LEAN Practitioner Certificate Program

The concept of utilizing Lean Continuous Improvement Principles in the United States was adopted in the early 1990s from studies of the Toyota Production System. Unfortunately Toyota had a 40 year head start and we can see the effect this has had on the US automobile industry. It focuses on eliminating waste in all business processes. The definition of waste being anything that impedes the flow of a product or service as it is being transformed in the value chain of the product or service provided to the customer. Meeting today’s competitive business challenges and demands a require companies to increase their capabilities by streamlining all processes including administrative, product design, manufacturing and service, by applying proven Lean Continuous Improvement principles, concepts and techniques. The primary focus of these initiatives is the continuous identification and elimination of waste in all of the company’s business processes. Implementing these techniques involves changing a work area or a business process through continuous improvement activities to maximize efficiency, improve quality, safety, eliminate unnecessary motion and inventory, and save time and resources. Quality problems, buffer stock, unreliable machines, inefficient process layouts, poor work instructions and communication all lead interruptions of flow of the product or service in the value chain to the customer. Lean CI approach uses a variety of tools which help teams to focus on the elimination or reduction of these non value added activities or waste resulting in dramatic improvements in quality, machine/process reliability, workplace organization, changeover/set-up time reduction, material flow, reduction in lead times and employee moral.
In order to be competitive in today's markets, a company has to know what constitutes value to their customers and work towards a future state where all activities in their processes adds value from a customer's perspective. Becoming a Lean Practitioner will give you the necessary tools to help your company on this journey.
The Lean Practitioner Certificate is offered by the Virginia Applied Technology and Professional Development Center, Frank Batten College of Engineering at Old Dominion University.  Enrollment in the Lean Practitioner Certificate program will enable participants to become Lean Practitioners. They will also receive CEU’s through the university. The practical examples, demonstrations, and knowledge gained through the series will give participants the tools they need to start transforming their company into a lean enterprise.
Participants will actively work on Lean solutions for their organizations while participating in the program. They also get to interact on a one to one basis with our Lean consultants and the other participants in the program to expand their network of Lean Practitioners and to hear from others attempting to accomplish similar goals.


Who could benefit?
Anyone who recognizes that their organization or processes need to change in order to be competitive and/or anyone who realizes they should provide services faster, cheaper and better quality should attend. The participants will learn that most of the activities within a company or organization is classified as 'waste' or 'non-value' added. They will also learn the “right” way to remove the waste in order to effectively and permanently transform their processes. The results will be dramatic - 30% to 70% improvements within the first year if they learn the tools and methods presented in this program and apply them properly. Everyone from healthcare, government, manufacturing, service/administrative environments, or any company that provides a product or service should take advantage of the program. The goal is to provide the best product/service to the customer/client, while decreasing the cost of that service or product increasing the speed at which we can provide it and while improving the quality.


Program Objectives:
This program is designed to provide the participants with a comprehensive introduction to becoming a Lean Enterprise. The candidate will participate in a real-time hands-on workshop within selected business processes to learn how to successfully deploy, manage, and complete a Lean project. Tangible results and realistic improvement action plans that can be translated into trainees’ opportunities are expected deliverables. Participants will have the basic tools to practice Lean on a project by project basis. This program is for businesses that are considering the Lean journey for their organizations.


Participants who complete the program should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the lean tool box and their appropriate application
  • Perform an initial assessment analysis to establish a baseline
  • Create a detailed implementation plan based on the baseline analysis
  • Perform as the Lean process champion for your facility
  • Lead and direct site teams in implementing of Lean methods and techniques
  • Mentor and coach project leaders, area managers, and supervisors in specific tools and methods
  • Coach and mentor suppliers in addressing critical quality and delivery problems


Typical Results of a Lean Implementation:
75% reduction in lead-time
70% improvement in out going quality level 20-30% in labor savings
90% reduction in work-in-progress
80% improvement in build-to-customer schedule


CurriculumTopics (Lean Toolbox):

  • Principles of Lean Manufacturing (with live simulation) - Through a mix of classroom and live simulation, participants learn to reduce cycle time up to 90%, improve on-time shipments up to 90%, reduce WIP up to 90%, improve quality up to 50%, and reduce floor space up to 75%. By the end of the session, participants will have transformed a traditional manufacturing or office environment into one focused on lean concepts.
  • Value-Stream Mapping for Lean and Six Sigma – To understand the power of this key process improvement tool, teams, made up of operators, supervisors, engineers, managers and executives, learn the techniques to gather information and create a map of their current-state value stream (information and product flow) for any business process. From this, Lean and Six Sigma concepts are applied to identify areas where waste in the value stream can be identified and a plan put in place to achieve an ideal future state.
  • 5S- Workplace Organization/Standardized Work / Visual Controls Workshop - This workshop utilizes the application of Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain to transform the workplace into a self-explaining, self-regulating, and self-improving work area where what is supposed to happen does happen on time, every time. . It is difficult to make a product or service flow through the operation if the processing steps are not properly sequenced, balanced and work methods are left up to the discretion of individual workers. This workshop introduces the concepts of standardized work and the importance of using visual controls. This will help teams define the best ways to currently perform an operation or processing step. The goal is to provide a sfe neat clean organized workplace. This workshop is ideal for plant managers, supervisors, office personnel, shop floor associates, and shop floor teams.
  • Cellular Flow Concepts/Pull/Kanban Systems- This workshop (with live simulation) takes attendees through the five-step process for designing and implementing work cells for any business processes that have a common sequence. The workshop teaches participants how to design and implement a visual, customer-driven pull material replenishment system as well. Attendees will learn how to implement repetitive pull systems, set up point-of-use material storage, interface with planning systems, and set lot sizes matched with customer demand versus using the outdated concept of economic order quantity.
  • Total Productive Maintenance - Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) means tapping into the "hidden capacity" in unreliable, and ineffective equipment. Learn how businesses have improved productivity, quality, customer service, and safety levels by reducing unplanned downtime by as much as 40% to 60% through this operator-based maintenance program.
  • Set-Up Reduction - This workshop (with live simulation) teaches the fundamental principles of set-up reduction based on the pioneering work of Dr. Shigeo Shingo, and his Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) system of set-up reduction. This workshop walks participants through the six-step, set-up reduction process.
  • DMAIC- Basic Statistical Process Control Techniques - Our team can provide your staff with the basic statistical analysis tools and techniques utilizing the DMAIC approach, to identify and define variability in processes, and develop the correct statistical tool to distinguish between common cause and special variation.