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Lean Process Improvement

Course Length:  2-days


Course Description

Lean principles have come a long way since the late 1700s – beginning with Benjamin Franklin’s early ideas, then Henry Ford’s streamlining work in the 1920s and the Toyoda traditions in the 1930s. More recently, Jeffery Liker has provided a bridge to these traditions in his book The Toyota Way. Lean principles have evolved from simple concepts into widely-used best practices.

The popularity of Six Sigma concepts is credited to Motorola in the late 1980s. Jack Welch made it a central philosophy to his business at General Electric in 1995. Today, the two philosophies of Lean and Six Sigma have merged into a symbiotic relationship where Lean is about production speed and Six Sigma is about production quality. This 2-day course provides participants with a solid foundation in both of these philosophies.


Course Objectives

  • Define Lean and key terms
  • Define Six Sigma and key terms
  • Describe the critical process improvement concepts
  • Identify and reduce various types of waste
  • Explore the uses of Gap Analysis in process improvement
  • Use specific Lean and Six Sigma tools to improve business processes


You may also be interested in A3 Thinking and Reporting.


Note: For a customized Lean/Six Sigma program at your company or for Green Belt / Black Belt Certification based on your company’s projects contact your Account Executive.


Course Outline

Lesson 1: CPI and Corporate Culture

  • Resistance to CPI
  • PDCA and CPI
  • CPI Prerequisites

Lesson 2: Understanding Lean

  • 8 Guiding Principles of Lean
  • Lean vs Six Sigma: Compatibility Study
  • Common Lean and Six Sigma Terms

Lesson 3: Toyota Production System

  • 14 Principles in the Liker Pyramid
  • Group Activity: TPS People and Partners
  • 3 Standard Phases in Problem-Solving

Lesson 4: The TPS House

  • 4 Elements of the TPS Foundation
  • 3 Elements of the TPS Walls
  • 2 Elements of the TPS Interior
  • Moving from Zone 2 to Zone 4**
  • Dreyfuss Model of Skill Acquisition**

Lesson 5: Five Critical Improvement Concepts

  • Value
  • Waste
  • Variation
  • Complexity
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Group Activity: Project Complexity**

Lesson 6: Understanding Value with the Kano Model

  • Defining the Kano Model
  • Kano Model in Contemporary Use**

Lesson 7: Understanding Types of Waste

  • Muda
  • Muri
  • Mura

Lesson 8: Creating a Lean Enterprise

  • Going Green with Lean
  • Lean Toolbox: 20 Keys to a Lean Organization
  • 3 Phases of a Lean Startup

Lesson 9: Standard Tools for Implementing Lean

  • Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA)
  • R-DMAIC-S Model (Six Sigma)
  • 5W2H
  • Genchi Genbutsu and Gemba
  • 5S (Preparing a Kaizen Event)

Lesson 10: Kaizen Events

  • 5 Levels of Kaizen Events
  • Group Activity: Kaizen Event

Lesson 11: Gap Analysis and Other Tools

  • Types of Gap Analyses
  • Gap Analysis Process (5 Steps)
    • McKinsey 7S Model
    • SWOT Analysis
    • 5Whys
  • Group Activity: Gap Analysis
  • Other Lean Data Analysis Tools
    • Flowcharts
    • Root Cause: Ishikawa
    • SIPOC Diagrams
    • Value Stream Maps
  • Tips for Effective Data Analysis

Lesson 12: A Plan to Take Home

  • T-Shaped Thinking Patterns
  • Practicing AQD Thinking
  • Key to Lean: Structured Thinking
  • Roadblocks and Pitfalls to Lean
  • Creating a Successful Organization Structure

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