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Key Concepts of Lean (2 Day Class)

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This two-day workshop has been designed for individuals and teams that want to gain a better understanding of the components and underlying philosophy of lean, and how the elements and philosophy work together to create a Lean Enterprise.

The workshop is a mixture of lecture, videos, discussions, and a simulation.

This workshop will demonstrate how building the culture of continuous improvement depends on the alignment between Purpose, Process, People, and the scientific method of PDCA. You will look into the process for formulating and deploying an organizational strategy aimed at delivering maximum value to the customer, discuss the importance of making visible the horizontal flow of value to the customer, and learn about the critical importance of developing employee problem solving capabilities at all levels.

The factory simulation will help you understand the concepts of flow, pull, takt time, kaizen, work cell design, visual management and many others in a total business system context.

Small group discussions will provide an opportunity to share best practices, reflect on your learning, and develop new solutions to bring back to your organization.


Course Outline:
Focusing on three key areas – People, Process and Purpose – the program explores how the alignment between those three creates a Lean Enterprise.

In this segment, you will learn how all functions, individuals, and systems work together to deliver true value to customers creating competitive advantage and lasting business results. Items covered include:

  • Key values of lean
  • True North and the Line of Sight to the organizational goals
  • Hoshin Planning / Policy Deployment and its role as a management system in a Lean Enterprise
  • The challenges organizations face in implementing a lean transformation and suggested methods to deal with those challenges

In order to get real sustainable results in safety, quality, cost, delivery, and morale, one must bring all the tools of lean to work together as a system. Items covered include:

  • Stability, flow, leveling, pull, standard work
  • Visual enterprise and how to manage your visual systems
  • Value-streams and value-stream mapping as a continuous improvement      tool
  • Waste and continuous removal of waste

Lean is, at heart, a people-based system, and the success of any lean transformation depends on the engagement of every employee in the process for continuous business improvement, and their willingness and ability to solve increasingly complex problems. In the course of the program, we will discuss selection, training, involvement, and supervisory practices that create the foundation for lean. We will also discuss leadership mindsets and behaviors that support the development of the culture of continuous improvement.

PDCA (plan, do, check, act)

  • PDCA as a discipline that holds all organizational processes together and improves them on a continuous basis
  • The work of management to support PDCA
  • Structured problem solving to close organizational gaps
  • A3 as a problem solving, management and communication tool
  • Lean management system
  • The role of leaders in building the lean organization


  • You will learn the key tools and how they fit together under a business system philosophy designed to continuously improve competitiveness by achieving the highest quality, lowest cost, and shortest lead time. You’ll understand why lean is fundamentally different from and superior to business models based on mass production.
  • This program will demonstrate the overall approach for implementing a lean transformation. You will have an insight into the lean management philosophy and methods as well as the organizational structure required for implementing lean in your organization.

Who Should Attend:

Individuals or teams with little to moderate experience and exposure to lean who are looking to increase their understanding; managers who want an understanding of the total scope of implementing lean.

Michael Hoseus Michael Hoseus
Executive Director
Center for Quality People & Organizations (CQPO)

Michael Hoseus, a co-author of the Shingo Award-winning book Toyota Culture, developed his TPS skills at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky where he worked at the General Manager level in both Production and Human Resources being mentored by his Japanese sensei. His Toyota process experience includes production, engineering, maintenance, safety, personnel, employee relations, benefits/payroll and training and development. He learned first-hand how Toyota’s success hinges on integrating their production and human systems to create the Toyota Way. Mike is the Executive Director of the Center for Quality People and Organizations and President of Lean Culture Enterprises. He supports organizations in their lean journey, focusing on leadership and cultural aspects of the lean transformation. He is an adjunct professor with the University of Kentucky’s Center for Manufacturing.

Dave LaHote Dave LaHote
Faculty Member
Lean Enterprise Institute

Dave LaHote is a retired senior executive who is currently an educator and advisor to organizations making the lean leap. From 2006 to 2011, Dave served as the president, Lean Education, for the Lean Enterprise Institute in Cambridge, MA.

Dave came to LEI with over 35 years of experience in manufacturing and service companies. Dave ran business units in Parker Hannifin, Eaton, and Aeroquip-Vickers Corporation and previously held senior management positions in marketing, business development, and human resources. He is a "shop rat" having grown up in the family manufacturing business. In the early 1990's he was responsible for  lean implementation across a diverse $2 billion manufacturing company and began his long-term relationship with Jim Womack, founder and chairman of LEI.

Dave has taught executive education classes on a wide variety of lean manufacturing, strategy development and management topics. He is currently on the faculty of the University of Michigan's Lean Healthcare program and has been a part of Ohio State University's Masters in Operational Excellence program.

Dave holds a bachelor's degree in liberal arts and a master's degree in Organizational Development from Bowling Green State University

David Meier David Meier

David Meier is the founder and president of Lean Associates, Inc., and is the co-author with Jeffrey Liker of the best-selling books, The Toyota Way Fieldbook (McGrah-Hill, 2005) and Toyota Talent: Developing Your People the Toyota Way (McGraw-Hill, 2007).

David learned the Toyota Production System as one of the first leaders hired at Toyota’s Georgetown, KY, facility where he worked in the plastic molding department.  Over a 10-year period in Kentucky and Japan, he received training and mentoring in TPS principles including full-time coaching by TPS experts.

As a trainer and speaker on how to launch and sustain lean transformations, David has worked in North America, Russia, Europe, Brazil, and Asia for a variety of service and manufacturing industries, including healthcare, food processing, automotive, aerospace, wood and plastic products, chemical processing, metal machining, fabricating, welding, and assembly operations.  He currently helps companies implement lean principles through Lean Associates, Inc.

