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Lean Transformation Pre- & Post-Summit Workshops

For those who want to make most of this opportunity, LEI is offering 9 Pre-Summit Workshops on March 11th-12th, plus one Post-Summit Workshop on March 15th. These in-depth programs will help you move beyond individual "tools" and isolated improvement projects to build leadership capabilities and develop management skills needed to create the complete lean enterprise and the culture of problem solving. There is a 25% discount on Pre-Summit Workshops* for Summit attendees.

* Discount does not apply to Post-Summit Workshop

Breakfast is served daily at 7:00AM and workshops begin at 8:00 AM.

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Pre-Summit Workshops

Post-Summit Workshop

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Pre-Summit Workshops

Managing High Mix/Low Volume Operations - Sold Out

1-Day Workshop
March 11th
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Price: $800 ($600 for Summit attendees)


Greg Lane Greg Lane

Business processes in the high mix/low volume or made-to-order type businesses are more complicated because of the increased variation of products/services, which is why most of the lean principles require some adaptation when applied to this type of environment. In the Improving Operations in High-Mix, Low-Volume Organizations workshop we demonstrate how to adapt key lean manufacturing & planning tools in order to increase profitability and create capacity in high product mix environments setting the basis for growth. The Managing High Mix/Low Volume Organizations workshop focuses on the changing role and responsibilities of managers as the organization transitions to lean.

We will look at how to better manage indirect & administrative processes along with creating capacity in these areas by streamlining the increased flow of information common in these organizations.You will be provided with practical direction as to how small & medium sized companies offering a wide range of products & services have actually survived in the "new economy" due to the adaptation of management roles and behaviors to the demands of the high mix/low volume businesses undergoing a lean transformation.

Simulations, videos and practical exercises will enhance your learning experience. Demonstrating how simplified lean accounting has been applied to profitably grow high variation business will also send you away with improvement ideas that have not likely been explored. Quality methodologies will not be a focus as more traditional methods can be applied, but adapted tools for cost & delivery will be the explored in detail. Examples used in the workshop will range from job shops to repair/re-manufacture facilities.

Management approaches and techniques introduced in this workshop will help you reduce the time you currently spend fire-fighting and focus on indirect/administrative process improvements to achieve lead-time reductions, increase process capacities and enhance customer satisfaction. Upon completion you will be energized with ideas on how to apply lean management tools which have been modified for high mix environments.

Course Outline:

  • How manager's spend their time in high variation companies?- Standard work for managers
  • Toyota's OSKKK methodology to learn & improve processes?
  • Profit margin validation for growth (in small & medium-sized companies)?
  • Modified activity-based costing & contribution margin to grow sales?
  • Process mapping versus value-stream mapping
  • Capture indirect employees time & making process improvements?

 Who Should Attend:

  • Leaders from all levels
  • Operations managers, technical managers and change agents


Developing People with Capability for Lean - Sold Out

1-Day Workshop
March 11th
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Price: $800 ($600 for Summit attendees)


David Verble David Verble

This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of a supportive management environment for lean performance. Participants will explore the manger's role in people development and responsibilities in creating a learning environment. They will identify the perspectives, capabilities and behaviors required by the role and examine organizational systems and practices that support managers in carrying out their role to develop and sustain capability for performance in a lean operation. Participants will also have the opportunity to assess how the culture and systems of their own organizations support the development of capability for successful lean operation and individual performance.

Please note that this workshop is paired up with the Coaching Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders program. It is not a requirement to attend both classes, but we highly recommend that you consider taking these two workshops together.


