Lean Production Programs

The best way to learn lean is in the GEMBA. Developing Leaders Inc. takes a hands on approach to helping companies improve business results and processes. We are not traditional consultants but rather experienced industry engineers and managers who want to help you learn how to do what we do. We are not satisfied until you have the skills to improve your own business. Hire us and you can expect to create your own ROI on the training and mentoring process through value added waste reducing flow creating projects that directly impact your company’s bottom line.

We have worked with metals stamping companies, furniture manufacturers, food manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, clothing distributors, commercial goods distributors, 3PL firms to deliver value and improve business performance.

Our approach starts with hands on training involving a vertical section of the companies we work with. It is important to get everyone involved in the process. We teach how the tools work first by classroom exercises than live project implementation. In the video below watch as a team has figured out the process of improving cycle time by managing the 8 wastes and coordinating efforts. This group has taken cycle time from 60 seconds down to 11 seconds WITHOUT impacting Safety or Quality! Believe it or not your business process may have similar opportunities.


Lean Training & Development

This proposal outlines an introductory 24 hour program in Lean Manufacturing. It continues by providing options for developing lean practitioners through advanced topic training of an additional 40 hours. Advanced program length is determined by participant previous experience and training in lean principles. Finally it addresses the leadership of a lean implementation with options for leadership training.

Introductory Lean Production

The 24 hour introductory lean course will teach the fundamentals of the lean discipline. The training is designed such that participants can understand the concepts intellectually as well as practically.  The course is segmented into either 4 six hour or 6 four hour segments. By spacing out the segments over a 1-2 month period participants can practice the lean fundamentals in their work areas between class sessions to further enhance learning.

The training will use hands on exercises both to reinforce key points. Numerous “play” exercises will be featured. The first exercise introduces the concepts of waste, flow, 5S and Kaizen. The second introduces the concepts of basic value stream, spaghetti diagraming, and error proofing while reinforcing Kaizen. The remaining exercises will reinforce all the Lean concepts.

Addressing Real Challenges

In addition to the “play” exercises participants are encouraged to bring real production or shop challenges to the training. Through the course of the training these challenges will be addressed.

Additionally it is recommended that the training be done onsite at the company facility. In this way the training can incorporate real time evaluation of business processes and focus on how to improve them. The training typically involves shop tours or “going GEMBA” again reinforcing the lean discipline

Lean Production for Organizations

For organizations considering a full implementation of Lean into the company’s processes there are two leadership modules included below under the leadership tool kit.

Finally, in addition an advanced skill set training program is described that should also be undertaken for professional employees who intend to lead improvement efforts and become lean practitioners. These modules are included in the curriculum below under the advanced tool kit.

Lean Production Training Objectives

  1. Introduce lean concepts to participants
  2. Gain buy in to concepts to progress to facility
  3. Teach fundamental concepts to participants including
    1. 5S
    2. Flow creation
    3. Waste reduction
    4. Pursuing perfection
    5. Error Proofing
    6. Kaizen
    7. Improve facility performance through the completion of Lean project work

Program Contents

The following modules would be covered in an introductory Lean program. It should be noted however that many of the concepts are complimentary and teaching them as discrete elements is not the objective. Ultimately the plan is to introduce the concepts as needed such that they become clear and useful.

For instance the exercises we conduct will require the use of Kaizen to complete successfully. Hence Kaizen will be integrated into each module through the program.

The following modules are recommended for an introductory program.


Lean Manufacturing: Introduction (4 Hours)

An overview of the Lean toolkit and its use in manufacturing and distribution contexts. Participants are introduced to the foundational elements of lean and how they work together to create value in the enterprise. Uses a fun, hands-on interactive exercise to understand the lean toolkit.

Lean Manufacturing: 5S (4 Hours)

All Lean enterprise is founded on the basis of 5S and the additional core value of Safety. This course walks participants through the elements of 5S in a practical way to enable them to apply the skills in their facilities. The concepts of leadership and employee accountability are added here to ensure that participants understand how to implement 5S and have it be successful.

Lean Manufacturing: Flow (4 Hours)

The concept of flow is central to the Lean enterprise. By creating processes that have smooth continuous flow we accelerate the organizations ability to create value for their customer. This module examines the primary stumbling blocks to flow and offers practical tools to implement. The process of developing value stream mapping is a core tool in this module.

Lean Manufacturing: Waste, Error Proofing (4 Hours)

In Lean we recognize that waste in its 8 forms is the enemy of a productive enterprise. In this module we study the eight forms and how to find them. We also cover the concept of error proofing and how this tool is central to ensuring that improvements made are maintained.

Lean Manufacturing: Kaizen (8 Hours)

Once we understand the concepts of 5S, Flow and waste we can then begin to look at the process of Lean enterprise improvement. This module introduces the various forms of Kaizen improvement and demonstrates through hands on exercise and practical examples how to use Kaizen in the participant’s facilities.

