Lean Services

Lean Courses and Training Resources

Our Lean services include eight Lean courses (now moving online), a Certificate and an Advanced Certificate to help you build an agile workforce, teams and organization. In-person courses suspended due to COVID-19.

Read the print or e-book versions of the 3rd edition of ‘Lean: Manage work as a flow system‘ (2020, Publisher: Editions JFD, 79 pages) by France Bergeron and Joanne Gaudet, described as “a great introduction to lean” according to Daniel T. Jones.

eBook with downloads and a work-based assignment. Gemba walks: a brief guide for Lean leaders. Gemba is ‘the real place’. Gemba walks are standard practice for Lean leaders. ‘Gemba walks: a brief guide for Lean leaders’ includes an eBook, downloadable documents, a work-based assignment and video links. $9.95 price incl. HST/GST. https://leanisflow.thinkific.com/courses/gemba-guide

We do not offer so-called ‘Lean belts’ and do not reduce Lean to project management.

Lean flow coaching

We help you be the best at what you do with Lean flow coaching.

Lean Process Improvement with Coaching & Mapping

Lean is about developing people to solve flow problems every day. Mapping a process is a tool used in Lean to help a team see the flow of a process in order to make it better. The approach we propose involves training and developing people and facilitating a process improvement workshop using mapping, with your team, for one process. Learning how to be agile means understanding HOW work flows (or not) and challenging WHY we do the things we do if they don’t flow value to customers.

1-day, 2-day, 3-day or 3.5-day Lean Process Improvement Workshops
Our approach requires commitment and ownership from management and participation of employees (see “Rules of engagement“). Maximum number of participants: 8 (including internal or external clients, if applicable).

Contact us for details. During COVID-19 we do not provide improvement workshops.

Lean as a science of work

Learn to see work (by using visual tools/management to see flow and what disrupts flow of value to customers such as maps or ‘kanban’, because in science you can’t measure what you can’t see), measure work (the simplest and most widely used measures are time and quality) and improve work every day (by collaboratively optimizing the flow of value to customers to make flow faster, easier and cheaper).

Why we don’t offer so-called ‘Lean belts’

Like many Lean management teachers (sensei) and practitioners worldwide, we offer a training program that is not designed around a so-called ‘Lean belt’ system (white belt, yellow belt, green belt, black belt…). Our training helps all employees build and expand their Lean knowledge and experience. Exhaustive analysis of Lean transformations that promote pockets of so-called ‘Lean’ experts supports that belt-type or expert-focused ‘Lean’ deployment is not sustainable and is not compatible with Lean as a collaborative science. Short-term efficiency gains are not sustainable without embedding continuous improvement in everyday work.

The Lean belt approach was borrowed from the fundamentally different Six Sigma prescriptive methodology that involves experts with varying levels of mastering statistical and mathematical tools. In Six Sigma, the outside statistical expert has special skills/knowledge to manage work. On the other hand, Lean is an overarching approach that involves everyone as experts in their own job to solve problems and deliver value to clients. In essence, in a Lean organisation everyone engages in collaborative science – co-defining problems, co-defining potential countermeasures and collaborating in implementation and measurement of countermeasures to problems, every single day. Unfortunately, a so-called Lean belt approach also tends to promote the idea of gradation where lower level belts may not be able to contribute as much to improvements as would higher level belts.

We also do not provide Lean training or services with a project management or project-based approach. Once more, these misguided approaches separate work from improvement, exhaust precious energy from teams, tend to reproduce command-and-control with project teams imposing on others and create the illusion that improvement should be separated from everyday work and everyday improvement of work. When striving to become a Lean organisation, work and improvement are one and the same – to engage in work is to engage in improvement to flow more and more value to clients every single day. Management must OWN a transformation, not delegate project.

Read the paper ‘Lean: it’s not rocket science, it’s work science‘ (in PDF format).