  • Identify the type of management environment necessary for successful and sustained individual and operational performance
  • Describe the role and behaviors of the manager that create and maintain a lean environment and contrast them to those that undermine it
  • Consider the functions of the lean tools in supporting successful performance
  • Assess the extent to which the management environment in their own company or organization supports lean
  • Identify and prioritize the core competencies needed by people working in a lean operation
  • Describe their own roles and problem solving responsibilities in the context of the strategic priorities of their organizations
  • Recognize the management behaviors that take away responsibility and hinder employee thinking and initiative
  • Consider the difference between On-the-Job Training and Development and classroom education and recognize the function of each in a lean context
  • Identify and assess the capabilities they need to develop to perform successfully in their own current roles and identify OJD responsibilities and assignments that could help them develop those capabilities
  • Reflect on recent attempts to coach a direct report or mentor a co-worker and identify ways their actions and assumptions either supported or hindered the development of the other person

Course Outline:

  • The Lean Manager's role in people development:
  • Starting from respect for people
  • Operator-out or line-back organization of an operation
  • Defining role and performance requirements in a value stream and strategic context
  • Using lean tools and practices to create capable systems that enable successful performance
  • Making the normal easily distinguishable from the abnormal
  • Leading by defining purpose and cascading responsibility
  • Establishing and maintaining problem solving responsibility

Opportunities for the development of core capabilities:

  • Providing a description of core Lean capabilities by level
  • Selecting on the basis core capabilities and readiness for role
  • Offering pathways of education in role and required capabilities by level
  • Using role clarification in performance planning and goal setting
  • Linking performance and development in a performance planning and review process
  • Using rotation and temporary assignment to provoke development

Giving stretch assignment:

  • Focusing on the problem solving and job handling basics
  • Providing opportunities for working outside the box or silo

Who should attend:

  • Line managers/function heads and lean facilitators and coordinators who directly support them in their lean transformation efforts
  • HR managers and professionals are welcome with the recognition that their role is more support than direct responsibility for development of individual lean performers (other than their reports and themselves)


Lean Leadership for Executives - Sold Out

1-Day Workshop
March 12th
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Price: $800 ($600 for Summit attendees)


Chris Vogel Chris Vogel

As LEI is leading the lean community out of the Tool Age and into the era of Lean Thinking and Management, we invite leaders to share experiences, discuss their current organizational challenges, and explore alternatives for engaging the entire organization in building a new operating model in order to create the culture of problem solving and collaborative learning.

The objective of this workshop is to help leaders understand conceptual differences between applying lean to their organization vs. integrating it into the business system with the expectation of creating a new problem solving culture, and what changes in their own thinking and behaviors are required so they can effectively support their organizational transformation.

In the course of the workshop, we will facilitate reflection sessions to help you clarify the current state of your organization and define the gap between where you are today and where you need to be. As you complete this organizational problem solving loop, we'll engage you into thinking about your personal leadership habits and practices, what you have done as the leader to help your organization make business improvements, and what your individual "gaps" are that need to be closed.

Topics to cover

  • Lean - current state vs. desired state
  • The key elements of the lean transformation
  • Aligning Purpose-Process-People and the scientific method of PDCA to build the culture of continuous improvement
  • The leadership role in initiating, implementing and sustaining the organizational change
  • The creation of value fields
  • Fostering organizational change through manager-employee dialogue
  • Collaborative learning through continuous problem solving

Course Outline

  • Overview of the company culture, structure and management system in participants' organizations:
    • What is your organization's purpose? How is strategy developed around it? What is the process for communicating the strategy to ensure alignment across all organizational levels?
    • What are the key processes in your organization? How do they function?
    • How do you develop people to ensure they can solve problems, improve processes and drive business results?
  • Develop Target Conditions for the lean organization – one that aligns Purpose, Process and People to create the environment of continuous improvements and effective problem solving
  • Define a Gap to begin organizational problem solving
  • The Role of the Leader in the lean transformation
    • Reflect on what you, the leader, have done to support your organization and ensure your business is successful?
    • Develop the Target Condition for lean leadership – knowledge, skills and behavior that are necessary to build and sustain the culture of continuous improvement.
    • Define a Gap for further practice
  • Next Steps – developing a plan to close the organizational and leadership gaps

Who Should Attend?
Those who should attend this workshop include:

  • Senior leaders and line managers with some experience in lean transformations who are ready to move from the Tool Age to the development of a problem solving culture.


