Micro-Experiments: Foundations for Kaizen (be agile)

Micro-experiments require new practices in the Lean workplaceThis course provides an overview of how to engage in micro-experiments in everyday work to develop an agile workforce, agile teams and an agile organization. Lean is about small incremental improvements every day, a kaizen approach to improvement. Participants learn how to manage a ‘Lab book’ of experiments, develop a hypothesis, measure the baseline of flow, perform a controlled micro-experiment at work, measure flow after experimenting and finally participants learn how to share experiments and their outcomes (success and failure).

Micro-experiments are short in span and are collaborative, including management, always with a goal to improve the flow of value to internal or external customers. The ability to experiment, to be agile in adapting to changing client needs, is a core competency in the 21st Century. Prerequisite is Introduction to Lean. The ‘Lean is Science‘ workshop is highly recommended before attending micro-experiments.

Part of the Certificate in Lean and the Advanced Certificate in Lean. We developed and have been teaching the Certificate in Lean since 2015.

Micro-Experiments Course Themes
-How to use a Lab book and ownership of a Lab book (repository for observations and data collection)
-Fundamentals of micro-experiments in everyday work
-Measuring and optimizing flow for the customer
-Making micro-experiments visible to share success and failure in a learning organization
-Developing an agile mindset to adapt to changing client needs

Prerequisite: Introduction to Lean.

+ Highly recommended, but not a mandatory prerequisite, before the Micro-Experiments course: Lean is Science: Problem Solving using a Scientific Approach

Who should attend: From front line workers to senior management, this course is designed for everyone.

NOTICE: Because of COVID-19 and due to the highly experiential and collaborative nature of our courses, all in-person courses are suspended until further notice. The health and safety of our clients is our priority. ****


Join the some 3,000+ participants from across Canada who have attended Lean workshops offered by Alpen Path Solutions since March 2015. Alpen Path Solutions created the Certificate in Lean in late summer 2015 with 4 of the Lean courses above, taught since March 2015.

France Bergeron (BTh, MSc), Lean coach at Alpen Path Solutions Inc., brings 21 years of experience and years of Lean leadership within a line department to help you live Lean in your organization. Joanne Gaudet (BSc, BA, MA), Lean coach at Alpen Path Solutions Inc., brings her expertise in science studies to the successful deployment of Lean as an applied collaborative science. Enlist empirical science in your work every day.


Why we don’t use a Lean ‘belt’ system

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 organization 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 organization, work and improvement are one and the same – to engage in work is to engage in improvement with a goal to flow more and more value to clients every single day.

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


Lean is the science of work: see work (by using visual tools/management to see flow and what disrupts flow of value to clients 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 clients to make flow faster, easier and cheaper).

*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 to Leanis 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 Lean and the Advanced Certificate in Lean Once a date is booked for team training, the training is binding and will be fully charged unless cancelled with at least 1 month notice.

****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!

Comments are closed.