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Now open for December: Lean 101!

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Our half-day intro training was previously only available by client request -- now we're opening it to everyone.


Back in San Francisco, nothing we did was more popular than Lean 101, our half-day crash course in lean problem-solving. Lean 101 has been taught dozens of times to over 1,000 public servants, continuously improved along the way. The result is a fun, fulfilling, jam-packed four hours, the perfect way for individuals to get their feet wet in process improvement or for teams to build a shared language for change.


"Lean 101 was the best value for training we have ever received."

Lean 101 follows the basic structure of the lean cycle: We walk trainees through how to define and measure a problem they want to change, teach a set of current state analysis tools (process maps, fishbone diagrams, five why's), and teach our most impactful tools for improvement (standard work and visual management). The course ends with simple tools for prioritizing innovations.


At PPI, we design all our training to be imminently practical, with a consistent focus on implementation. Lean 101 trainees are asked at the start of the training to reflect on a problem in their work; at the end of the training, we charge them to make one small change in their daily work. Innovations from prior Lean 101 trainees have included:

  • Organizing benefit enrollment forms into packets, saving time for eligibility workers and applicants

  • Bringing workshop storage out into the open, leading to more organized supplies and faster maintenance response

  • Developing clear standard instructions for teams

Goodbye PowerPoint, hello online whiteboards!


For years, we resisted putting our training online: We designed the whole training to get people out of their chairs, walking around, interacting, building things. So many sticky notes! How could we possibly replicate that experience virtually?


Then the pandemic happened.


When we were forced to take our own medicine and innovate ourselves, we got creative and found new ways of fostering engaging facilitation online. We took our training entirely out of the old PowerPoints and moved everything into a collaborative online whiteboarding platform.


The result? Turns out, we can still create the same level of creative, participative training, full of collaborative exercises and building out the tools -- but now we can engage remote teams and build classes from clients located anywhere. And there's still sticky notes, people!


Let's go!


If you're interested in learning more about how to move the needle on intractable problems in your agency -- or even if you're just looking for a fun and practical way to build your professional development plan this year -- come join us for an open enrollment Lean 101! If you get the improvement bug, you can also join us for our next Lean Leaders cohort.



If you're a leader looking to engage your team or figure out if this improvement work could be a good fit for your organization, let's talk. We'd be happy to set up a dedicated Lean 101 training for your team, with group pricing.



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