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!
Our intensive program will develop a skilled practitioner, ready to deploy lean across your organization.
Work one-on-one with a mentor and coach who’s been there before. 12 hours of coaching is included.
No more false starts! Implement lean the right way.
45 hours of training materials are there when you need them.
ROI is achieved through improvements to your organization that can be scaled.
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.
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 8‑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, record quiz scores, and monitor progress. Basecamp is used for collaboration and file transfer. Coaching calls are done virtually through GoToMeeting and provide optional video and screen share.