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Lean Problem Solving (1 Day Class)

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Sustaining a lean transformation requires continuous problem solving by everyone in the company. Success hinges on how well we teach and apply a robust, shared problem-solving method at all levels to incorporate "evolutionary learning" into the company culture.

In order to build the culture of problem solving, an organization needs a "Community of THINKERS", working together on continuous improvement and the A3 problem-solving process which aligns with organization's business objectives. Their goal is to design a sustainable rigorous problem-solving process that is, in effect, an experimental test of any proposed changes.

In this workshop we will practice several of the problem-solving steps. We will also briefly discuss the infrastructure required to develop and sustain problem solvers, and touch on areas such as strategy deployment, standardized work, visual management and Go and See. "Go and See" will be a key component discussed within ALL the steps of the lean problem-solving process.

We will also discuss how to "bring to life" the Values a Company has set as their guiding principles or mission statements. We will do this by explaining the specific steps/actions to consider while using problem-solving process in daily activities.(i.e. – communication, buy-in, engagement, purpose, customer satisfaction and more). We will discuss each participants "Line of Sight" to the company goals or business plan (Hoshin), normally centered around the key performance indicators (i.e. Quality, Cost, Productivity, Safety, and HR Development).

This workshop introduces Lean Problem Solving as a teachable, scalable approach based on the scientific method (PDCA), which can be applied to the vast majority of your problems. When linked to core management systems, it helps to strengthen standards and build your lean management system organically, based on your needs. It becomes the nervous system of the learning organization.

Course Outline:

  • The lean problem-solving process
  • How each step ties into PDCA
  • How to use a Problem-Solving Flowchart
  • "Line of Sight" Activity in order to align value added activities in your daily work.
  • Tangible actions required to support and "bring to life" organizational values/principles.
  • Relating problem solving and core lean activities

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this workshop you should be able to:

  • Follow the steps of the lean problem solving process (PDCA)
  • Know how to use different problem solving methodologies in different circumstances (Problem Solving Flowchart, A3)
  • Understand what it takes to develop concise problem solving A3's and or Problem Solving Flowcharts
  • Understand and be able to explain the "thinking process" and infrastructure needed to sustain problem solving at all levels

Who Should Attend:

  • Managers at all organizational levels and change agents
  • Organizations that want to institute company-wide change
Pascal Dennis Pascal Dennis
Lean Pathways

Pascal is a professional engineer, author, and advisor to companies making the lean leap. He developed his lean skills at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and by working with lean masters in North America and Japan. In leadership positions at TMMC, he supported the launching of several new models and the hiring and training of 2,000 new team members. He has supported lean implementation at leading international companies in sectors as diverse as automotive, process industries, heavy equipment, construction, and health care. The focus of his lean implementation work is strategic planning and execution (strategy deployment), quality, delivery and cost management, health and safety, and business process improvement.

Pascal is the author of Lean Production Simplified, Andy & Me: Crisis and Transformation on the Lean Journey, and the LEI publication Getting the Right Things Done – a Leader’s Guide to Planning and Execution, which have all won Shingo Research Prizes. His latest book is The Remedy: Bringing Lean Thinking Out of the Factory to Transform the Entire Organization. Pascal aids companies implementing lean through Lean Pathways, Inc.

Mike Kobashi Mike Kobashi
Mike has over 21 years manufacturing experience, including holding a variety of senior management positions in Operations Management, Lean and Six Sigma Deployment, Sales and Marketing, Business Unit Management and Information Technology. Mike was trained in TPS by the Toyota Logistics Group and is also a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He has taught executive level classes and has worked with companies in the pharmaceutical, medical diagnostic and device, computer, aircraft, footwear and personal care industries. Mike received his Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Systems from Arizona State University in 1985.
Sammy Obara Sammy Obara
Samuel learned the Toyota Production System while working in Toyota Motors in Japan. For three years he underwent intense practical training at the Honsha Overseas Engineering Division in Toyota City. For thirteen consecutive years, he implemented lean in several of the Toyota facilities in Japan, Brazil, the United States, and Venezuela. Samuel has gained experience in other industries, including healthcare, construction, retail, and government, helping over 300 companies in their lean journey. He holds a Masters Degree in Technology Management and has lectured in universities such as Stanford and Harvard. He currently aids companies implementing lean through Honsha Associates.
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.

Price: $800.00 ($700.00 if the participant is taking 2 or more workshops at one location)
Price includes all participant materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks each day

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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.