’s an important date for framing our iterations.

25. It’s a daily cycle, aided by 3 across.

26. These diagrams are a bit sketchy, and what linemen must do.

27. Improvement kata helps us move from one of these to the next.

28. Who the two patterns are designed for, also food served pretty quickly.


1. Learners spin these letters round and round.

2. They are a bit skeptical, evidently.

4. What managers see in the rearview mirror.

8. Not all actors take it well, but the improvement kata steps begin with this.

12. The focus of study, experiments and changes in improvement kata.

15. This visual tool keeps improvers and animators from losing the plot.

16. It’s best when you can collect this through direct observation.

17. A set of process attributes that affects the measurable result, or what you might see on wallpaper.

18. What we set our sights on next, or could inspect at a firing range.

20. It shouldn’t take more than 540 days to get here.

22. The anagrammed one’s research subject.

I hope you have as much fun solving this as I did making it. Remember, the feeling of frustration from guessing wrong answers is your brain’s way of telling you that you are in the process of learning!


Answers the Toyota Kata Crossword Below

Continue scrolling down

to see the answers

to the Toyota Kata Crossword puzzle

from the Gemba Academy blog

Toyota Kata Crossword ANSWERS – Click Image to Expand


3. Questions

5. Irk theorem

6. A Takata Kata

7. Prediction

9. Solutions

10. Progress

11. Hypothesis

13. Blame

14. Threshold

17. Parking lot

19. Current

21. Run

23. Obstacle

24. Achieve by

25. Coaching

26. Block

27. Conditions

28. Starters


1. PDCA cycles

2. Scientists

4. Outcome metrics

8. Direction

12. Process

15. Storyboard

16. Data

17. Pattern

18. Target

20. Challenge

22. Toyota

  1. Dabe Harry

    February 25, 2021 - 9:29 pm

    Good fun Jon, thanks for sharing

Have something to say?

Leave your comment and let's talk!

Start your Lean & Six Sigma training today.