Improving Operations in High Mix/Low Volume Organization

1-Day Workshop
March 12th
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Price: $800 ($600 for Summit attendees)


Greg Lane Greg Lane

This workshop will help companies struggling with how to implement lean concepts when there are 100's to 1000's of active part numbers produced randomly in low volumes or to customer orders. Discussion will be based on a simulation performed within a "make-to-order" environment. Most lean principals work in these high-mix environments, though the tools and methods require some adaptation.

You will learn a flexible implementation method that can be utilized irrelevant of where you currently are in your lean transformation, and adaptable to the current business priorities.

  • Simple and quick visual management systems using the correct measurements
  • Planning methods specific for high-mix, job shop environments
  • Hybrid lean systems that work with existing systems like MRP
  • Explanations and examples of lean tools that can be adapted for mixed model plants
  • Proven methods will be explained through examples

Course Outline:
Through examples, simulation, videos, and discussion, this workshop will follow though what unique lean methods and applications are necessary in mixed model plants, instead of struggling to understand and adapt lean methodologies based on high-volume examples. Simple spreadsheets and other practical tools will help you quickly distinguish how to group part numbers, allowing different planning and management techniques depending on the type and volume of a particular part.

The key steps detailed in the workshop include:

  • Simple visual management
  • Work standards necessary for management during a transformation
  • Simulation within a "make-to-order" environment with discussion points
  • Associating a time with all work
  • Making real productivity improvements through visualization
  • Making improvements if you're short of capacity
  • Making improvements if you have excess capacity
  • Value-stream mapping for the low-volume organization

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the workshop you should understand how to apply the following in a high-mix, "make-to-order" environment:

  • A proven lean implementation method that will stimulate new ideas for your lean transformation
  • The particular lean methods necessary to utilize in your organization and how to start their implementation
  • Ideas to reduce non-value activities within your organization, learned through a simulation
  • How to balance capacity and volume in real time while making productivity improvements
  • The use of day-by-hour and FIFO boards as critical management tools
  • How to group products based on their characteristics and volume, then planning and managing them accordingly
  • How to utilize hybrid systems for planning, and flowing materials, instead of completely replacing the current system

Who Should Attend:

  •  Leaders at all levels
  •  Managers, supervisors, technical support, planners/production control and  change agents


Coaching Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders - Sold Out

1-Day Workshop
March 12th
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Price: $800 ($600 for Summit attendees)


David Verble David Verble

The purpose of this workshop is to help lean leaders and change agents understand the importance of the role of coach in improving value-stream performance and developing the basic skills and perspectives to function effectively in that role. Specifically the program will describe how the activities of preparation, practice, adjustment and review can be used to lead others through implementing lean improvements.

Please note that this workshop is paired up with the Developing People with Capability for Lean program. It is not a requirement to attend both classes, but we highly recommend that you consider taking these two workshops together.

Through instruction, discussions, group activities, and hands-on exercises, you will learn how to:

  • Recognize the function of a coach in general and the limitations of the role
  • Develop the thinking and decision making of lean implementers, increasing their knowledge and skills for executing the immediate changes
  • Understand the sensei approach to coaching and recognize how the perspective and techniques contribute to successfully implementing and sustaining lean

Understand the four key coaching practices for developing the effectiveness of lean implementers and practice the skills needed for each practice

  • Assess your own effectiveness as a lean coach and set goals for developing your skills

Course Outline:

