Jumpstart Your Lean Journey

What is a lean prac­ti­tion­er? A lean prac­ti­tion­er is a front line leader or indi­vid­ual con­trib­u­tor who uses lean tools, meth­ods, and prin­ci­ples to solve prob­lems, make improve­ments, and devel­op the con­tin­u­ous improve­ment skills of oth­ers. The lean prac­ti­tion­er is often con­sid­ered the go-to per­son for con­tin­u­ous improve­ment think­ing and assis­tance. Each Lean Prac­ti­tion­er can­di­date will have access to 45 hours of instruc­tion, 12 hours of per­son­al coach­ing, and will make 10 improvements!

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Our intensive program will develop a skilled practitioner, ready to deploy lean across your organization.

  • Men­tor­ship

    Work one-on-one with a men­tor and coach who’s been there before. 12 hours of coach­ing is included.

  • Save Time

    No more false starts! Imple­ment lean the right way.

  • On-Demand

    45 hours of train­ing mate­ri­als are there when you need them.

  • Cost Effec­tive

    ROI is achieved through improve­ments to your orga­ni­za­tion that can be scaled.

Expected Results

Tools & Methods

  • 5S of an area includ­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of an audit system.

  • Under­stand the three types of waste and the sev­en forms of waste through Ohno cir­cle exer­cis­es fol­lowed by mak­ing relat­ed improvements.

  • Solve a prob­lem using the 8‑step prac­ti­cal prob­lem solv­ing method.

  • Use the A3 method to work through chal­lenges in the course.

  • Imple­ment kan­ban in at least one area.

  • Imple­ment visu­al con­trols in at least one area.

  • Use the Toy­ota Kata improve­ment kata (PDCA) repeat­ed­ly through­out the course.

  • Cre­ate or improve a visu­al man­age­ment board for a team, process, or department.

  • Improve a process using TWI Job Meth­ods and SMED.

Lean Leadership

  • Con­duct gem­ba walks.

  • Learn to be a kata coach by first being coached using the Toy­ota Kata coach­ing method.

  • Write stan­dard work for a process with­in your own organization.

  • Cre­ate both a cur­rent state and future state val­ue stream map.

  • Use leader stan­dard work to man­age course progress along with oth­er responsibilities.

  • Devel­op skills train­ing exper­tise using TWI Job Instruction.

  • Com­plete the action guides for final report out to leadership.

  • Gain the expe­ri­ence need­ed to share Lean think­ing with­in their organization.

Why Com­plete the Lean Prac­ti­tion­er Course?

Gem­ba Acad­e­my’s Lean Prac­ti­tion­er Course is a rig­or­ous, tools and Lean think­ing focused 12-month pro­gram. The course com­bines video learn­ing con­tent, prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion, and indi­vid­ual coach­ing to shift think­ing and actions to form habits deeply root­ed in Lean to bet­ter serve the cus­tomer and improve the orga­ni­za­tion’s oper­a­tional performance.

  • Build Your Own Team of Experts

    Gem­ba Acad­e­my’s Lean Prac­ti­tion­er Course is designed to instill the knowl­edge while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly devel­op­ing the exper­tise need­ed to effec­tive­ly prac­tice Lean. Lean Prac­ti­tion­ers not only dri­ve con­tin­u­ous improve­ment, but also engage the work­force by shar­ing knowl­edge to help oth­ers under­stand a bet­ter way of working.

  • Spread Lean Far & Wide

    Spread­ing Lean through­out an orga­ni­za­tion is a long-term endeav­or that begins with knowl­edge and exper­tise with­in the orga­ni­za­tion. How­ev­er, many orga­ni­za­tions lack the knowl­edge and exper­tise to effec­tive­ly launch and sus­tain a Lean effort, the resources to hire such a per­son, or the resources to send a staff mem­ber to receive exten­sive train­ing. Our pro­gram is a direct solu­tion to this problem.


Want to learn more about the pro­gram? Our fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions are here for you.

Am I a good Lean Practitioner candidate? 

The ide­al can­di­date is spon­sored by an employ­er who does­n’t have inter­nal pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment resources in the area of Lean read­i­ly avail­able. These employ­ers are look­ing to devel­op their peo­ple in the area of fun­da­men­tal Lean prac­tice and tools.

You should have a strong desire to learn proven con­tin­u­ous improve­ment meth­ods so that you can then improve busi­ness operations.

How does the Lean Practitioner certification course meet the needs of my employer? 

While the spe­cif­ic expec­ta­tions of var­i­ous employ­ers are unknown, this course aims to pro­vide you with the expe­ri­ence of mak­ing mean­ing­ful improve­ments in the work­place step by step through­out the course. Your orga­ni­za­tion reaps ben­e­fits right away rather than wait­ing until the course has been completed.

Why take this course rather than a bootcamp offered by other organizations? 

We are dif­fer­ent than the boot­camp type cours­es in that the learn­er in the Gem­ba Acad­e­my course learns from actu­al expe­ri­ence and receives coach­ing along the way. The boot­camp learn­er gets exposed to the­o­ry, then returns to the work­place and is chal­lenged to remem­ber what was said days or weeks in the past. Three issues with this: 1) adults learn by doing , 2) reten­tion rates from inten­sive study cours­es are typ­i­cal­ly very low, and 3) there is no coach­ing sup­port while apply­ing the con­cepts at work. All of these lead to poor prac­tice, frus­tra­tion, and ulti­mate­ly going back to the famil­iar way of think­ing and working.