Joe Murli Joe Murli
Joe has developed the knowledge of lean concepts and principles over the past 18 years while he held senior leadership positions in domestic and international settings. Through extensive coaching by retired executives from Toyota Motor Company in the early 90’s, Joe developed an aptitude for maximizing product velocity and managing operations through simple visual means. This knowledge was further applied as Joe became General Manager of Chengdu Aerotech, China’s first aviation industry joint venture, and was able to integrate the elements of strategy deployment, organizational development, facility design and Lean into one cohesive business management approach. As Director of North American Operations for Ensign Bickford, he led the Company to win the Shingo Prize for operational excellence. He effectively utilized his knowledge of lean manufacturing to help Sterling Collision Centers grow from a startup to a company with 50 locations nationally (now part of Allstate Insurance Company). As Vice President of Manufacturing for the Kamatics division of Kaman Corporation, he restructured operations to double on-time delivery performance while reducing lead times by 88% for 2/3 of products. Since 2003 The Murli Group LLC has been helping clients achieve superior operating gains through the transformation process of Lean Management Systems. Joe has undergraduate degrees in Manufacturing Engineering and Accounting from the State University of New York, and Post University respectively. Additionally, he holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut.
Karl Ohaus Karl Ohaus
Karl Ohaus received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University, School of Engineering, in 1980. For the first 10 years of his career he worked in product testing, design and development for American Standard. During this time, as a Senior Design Engineer, Karl had responsibility for new projects from concept to delivery to the customer. This exposure to manufacturing and design in both the US and Europe was excellent training and provided Karl with a deep understanding of a wide range of processes and technologies. He was awarded 10 patents during this time. In 1991 Karl joined a company manufacturing machined parts for the automotive industry. Starting in 1995 as President, Karl led the company’s transition to Lean manufacturing. Karl began educating and consulting in Lean implementation and process improvement in 2003. He draws on his experience using the Lean principles and tools to help client companies create process flow, improve operational performance and better address the needs of the business. Karl’s coaching stresses the management development and employee engagement aspects of change to a Lean enterprise.
Ernie Richardson Ernie Richardson
Co-Owner, LEI Faculty
Teaching Lean Inc.

Ernie has 25 years of Manufacturing and Human Resources management experience which allows him to see the cultural dynamics from both functional areas of a company. He gained this experience at Toyota Motor Manufacturing where he grew from Team Leader, to Group Leader, to Assistance Manager on the manufacturing side. After which he moved to HR, assuming, at different times, responsibility for skill development programs, safety and medical management. As Acting Medical Director for Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Ernie was responsible for nine on-site medical clinics across Toyota North America (convenience care, full-primary care, and occupational care). He was also responsible for disability management (as describe above) North American wide. Ernie worked at IBM for 8 years before joining Toyota. Currently, Ernie shares his extensive experience with members of the lean community as a co-owner of Teaching Lean and a Faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute.

Tracey Richardson Tracey Richardson
Co-Owner, LEI Faculty
Teaching Lean Incorporated

Tracey has over 24 years experience in different roles within Toyota and learned lean practices as a Group Leader at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky from 1988-1998. She was one of the first team members hired, with the fortunate opportunity to learn directly from the Japanese trainers. As a Group Leader and Quality Circle Advisor, she learned first-hand about lean tools and culture development. Now, as President of Teaching Lean, Inc. Tracey currently works within Toyota Motor Manufacturing plants and suppliers and other companies on their lean journeys, helping them develop the capabilities of employees - from the team-member level up to company leadership - through problem-solving and aligning daily activities with company business plans (PDCA-hoshin), enabling these companies to create a lean culture that is the foundation for success and long term sustainability. Tracey is an active coach and contributor to LEI's MTL A3 Dojo available on lean.org. Tracey also teaches several problem-solving and A3 workshops as an LEI faculty member.

Tom Shuker Tom Shuker
Tom is a 30-year veteran in various manufacturing environments within General Motors Corporation. Tom has also spent two-years at New United Motors Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI), the GM-Toyota joint venture, working within the Toyota Manufacturing System and performing lean assessments of Toyota facilities in Kentucky and Japan. Tom has co-authored two books on Lean, Value Stream Management and Value Stream Management for the Lean Office, both published through Productivity Press, Inc. Tom is also a co-author of Mapping to See – A Value-Stream Improvement Kit for Office and Service, published by the Lean Enterprise Institute. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University, and an MBA from Western Michigan University. He currently aids companies implementing lean through an investment group that purchases small manufacturing firms and helps turn them around and as a member of the consulting group Lean Transformations Group.

Register Today

Price: $1,600.00 ($1,400.00 if the participant is taking 2 or more workshops at one location)
Price includes all participant materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks each day

Locations and Dates for Key Concepts of Lean
October 13-14
Austin Marriott South
Austin, TX
Instructor(s): Karl Ohaus
Day 1: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Day 2: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Hotel Discount Available
Important Information About This Event & Location
November 3-4
Renaissance Seattle
Seattle, WA
Instructor(s): Karl Ohaus
Day 1: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Day 2: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Hotel Discount Available
Important Information About This Event & Location
November 10-11
Hyatt Regency La Jolla
San Diego, CA
Instructor(s): Dave LaHote
Day 1: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Day 2: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Hotel Discount Available
Important Information About This Event & Location

We encourage you to make hotel accommodations early.

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Cancelation Policy
Our workshops are designed to cater to a limited number of participants.  If you must cancel a workshop registration, you will be given a full refund up to four weeks before the workshop. A cancelation occuring within four weeks of the workshop will be subjected to a $350 cancelation fee.  Substitutions may be made at any time prior to the start of the workshop. To cancel a workshop registration, please call LEI at (617) 871-2900.