  • Look at the common image of the coach and examine the myths and realities of the role
  • Describe the work of a coach and how to tell if it is effective
  • Consider the special requirements and challenges of coaching the implementers of lean improvements
  • Recognize the role of lean thinking in lean implementation
  • Examine the sensei approach to coaching and its value in lean implementation and recognize you do not have to be a lean expert to coach like a sensei
  • Recognize the four essential practices of the lean coach:
    • Giving the lean implementers the task or project as their own responsibility
    • Letting them think & practice on their own
    • Helping them see results vs. processes, plan vs. actual
    • Forcing reflection and learning from it
  • Set self-development goals based on review of your own skills and aspirations as a lean coach

Who Should Attend:

  • Lean project leaders, lean coordinators, lean change agents, continuous improvement executives, six sigma black belts, staff experts
  • Leaders and change agents who have faced the challenges of project completion and implementation of changes and improvements
  • Leaders, change agents, managers, executives who have experience with lean in manufacturing, service operations, healthcare, or not-for-profit organizations


Managing to Learn

2-Day Workshop
March 11th - 12th
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Price: $1600 ($1200 for Summit attendees)


Tracy Richardson Tracey Richardson

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the lessons and insights of Managing to Learn from four perspectives.

Note: each participant will receive a copy of Managing to Learn.

First participants will explore the requirements of sound A3 thinking and management by following the stages of learning illustrated in Managing To Learn (MTL). MTL describes how a young manager learns to handle a significant problem-solving responsibility by creating an A3 that earns him the authority to address the problem in the ways he proposes. This occurs as he is coached on his problem solving and A3 thinking by his boss and mentor. He steadily uses the knowledge he is learning to revise his initial "jump-to-a-solution" A3 into an effective PDCA story. Participants will examine how the A3 changes with each revision, what the young manager has learned about the A3 thinking, the A3 process that he applies in each revision, and what the course of his development indicates about the deep problem-solving focus that characterizes lean thinking.

Second participants will have the opportunity to develop their own eyes and ears to recognize effective A3 stories. They will describe the problem-solving thinking that is required in each section of the A3 for the PDCA story it tells to be effective. Participants will read several A3s and discuss how they would coach the authors to improve them. They will then be given final versions of the A3s and asked to determine if they are more effective and why they are more effective than the originals.

Third participants will create the Title, Background, Current Situation, Goal, Analysis, and Recommendations sections of an A3 for a problem-solving responsibility in their own work. Participants are asked to bring real A3s they are already working on for this exercise, or they may begin a new one during the class. They will work in small groups to read, discuss, and evaluate each other's A3s. They will coach each other as authors of their respective A3s offering guidance to consider ways their PDCA stories could be improved.

Fourth participants will learn various forms and uses of the A3 format. Examples from Managing to Learn will be highlighted, along with others. Topics that will be examined include:

  • Basic types of A3 stories and how the format differs for each
  • Role that A3 plays in the nemawashi process for gaining alignment with the stakeholders in a problem situation and seeking their agreement to proceed with the countermeasures or improvements being proposed
  • Ways that A3 functions as a change management tool, a general management tool, a human development tool and a knowledge sharing tool

Through instruction, small group discussions and exercises, the workshop participants will:

  • Learn the basic formats of A3s and uses of the A3 as a management process
  • Gain experience in the three basic roles of the A3 process
    • Writing an A3 (Author/Owner)
    • Reading A3s (Responder)
    • Coaching others about their own A3s (Coach)

Who should attend:

  • Any manager who wishes to improve his or her organization
  • Any manager who wishes to lead and manage his or her organization more effectively
  • Change agents, lean promotion office managers, and specialists
  • HR and OD professionals who wish to seek more effective means to deeply improve the thinking, behavior, alignment, and performance of their organization and the people in it
  • Senior executives who wish to improve their abilities to lead and manage


Product Development:
Lean For a Creative Mind

1-Day Workshop
March 12th
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Price: $800 ($600 for Summit attendees)


Jim Luckman Jim Luckman

Lean for a Creative Mind is a workshop specifically designed to help organizations make the leap from traditional lean techniques to a more forward-thinking approach, paying attention to the speed and effectiveness of knowledge creation and problem-solving in Product Development. Participants will be introduced to subject-specific forms of lean basics and then familiarized with the fundamentals of lean for fast learning and knowledge growth. Our aim is to enable the organization for constant adaptation in a changing environment.