Feedback from participants in Lean activities and presentations

Thank you for the training! Hands down best course I’ve taken in my career in the public sector. I’ll be recommending it to my colleagues.
Megan, Federal government employee, Ottawa

I truly enjoyed the Introduction to Lean for Government training. It was presented as a much simpler concept than previous workshops I’ve attended.
Debbie, Federal government employee, Ottawa

As a trained teacher, I have to let both you & Joanne know that I was thoroughly impressed with both of you. You were both incredibly knowledgeable in the subject matter, in the working of government. I still can’t get over how engaging you both were. The information was easily digestible, and the presentation of it through presentation/video/simulations made it very relatable and transferable to other areas.
Todd, Federal government employee, Ottawa

“For all of us – Lean has been transformative”.
Sarah K., Federal government employee, Ottawa

“France, I have been involved in many initiatives and projects (whatever the flavor of the week is) and can honestly say that the “Lean” initiative is the one that excites me and has had the most value. It is concrete and instant within our power. Thank you for your leadership, encouragement, and commitment”.
Yvette M., Regional Director, Federal government

“France, On behalf of the group I would like to thank you very much for your excellent Lean facilitation.  The quality of work and the take-away documents are clear and lean.”
Catherine W., Regional Manager, Vancouver

“France, it was a pleasure taking part in the Lean Event. You made it very exciting and engaging, and I am eager to get started.”
Robert P., Regional Manager, Toronto

“France,  I enjoyed working and learning from you as part of the Lean Team for our process improvement.  I have taken the principles we learned and try to adapt them to all my work – it is welcomed by everyone as we do not get bogged down in our day to day tasks as much.”
Ray B., Federal government employee, Manitoba

 “France, tu es vraiment une super championne du Lean.  Ta constante expertise, ta patience, ton support, ton écoute, tes interventions,  … etc. (je manque de mots) amène toute équipe sur un nuage philosophique qui a toute sa pleine dimension.  Mais ce que tu réussis à nous faire comprendre est que lorsque l’on reviens sur terre, les idées remuées peuvent être mise de l’avant, il y a de l’espoir et que toute amélioration est désormais atteignable!”
Louis M., Gestionnaire, Region de la Capitale nationale

“The team thoroughly enjoyed your session!   Totally loved the simulation.  It really made the point very clear!”
Gail W., Regional Director, Federal government

 “Your presentation on the Lean methodology was one of the event’s key attractions and you delivered a wealth of thought-provoking concepts for our delegates.
Brenda Czich, Executive Director of the Community of Federal Regulators

“France was a top notch speaker with a good room presence and an excellent presentation. She had a powerful slide deck that included links to videos that expanded on her topics. She had the full attention of the nearly 70 persons (what is likely to be a record attendance for CPSQA and CPSEN Networking Meetings) listening to what she had to say. As one of our volunteers said, “there was a great buzz in the room and almost no one drifted out early” even to fulfill workplace obligations. It was clear that everyone was fully engaged by this excellent speaker. In her presentation, France told us what Lean is and what it is not – hence the statement in the presentation title – “… it is not all about the belts”.”
NCR Chapter Networking Meeting April 16, 2015

NOTE for in-person training: *Please note that non-attendance for training workshops managed by Alpen Path Solutions Inc. does not entitle the participant to a refund or the possibility of transferring to a later workshop date. Cancellation for workshops offered in Ottawa with less than 13 days advance notice forfeits a refund or transfer; however, an alternate participant may attend instead, please advise us as soon as possible (Introduction is a prerequisite). Refunds, minus a 15% service charge, are provided upon written notification of cancellation received at least 13 days prior to a training workshop date. No refunds are issued following this date. Schedule, workshop offering and location are subject to change without notice. Workshops/Courses can be cancelled without advance notice by Alpen Path Solutions Inc. and in which case participants receive a 100% refund for registration fees. Courses followed at the CCE that were facilitated by Alpen Path Solutions Inc. will be recognized towards the Certificate in Leanand the Advanced Certificate in Lean. Once a date is booked, a team training is binding and will be fully charged unless cancelled at least 1 month in advance.

NOTE for in-person training: **Participants who were registered for upcoming courses will automatically be fully refunded for their course registration(s). Participants who had not attended their initial registration date and postponed their training for another training date are beyond the refund deadline attached to their original registration date. The latter participants are eligible, however, to attend courses pending a new course format/schedule is established. Thanks!

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