Melissa Perri’s Product Kata

(Based on a post on Melissa’s namesake blog, link here. Melissa offers training on this topic and others at

Learning is a key component of product development—one which is frequently minimized or skipped entirely


4 steps of Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata


5 steps of Mike Rother’s Coaching KATA

  1. What is the target condition?
  2. What are the actual conditions now?
  3. What obstacles can we foresee to achieving our target condition? Which ONE will we focus on?
  4. What’s our next step towards achieving our target condition? (OPDCA experiment—definition here) What do we expect to learn?
  5. When can we actually collect the data and learn from taking this step?


Product Kata

Melissa Perry’s Product Kata


By following the Product Kata, we can efficiently uncover and solve customer problems and needs and achieve our ultimate target condition

We probably don’t know what our ultimate target condition is—first we need to learn about the product space. Our discovery stage probably includes a mix of:

  • Doing competitive/comparative research
  • Collecting behavioral insights
  • Defining clear, specific value propostions for the product
  • Writing a product vision statement
  • Defining a customer journey

Next, create an experiment to validate our assumptions. Plot an initial goal and target condition:


  • The experiment should be small and take a week or less to complete
  • Define specific measurements for validating improvements/successes in reaching our initial target condition
  • When we’ve achieved our initial target condition, we should continue creating and achieving interim conditions until we can finally define and test our ultimate target condition—perhaps with an MVP

Using Product Kata to define our ultimate target condition, we can quickly discover what we need to learn, address any findings, and incorporate all our learnings into the design of our (hopefully successful!) new product.


About Melissa Perri (from her site): I consult on Product Strategy, UX Design, and Process through ProdUX Labs. I also speak at conferences on Product Management and Design. My mission is to help teams work more effectively together to create better digital products.


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