LEAN LEADERSHIP (8-16 hours)

Lean Manufacturing Leadership (4-12 Hours)

It is not uncommon to hear of failed initiatives often called flavor of the month. Lean has in many organizations suffered this fate. In the Lean Leadership module we uncover the primary strategies to ensure your implementation does not fail. We will discuss the vision of lean and how it can be sold organizationally. Depending on the extent of group leadership training this module can be significantly customized.

Lean Manufacturing Teamwork (4 hours)

The Kaizen process of continual improvement must be based on sound fundamentals. In this section we discuss the role of teamwork in improvement processes.

ADVANCED LEAN TOPICS (24 Hours minimum)

There are other modules to the Lean toolkit that can be discussed as well however these are typically part of a more in depth program of Lean. Note that each of these modules requires a minimum of 4 hours to teach for understanding. For practical application 12 hour modules are recommended.

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) (8-12 hours)

The foundational practice of improvement processes in Lean. The participant is taught from a first principles perspective how to build and analyze a value stream map. Participants are challenged to create a future map that incorporates elements of pull, flow and perfection. During the training the expectation is that participants will complete a small VSM / Kaizen project

Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) (8-12 hours)

At the heart of the concepts of flow and pull is the foundation of “every part every day”. This requires the ability to effortlessly switch production from one product to another in minimal time. In this module participants will be challenged to develop the skills to safely redesign changeover processes to significantly decrease cycle time.  During the training the expectation is that participants will complete a small SMED / Kaizen project

Pull Systems (Kanbans) (8-12 hours)

Lean enterprises pursue the concept of pull where customers demand is incorporated into the process of setting manufacturing output. It is not scheduling in the traditional sense but rather a series of processes flowing together and controlled by the stage closest to the customer. Note that a pull system may not be practical without an enterprise commitment. This module teaches the elements of the kanban system and how to integrate pull systems into the lean company. During the training the expectation is that participants will complete a small Kanban / Kaizen project.

Kaizen – Project Management (8 hours)

This module takes a deeper look at training participants in the nuances of leading a Kaizen process and covers project management fundamentals.

Training Project Completion Process

Throughout the intermediate course participants will be required to prepare and deliver short project update presentations to the class. In this way all participant learning is enhanced while organizational projects are progressed through the mentoring of the Lean black belt instructor.


Company owner Ron Hurst is the lead trainer in Developing Leaders Lean programs. The Developing Leaders team also includes a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt who is available for advanced training,  mentoring projects and certification of Lean practitioners.


Several pricing options are available for consideration. Please inquire for specifics.



Ron Hurst MBA, MSc, B. Eng, LSSBB, ACC


Over the past 15 years Ron Hurst has diligently become an effective and meaningful trainer and consultant. Skilled in multiple dimensions of business and training methodologies, Ron brings a unique perspective to his clients. To formalize his abilities he completed a Master’s degree in leadership and organizational development from the University of La Verne (2006). This degree is foundational to his ability to deliver training that is relevant, effective and timeless to his clients.

Ron also holds a certificate in Evidence Based Coaching, a Master’s in Business Administration and a Metallurgical Engineering bachelor’s degree to round out a broad experience base of education. This matches up well with his 23 years of manufacturing experience in both Canada and the United States. Throughout his career Ron has expanded his skill set through successful achievement in Operations, Research, Sales, Quality and General Management. He has been trained in Lean Six Sigma and holds a black belt in this discipline. Ron has mentored and trained over 60 green belts during his tenure as a black belt. He has been trained in lean manufacturing and several other continuous improvement strategies including TQM, Kepner Tragoe and Juran Quality Planning. In the Lean discipline Ron has trained over 250 people in basic lean and over 40 in more advanced skills. He has added a part time Lean Sensei to the Developing Leaders team to ensure rigor and facilitate the pursuit of excellence!

From humble working class roots Ron has always sought to walk a mile in the other guys shoes, understand a problem from the inside. Offer advice that is both candid and contextually sensitive. Ron is eager to offer you his expertise in problem solving, communication, interpersonal skills, continuous improvement, business management, leadership and many other areas. With Ron working for you as coach, trainer and consultant you will realize significant benefit and improvement.


Perhamus has 30 years of experience as a catalyst for performance improvements in operations and project management for several multinational corporations as well as SME’s. He holds a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University, and an Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University’s Peter F. Drucker School of Management. He is a certified PMP from PMI. He has completed employer sponsored Lean Champion’s Program and Managing for Consistency (a similar, to TQM, “Six Sigma” philosophy).

Perhamus learned early on that investing time in developing people was key to any organization’s success. He enjoys helping people and organizations achieve what they did not think possible.  A lifelong learner, he has been able to successfully integrate and apply his analytical, project, interpersonal and creativity skills to create value.

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