In this workshop you will learn how to recognize the need to change your product development value stream from a task-based process to a knowledge-growth process. You will learn how to structure fast learning cycles with cross-functional teams, and consider parallel learning a pproaches to significantly increase your ability to develop designs in record time. You will also learn how to level the workload for your engineers.


  • Understand how the concepts and tools applied in lean product development differ from lean manufacturing approaches
  • Learn how Toyota and other companies implementing lean have evolved a product development process to maximize knowledge growth and minimize lead time
  • Identify areas in your product development organization where you can use learning cycles to increase quality and throughput
  • Learn how to plan and schedule development to eliminate the wastes caused by overburden and variation; often long lead times are caused by interruptions and poor scheduling
  • Learn how to create fast learning cycle teams that will enable your organization to reduce product development lead time and increase throughput
  • Learn how to develop an architecture for set-based learning to dramatically increase your rate of learning
  • Discover ways you can spread lean thinking across interdependent functional areas to improve the entire development process

Who Should Attend?

  • Engineering managers interested in mapping the lean product development process
  • Leaders wanting to understand how mapping product development is different from transactional processes
  • Managers with experience in lean transformations and/or product development


From Fire Fighting to Continuous Improvement: Sharpening PDCA Problem Solving Skills

1-Day Workshop
March 12th
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Price: $800 ($600 for Summit attendees)


Judy Worth Judy Worth

Tom Shuker Tom Shuker

Beau Keyte Beau Keyte

Organizations in all the major sectors from Healthcare to Manufacturing deal with problems day in and day out. Many times the solutions become Band-Aids to problems that are never completely solved. The organization becomes very proficient at “Fire Fighting” but the problems keep coming back. In order for an organization to move from “Fire Fighting” to true continuous improvement everybody in the organization from leadership to the front line will have to become engaged. Engaged in a proven methodology involving thinking together, working together and attacking problems together at their root cause. Success will hinge on how well the organization can teach and apply this robust, shared problem-solving methodology at all levels while incorporating “evolutionary learning” into the organizational culture.

In order to build the culture of problem solving, an organization needs a “Community of THINKERS,” working together on continuous improvement. Their goal is to design a sustainable, rigorous problem solving process that is, in effect, an experimental test of any proposed change.

In this workshop you will practice several of the problem-solving steps. You will learn a methodology for determining the most likely causes of a problem to be addressed and appropriate countermeasures to that problem. You will also learn the process for developing a “Rapid Learning Experiment” to test your countermeasures. “Go and See” will be a key component discussed within the steps of the PDCA problem-solving process.


  • Further enhance the use of PDCA and PDCA Problem Solving to improve your process
  • Understand how to transition the most likely cause of your problem into a countermeasure
  • Understand how to develop a “Rapid Learning Experiment” for testing your Countermeasure
  • Understand how to visually manage those “Rapid Learning Experiments” and turn them into sustainable improvements to the work process


Management Standard Work

1-Day Workshop
March 12th
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Price: $800 ($600 for Summit attendees)


Joe Murli Joe Murli

  • Are you one of many managers pursuing a Lean transformation who find themselves implementing tools and changing processes, but at a loss as to how to modify management systems to keep pace?
  • Do you find the level of engagement at the working level of your organization is still low or are you sensing resistance?
  • Do you frequently observe confusion among those carrying out the work because problems that were believed to be solved keep recurring?
  • Do you wonder why your improvement efforts don't always deliver the expected business results?

If so, you are not alone. There is lots of information out there on how to change value-adding processes in industrial, office, and healthcare settings, but very little practical information on how to manage new processes as they are put into place. The fact is that for every technical change in business processes there must be a commensurate change in management systems and behaviors to unlock their true potential and maintain the gains as they are achieved.