Why is the Lean Practitioner Certification the right approach to learning Lean? 

Each mod­ule includes prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion of the lean con­cepts pre­sent­ed. It is expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing in the participant’s work­place. The par­tic­i­pant iden­ti­fies a busi­ness need that can be addressed with the knowl­edge gained in order to build skill and expe­ri­ence. Real world improve­ments are made every step of the way through­out the course. The capa­bil­i­ty your orga­ni­za­tion is build­ing by par­tic­i­pat­ing in this course is con­tin­u­ous improve­ment: small, incre­men­tal improve­ments by every­one every day.

How does the course work? 

The course starts with you gain­ing a fun­da­men­tal under­stand­ing of Lean think­ing (sci­en­tif­ic think­ing cou­pled with coach­ing rou­tines) aimed at spe­cif­ic improve­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties one tool or con­cept at a time. This is done to build a strong foun­da­tion brick by brick. Every mod­ule includes an improve­ment project, or more accu­rate­ly described, the ini­ti­a­tion of a spe­cif­ic Lean prac­tice. The project at the end of the course is to chal­lenge the Lean Prac­ti­tion­er to scale Lean learn­ing and prac­tice with­in their orga­ni­za­tion using Gem­ba Acad­e­my as a pri­ma­ry learn­ing resource.

What will I be able to do when I complete this course? 

By the end of the course you will have had a year of guid­ed expe­ri­ence in Lean think­ing, the prac­tice of the var­i­ous tools list­ed in the course descrip­tion, prob­lem solv­ing, gain­ing buy-in from teams and man­agers, and mak­ing real improve­ments with­in your orga­ni­za­tion. With this expe­ri­ence, you’ll have the con­fi­dence to move on with your con­tin­u­ous improve­ment prac­tice and share your knowl­edge with oth­ers. You’ll bring to the orga­ni­za­tion an oper­a­tional per­spec­tive that oth­ers have yet to gain.

How does this differ from the Green Belt or Black Belt, other than lacking the Six Sigma part? Why should I choose this instead of the cheaper Black Belt program? 

Green Belt or Black Belt might be a bet­ter choice, depend­ing on your needs. If sta­tis­ti­cal analy­sis of vari­a­tion with­in a process cou­pled with struc­tured prob­lem solv­ing is the desired skill set, we rec­om­mend the Black Belt cer­ti­fi­ca­tion course. The Black Belt pro­gram pro­vides the expe­ri­ence of a sin­gle project that will incor­po­rate some of the tools pre­sent­ed in the course. Green Belt removes much of the sta­tis­ti­cal analy­sis piece and focus­es on struc­tured prob­lem solv­ing using data, again with a sin­gle project.

The Lean Prac­ti­tion­er course pro­vides a more com­pre­hen­sive expe­ri­ence with Lean think­ing and tools. Unlike the belt pro­grams, you’ll use, and become pro­fi­cient with each tool taught before mov­ing onto the next.

The intent is to pre­pare you for oper­a­tional trans­for­ma­tion rather than spe­cif­ic project com­ple­tion. It teach­es you to not only apply Lean, but also share Lean think­ing and scale con­tin­u­ous improve­ment through­out the organization.

The belt system is proven and has a track record. Who has used this Lean Practitioner / hybrid coaching approach successfully? 

The tra­di­tion­al class­room cours­es offered by com­mu­ni­ty col­leges and oth­er insti­tu­tions pro­vide some lim­it­ed coach­ing in the class­room envi­ron­ment. Stu­dents are chal­lenged to apply each of the tools in the work­place through­out the course in the same way we are doing here.

Two key dif­fer­ences are that the coach­ing typ­i­cal­ly occurs before or after class­room time, which can be once per month, and the coach­ing is very brief.

Gem­ba Acad­e­my’s coach­ing is on-demand to meet the imme­di­ate needs of the learn­er. It is also focused on devel­op­ing the indi­vid­ual par­tic­i­pant and pro­vides the depth of coach­ing the indi­vid­ual requires. We min­i­mize wait­ing in order to keep the learn­er’s momen­tum up. The learn­ing, doing, coach­ing, improv­ing mod­el has been proven in busi­ness, music, sports, and just about every oth­er area of skill development.

Can participants work in teams instead of as individuals? 

Work­ing in teams of two or three is pre­ferred and strong­ly rec­om­mend­ed, although par­tic­i­pants are free to work as indi­vid­u­als. Teams tend to work with greater momen­tum and cre­ativ­i­ty. Teams also tend to be more suc­cess­ful than indi­vid­u­als. This also pro­tects the orga­ni­za­tion from attri­tion because con­tin­u­ous improve­ment efforts aren’t depen­dent on any individual.

Team size would be lim­it­ed to three. Coor­di­nat­ing with more than three peo­ple increas­es com­plex­i­ty of sched­ul­ing and assign­ment com­ple­tion. Groups of four would be divid­ed into two teams of two.

How is the course administered? 

The course is avail­able on demand in the same way we present the belt cer­ti­fi­ca­tion cours­es. We use the Gem­ba Acad­e­my Learn­ing Sys­tem to deliv­er the con­tent and mon­i­tor progress. Coach­ing ses­sions are con­duct­ed through video con­fer­enc­ing and screen sharing.