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Practicing Lean Fundamentals in an Office Environment (2 Day Class)

This two-day workshop has been designed for individuals and teams who work in office and service environments that want to gain a better understanding of the philosophy, thinking and acting within a Lean Enterprise and how it might benefit their customers, organizations, and staffs.  It will demonstrate the overall approach for implementing a lean transformation including both work and management processes in your organization.

The workshop is a mixture of didactic teaching, discussions, reflection, and simulation. Attendees will be able to understand and practice the fundamentals of building a culture of continuous improvement aligning Organization Purpose, Work and Management Processes, and People Engagement through a deliberate focus on the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) method.  You will:

  • Look into the interactions of processes for deploying an organizational strategy aimed at delivering maximum value to the customer;
  • Discuss the importance of making work and performance visible; and,
  • Learn about the critical importance of developing employee problem solving capabilities at all levels.

The office simulation will help you practice and understand the cycle of PDCA within the framework of using tools to improve performance and the social aspects of change inherent in an office and service environment.

Small group discussions and reflections will provide an opportunity to challenge the actions and thinking of your organization and how lean transformation can make a real difference in your performance and culture.

Course Outline:

This course has three main components as you explore the challenges and benefits of creating a Lean Enterprise: lean thinking, practicing PDCA (plan-do-check-act) with lean tools, and management system concepts and challenges.

Lean Thinking
In this segment, you will be challenged to reflect on your current state and how to think differently about addressing performance problems and improving your operations. Topics include:

  • Key components of lean
  • Problem solving in today’s environment
  • Improving work and the management of the work
  • Technical and social components of lean thinking
  • Waste in the work processes and its impact on people capacity

Practicing Lean Problem-Solving Tools
In order to get real sustainable change in cost, service, quality, and morale new tools are required to solve some of the gaps organizations now face in order to address systemic issues in the processes supporting the business. Attendees will learn about and practice experimenting with tools that work well in an office environment, including:

  • Value stream mapping and system perspectives
  • Standard work, visual instructions, built-in quality, batch reduction, and workplace organization and process-level perspectives

Alongside these tools will be discussions and reflection concerning the social aspects of a transformation.

Lean Leadership Behaviors
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 improvement to solve problems in their specific work.  This section will provide a framework for aligning leadership thinking, acting, and coaching for improvement within performance improvement efforts.  You will be challenged to be deliberate in designing a different management style and system in your organization to sustain and grow your improvements.  Topics will include:

  • Visual management & management timeframes
  • PDCA of the management system

Finally, you will spend time reflecting on your new perspective and discussing different paths of transformation that might resonate within your organization.


As a result of this two-day immersion you will:

  • Think differently about the process and methods to move your organization to a new place
  • Understand the need to engage people differently to solve their own problems
  • Understand the important linkage of technical and social aspects of change to engage employees and improve performance
  • Experience the use of tools that can make rapid improvements in some of the problems you now face in the work processes
  • Participate in complete PDCA cycles and understand the impact of experimentation as a core principal of continuous improvement
  • Understand key aspects of a new management system to sustain your gains performance improvement and staff satisfaction

Who Should Attend:

  • Individuals or teams with little to moderate experience
  • People that want to get exposure to lean thinking and practice through hands-on simulation
  • Anyone interested in understanding the positive impact lean thinking and practice can have in an office or service environment
  • Managers who want an understanding of lean and the impact their role has on the  organization and its culture

About this class

We took the opportunity for reflection on the course design and wanted to incorporate what we've learned from offering this course over several years. As a result, we've changed the title of this course which was previously Optimizing Flow in Office and Service Processes and changed it to a 2-day course. We've also added more time for dialog about the concepts, the struggles you face, and the visual management system supporting and facilitating the important changes you need to make. 

If you have previously taken Optimizing Flow in Office and Service Processes, it is recommended that you do not take this course.


Workshop Suggestion:
To maximize your learning experience we recommend that prior to attending this program you take following workshop or have a good understanding of the concepts presented within it.
Locations and Dates for Practicing Lean Fundamentals in an Office Environment

No offerings of this workshop are scheduled at this time. Please check back again soon.

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

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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.  If cancellation is required to comply with coronavirus guidelines from federal, state, or local authorities, no cancellation fee will apply.  LEI will not be held personally responsible for any incidental cost incurred (hotel, airfare, change fee, etc).  To cancel a workshop registration, please call LEI at (617) 871-2900.