Lean Training for your lean journey


Lean Leadership

Training to help you get the most from your systems for continuous process improvement


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What is lean culture?

Lean culture is when continuous improvement is done with people, not to people.

There are 3 primary cultural enablers

1) Ethical Lean Leadership

Executive leaders that are role models and mentors for lean principles

2) People development and empowerment

Your most valuable assets are the ones that think

3) Environmental and safety systems

That reflect honest respect for individual & community well-being

What's the difference between
lean management and lean culture?

Lean culture is the sum of individuals' habits

Lean management is a systematic way to shape those habits

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast."   ~ Peter Drucker


Lean Leadership

There are hundreds of books on the subject of lean leadership.

Rather than trying to recap teachings from those books, see our Suggested Readings for Lean Management.

Because the focus of this web site is lean tools, let's talk for a moment about...

Lean Tools for Lean Leadership

1) The higher you go up the ladder, the higher the importance of making complex decisions

So the types of lean leadership tools that might most benefit your own responsibilities might include:

Prioritization Matrix
Decision Making tools
Relations Diagram
Problem Solving tools
Lean Management tools
Value Stream Map
Value Stream Management
X Matrix
Strategic Deployment tools
Change Management
Team Leadership tools

2) The higher you go up the ladder, the lower the percentage of time spent doing routine things

messy boys

Who needs standard work?

And what do leaders do with routine things?

Delegate them... right?

And delegated routine things need to be standardized, right?


  • So that everyone does it the same consistent (best) way.
  • So that you can easily and systematically monitor expected vs. actual results.
  • So that you can achieve extraordinary results from ordinary people.


Lean Team

Popular ways to organize your process improvement teams

1) Daily Accountability Teams

The backbone of your lean daily management system

One of the most noticeable differences between a new vs. a mature lean organization
is the percent of improvements generated by their Lean Daily Management System.

In a mature lean organization:

Any improvements that are within the control of a single team
should routinely and systematically be found and improved by that team.

Old style management

Still managing the old way?

Have you tried
Lean Management Systems?

Every team member not only knows which tools to use to solve diverse problems, but also understands the underlying lean principles, and comes up with creative ways to apply them to unique challenges.

A much larger percentage of ideas for cross-team improvements are generated and trickled up from the Daily Accountability Teams.

All other types of teams
are needed only for processes that cross team boundaries.

In a less mature organization:

Opportunities for improvement come much more frequently from lean leadership or "outside eyes" that have become more adept at learning to see opportunities to eliminate waste

and therefore each of the following types of cross-functional teams
have even greater importance in the early stages of an organization's lean journey.

Change Agent

The effectiveness of any team
is determined primarily by the effectiveness of your Change Agent.

2) Kaizen Event Teams

A Kaizen Event is one popular way

to achieve dramatic process improvements in a very short time (less than a week),
by sequestering a team of representatives for all process stakeholders —
who then focus 100% of their effort to perform an intense burst of improvement.

Lean training See Kaizen Event training videos

Daily Kaizen vs. Kaizen Events

Small daily improvements come from the Daily Accountability Teams

also known as Quality Circles, Process Improvement Teams, and many other names, and some organizations don't even have a name for these teams. Every team is simply organized, managed, and expected to continuously improve in measurable ways as part of their routine responsibilities.

Kaizen Events demand the full-time attention of a cross-functional team
for a very intense burst of improvement.

3) A3 Charters

The A3 Problem Solving Method can be done by sequestering the team (similar to a kaizen event), or (more commonly), can be led by a champion who meets with individuals and small groups of stakeholders on a more flexible time schedule.

A3 Problem Solving is a flexible, time-effective, and popular way to organize a cross-functional improvement effort — often without the need to form a team.

It is a simple, (easily-duplicated and managed) method to systematically:

  1. Define and solve problems
  2. Teach managers how to better coach, mentor, and lead
  3. Instill lean thinking as a cultural habit

A3 Report

A3 Report

4) 8D Problem Solving

The 8D Problem Solving Method

provides a systematic way for a team to resolve an issue that has uncertain root causes

in a way that ensures that root causes have been identified and verified,
and that both interim and permanent corrective actions are validated for effectiveness and instituted in a way that prevents a similar situation from ever recurring or escaping again.

8D is most often used in conjunction with Corrective Action Reports

if (and only if) the root cause is uncertain. Other problem methods are more appropriate if the focus is only upon decision making or problem prevention.

8D Report

8D Report

5) Chartered Six Sigma Teams

Another approach to solving a problem that has uncertain root causes is to charter a Six Sigma Team

to Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and then Control the improved process

usually using statistical analysis and data-gathering techniques that are appropriate for more mature organizations that have already 'picked the low-hanging fruit' by using simpler lean methods.

6) Process Improvement Teams

Lean Teams for Process Improvement

Almost every leader is familiar with a Gantt Chart
and other types of Project Management tools.

Too familiar perhaps... because these 1950's approaches to team organization are only appropriate for large, complex projects — like:

For most lean implementation missions, there are usually better approaches.

Excel Gantt Chart

Excel Gantt Chart

7) Value Stream Teams

All of the above types of teams put the cart before the horse
if the mission of the team was not first chartered by the Value Stream Team.

The purpose of a Value Stream Team

is to identify which priorities will yield the most value to the flow of value through the entire value stream

not just some sub-optimized sub-set of it.

8) Hoshin Policy Deployment Teams

The purpose of Hoshin Policy Deployment Teams

is to ensure that every team in the entire organization is optimizing their efforts
to support a synergistic Strategic Plan.

Different Hoshin Teams might use any or all of the various problem solving tools and methods

at different times and for different purposes.

Word templates to define YOUR Team Roles

Your Systems2win continuous improvement tools include several Word templates
that are intended to serve as a starting point for your Continuous Improvement Leaders
to create PDF's of YOUR company’s continuous improvement leadership roles:

Team Roles template


And then your personalized PDF's are then distributed the same way
that you store and distribute all of your company’s policies.

Free Lean Leadership Templates

When you download your free trial, you get...

Use your new lean leadership templates for the rest of your career — free

because our gamble is that once you become familiar with your Systems2win templates that have

cave man trying to re-invent
  • consistent, standardized features, help, and training
  • language translations for your global team
  • live technical support

you will wonder aloud...

"Why are we paying our expensive lean leaders
to try to invent, re-invent, and support inferior tools?"


Your lean leadership templates
are used by lean leaders at every level of your organization


Own yours now


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Your purchase price is usually justified with the 1 or 2 templates that you use most

The others are a really nice
"gift with purchase"

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