Lean thinking and practice helps organizations become both innovative and competitive, which in turn allows them to become sustainable.

Lean is about creating the most value for the customer while minimizing resources, time, energy and effort. A lean approach to work is about understanding what’s really going on at the place where value is created, and improving the processes by which products and services are created and delivered.

This engaging, online, go-at-your-own-pace course is designed to give you an understanding of what lean is, what it might look like in your workplace, and how to start applying it.

Learning Objectives

This course works for people new to the concepts of lean and continuous improvement, for individuals looking to improve their lean understanding and skills, and for organizations wanting to level set the lean knowledge of their workforce to speed progress.

  • Recognize where and how to apply lean principles, systems, and concepts, to increase value and eliminate waste in your daily work

  • Resolve business challenges by using scientific method, PDCA-based problem solving

  • Identify work activities as being “value-add,” “incidental,” or “waste” and understand how all three affect workflow

  • Understand the five dimensions of the Lean Transformation Framework and explain why all five are necessary for a transformation to occur

Time Estimates Per Unit*

*Actual times may vary.

Pre-Work & Reflection 2 hours
Unit 1: Value 4 hours
Unit 2: Work 15 hours
Unit 3: People 2.5 hours
Unit 4: Management Systems and Lean Leader Behavior 3 hours
Unit 5: Basic Thinking 2 hours
Post-Work & Reflection
Total ~30 Hours

Instructor

Senior Instructor John Shook

John Shook learned about lean management while working for Toyota for 11 years in Japan and the U.S., helping it transfer production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to NUMMI and other operations around the world. While at Toyota's headquarters, he became the company's first American kacho (manager) in Japan. In the U.S., Shook joined Toyota’s North American engineering, research and development center in Ann Arbor, Michigan as general manager of administration and planning. His last position with Toyota was as senior American manager with the Toyota Supplier Support Center in Lexington, Kentucky, assisting North American companies adopt the Toyota Production System.

Shook co-authored Learning to See, the book that introduced the world to value-stream mapping. He also co-authored Kaizen Express, a bi-lingual manual of the essential concepts and tools of the Toyota Production System. With Managing to Learn, Shook revealed the deeper workings of the A3 management process that is at the heart of Toyota’s management and leadership.

Reviews

5 star rating

Excellent

Patience Onakpoya

This is just what I needed. I have just recently started my career in manufacturing and what I have learnt from this course comes in handy. I highly recommen...

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This is just what I needed. I have just recently started my career in manufacturing and what I have learnt from this course comes in handy. I highly recommend for all engineers.

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5 star rating

Excellent insight into Lean practice

Andrew Gardler

The course was thorough in delivering the knowledge regarding Lean concepts and how they work, the content was easy to follow and was easy to digest.

The course was thorough in delivering the knowledge regarding Lean concepts and how they work, the content was easy to follow and was easy to digest.

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5 star rating

Very insightful course!

Jennifer Segers

5 star rating

So you want to see change?

John Munas

Sometimes it's the littlest things that make the biggest difference. Think of the smallest problem you have a work, and you might find it isn't really a pro...

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Sometimes it's the littlest things that make the biggest difference. Think of the smallest problem you have a work, and you might find it isn't really a problem if you use the tools to fix it!

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4 star rating

Definitely worth the time investment!

Christy Leite

This was an excellent course. The topics were organized into a method of integrating video, slides, and articles/letters providing real live examples of the ...

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This was an excellent course. The topics were organized into a method of integrating video, slides, and articles/letters providing real live examples of the application of the thought process and lean tools. Applying lean tools without the basic lean thinking will not take us very far in a lean journey. This course provides insightful material. The exercises provide insightful questions challenging the student to reflect deeply on the material just learned and how to apply it in their daily work. I highly recommend this course to employees of all organizations from the shop floor to the CEO.

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