This workshop with layout the elements of the lean management system and focus deeply on the processes that support management standard work at every level of the organization. This is a crucial tool for sustainable continuous improvement.

Participants will explore the repetitive and variable aspects of their jobs, specifically, the traditional management tools used in traditional organizations and contrast them with lean managements systems. We will help you review how you carry out your responsibilities today, explore a variety of Lean management tools at your disposal, and learn how to assemble a management system that focuses on building the problem solving capabilities of your organization.

The workshop will be a combination of lecture on basic principles, class discussion, role play, hands on exercises, and examples of management standard work from various organizations.

Through a combination of presentation, exercises, and group discussions participants will learn how:

  • to observe and reflect on the effectiveness of current management processes and how to improve the percentage of value added time
  • management roles change through the different phases of the Lean transformation
  • to design a Lean management system that is relevant to their organization
  • to transition from current practices to the desired future-state methods
  • to utilize the principles of kaizen on the management process itself

Course Outline:

1. Traditional management systems

Where/how do we spend our time today? How are our activities connected with operating results, both good and not so good? How do we currently identify opportunities and carry out improvements?

What are the more common practices of traditionally managed organizations? What makes lean management different? What is the lean management system and how does it work?

2. Examination of management standard work

What is management standard work? How much of what I do today can I implement as lean management standard work? How are Lean organizations different and what do they need from management in order to thrive? What are the specific thinking patterns and behaviors that we seek in Lean organizations and what does management do to meet these needs?

3. Components of management standard work

How do I design standard work for my own organization- integrating Gemba walks, visual management, mentoring sessions, and more traditional methods such as regularly scheduled meetings and e-mails?

4. Management objectives and methods during common stages of implementation:

  • Initial exploration of tools
  • Pilot implementation phase
  • The cultural transformation phase
  • The continuous improvement phase

Each of these stages represents a level of maturity in the Lean thinking transformation process and has specific management techniques associated with them.

5. Transition from current management methods to management standard work

6. Continuous improvement of management processes

  • Performance feedback of management processes
  • Methods of reflection and kaizen for management processes

Who Should Attend

  • Executives, senior, mid-level, and front line managers
  • HR executives responsible for management development, and rewards and recognition systems
Post-Summit Workshop

Leading Your Lean Transformation

Dinner & ½ Day Workshop

March 14th

March 15th
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Price: $1000


Jim Womack Jim Womack

Art Byrne Art Byrne

Join Jim Womack and Art Byrne for a top-level, hands-on workshop for senior leadership. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to spend time with two of lean’s leading figures—who for this workshop we can call “Mr. Theory” and “Mr. Practice.”

This workshop is designed to provide senior leaders with a rare opportunity to share their most pressing lean implementation problems with Jim Womack, Art Byrne, and a select group of peers. You are here to make headway with the most important challenges facing your organization, and have the chance to reflect, brainstorm, problem-solve, and plan how to take action that realizes your short and long-term goals.

This event is designed to enable you to share your problems in a small, intimate setting, one in which you brainstorm with peers, and work towards greater goals with Mr. Theory and Mr. Practice—to find the blend of experience and principles that help you gain traction.

On the evening of Thursday, March 14, you will have dinner together, in an informal setting where you will network with peers and discuss what you hope to achieve through this workshop. This work will continue the next morning of March 15, when you will work in small groups to create key questions and challenges to share with the larger group.

Womack and Byrne will then work with you and other participants to explore the biggest barriers to getting things done. Drawing from experience, they will help you reflect deeper on the challenges. They will help your biggest problems, and, working with a moderator, they will help you form specific action plans with specific countermeasures. Working as a group with other participants, you will further discuss and critique the plans that others have created. Finally, this session will conclude with a set of lessons learned from both lean leaders.

Who Should Attend
Those who should attend this workshop include:

  • Executives and senior leaders who are leading lean transformations in their organizations