Central Coast Lean

Past Workshops

Our most recent Central Coast Lean Workshop

Mon, 14Aug

Lean-Driven Innovation Workshop

Although lean has found widespread application in manufacturing and services, there have been very few sustained implementations in R&D and even less in the innovation creation process. Lean start-up thinking has energized the area of computer applications but the manufacturing innovation lacks behind.

The resistance to lean and innovation is unfortunate: the benefits of applying lean principles to innovation or R&D even at the fuzzy front end of the innovation cycle, can be much higher than what has been accomplished in traditional applications, such as manufacturing and services. Benefits include higher agility, more successful new products, better delivery and much higher speed to market.

This workshop focuses on the following subjects:

  • Why innovation is important in all industries, services and processes
  • The lean principles that take an idea to a successful product
  • Examples and case studies of successful implementations
  • How to engage the people in the transformation

The workshop is hands on and uses many exercises and simulations to explain concepts like:

  • Quick learning cycles (agile, scrum)
  • Minimum viable products
  • Fail fast and often to succeed quickly

Other subjects can be explored based on the interest of the class.

Norbert Majerus – Lean Champion – Book Author and Shingo Prize Winner
Office: 330 796 2318



Date: June 20-21, 2017

Lean Accounting for the Lean Enterprise Workshop

Location: SLO HotHouse downtown San Luis Obispo, CA


  • Two day intensive lean learning course.
  • Learn why accounting and operations must become allies for a successful lean journey.
  • Operation’s professionals achieve great gains on the production floor but are surprised when there is little evidence of improved operating results. Manufacturing must understand why improving flow, reducing inventory, improving customer service and creating capacity will potentially lower earnings. Manufacturing must be able to explain this, in advance, so accounting is not surprised when quarterly results are prepared.
  • Accounting and manufacturing must work together to develop new metrics and “plain English” financial reporting. This class will illustrate the changes required based on 30 years of leading such changes.

Course Leader – Jerry Solomon

Jerry has over 35 years of experience in a variety of industries where he has held the CFO & VP of Operations positions. He led Lean transformations achieving dramatic improvements in inventory turns, lead-times, customer service, income and cash flow. He has authored 3 Lean books, two of which won the prestigious Shingo Award: Who’s Counting? and Accounting for World Class Operations as well as Leading Lean. He was the Maryland Lean Leader of the Year in 2013.  He is a founding thought leader in Lean Accounting and has been teaching Lean Accounting for the last decade. Jerry is both a Shingo Prize Research and AME examiner as well as a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

Key Learnings

  • Why shop floor improvements will likely be invisible to accounting
  • Why current metrics will not illustrate Lean improvements
  • What manufacturing practitioners can do to create an alliance with accounting
  • Why your company’s cost system likely promotes non-Lean behavior
  • How to value inventory in a Lean environment
  • How to calculate costs without a standard cost system
  • How to construct “plain English” profit & loss statements that all associates can truly understand
  • How Lean tools eliminate waste and transactions in accounting and free up accountants to be strategists and consultants to the value streams

Class Overview

Open 7:30am — 8am-5pm each day

Who Should Attend

This course will benefit all areas of a company, as the entire team needs to understand the scorecard of the business and how to motivate Lean behavior.  While accounting professionals will gain a great deal, it is strongly encouraged that manufacturing, product development and continuous improvement associates come as a team in order to build a plan going forward that makes sense for the entire company, both the providers of information and the critical uses of that information.

  • Presidents
  • Plant Managers
  • CFO’s
  • Mfg. Engineers
  • Controllers
  • CI Professionals
  • VP’s & Directors of Finance,
  • Product Dev. Engineers
  • Operations & Supply Chain
  • HR Leaders

Books by Jerry Solomon


Friday, 6Nov15, 10am-3pm

New to Lean


  • Associates to Senior Management
  • No prior knowledge of lean required
  • Additionally, experienced lean folks who what to organize their knowledge into a principle based approach and share that knowledge with others. Lean is an open source paradigm and approach that invites sharing, collaboration, and learning.

Instructor:  Eric Olsen
, PhD – Director of Central Coast Lean, Professor and Chair of Industrial Technology and Packaging at Cal Poly.

Bio      Dr. Olsen teaches undergraduate and master’s courses in lean thinking, six sigma, and operations management.  Dr. Olsen had over 20 years of industry experience in engineering and manufacturing management … [more]

Workshop Description:

This workshop is for participants that are “new to lean,” or who have only had informal exposure to lean thinking.

Lean thinking is a principled and practical approach that maintains or increases customer value while improving processes and operational effectiveness by involving everyone in problem solving.

This compact, 5-hour workshop provides an introduction to the background, concepts, key tools, and approaches necessary to getting you or your organization started on its lean journey.  It is designed to address lean thinking across industries and management levels.  Lean is not just for manufacturing anymore.  Healthcare, service, retail, government, finance, and education are but a few of the industries that have jumped on the lean bandwagon.  If you think your industry is not doing lean, you are behind the curve.

In this workshop, we will go beyond the tools to focus on the underlying principles of quality management and continuous improvement that drive lean thinking.  We will cover cultural enablers, continuous improvement, enterprise alignment, and results (Shingo Model) in a classic Cal Poly “learn by doing” approach that provides practical and pragmatic learning.  The custom nature of the workshop, and the expertise of the instructor, will let you get your questions answered in the context of your workplace challenges.

Participants will learn the requirements for starting and sustaining an effective lean approach to their job and workplace.  You will also learn enough about the history and jargon of lean to be knowledgeable consumers of additional lean training, education, and approaches.  You will see why more and more companies have lean programs in place and how lean can benefit your workplace with:

  • Lower total costs
  • Better quality products and service
  • Shorter order fulfillment lead times
  • Lower raw material, work in process, and finished goods inventory
  • A more engaged workforce
  • And more satisfied customers.

Although it is impossible to teach you all you will need to know to be successful, you will walk away with an understanding and appreciation for lean thinking.  You will have a basic foundation to build on and get properly started on your lean journey.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn what lean is.
  2. Understand the key principles and paradigms that drive lean success.
  3. Become familiar with key tools and approaches that support a lean implementation.
  4. Learn about the history of lean and it’s relationship to other improvement paradigms.
  5. See how lean can be integrated into your organization and affect a lean transformation.
  6. Learn how to get started.

Title: Lean InBox Simulation Workshop


Facilitator: Lori Serna, Cal Poly – University Payroll Manager


Lori Serna has spent the last 10 years at Cal Poly in the Administration and Finance Division implementing systems and processes with projects ranging from document management and workflow to campus-wide employee self-service. Her unique in-the-trenches perspective demonstrates how anyone can start their Lean journey, even in a highly bureaucratic and administrative environment.

Workshop Description:

An increasing number of corporate training programs are transitioning to a ‘blended learning’ model for Lean Six Sigma training that combines online materials with in-class practice to allow students to apply the learning to realistic situations. The InBox Workshop is an immersive interactive practice experience that mirrors real workplace situations. Participants practice applying Lean concepts, use tools and make decisions in a risk free environment. The learning curve is shortened. Particularly unique about the InBox simulation is the transactional nature of the work. This hands-on simulation is targeted towards people who work in office environments where the work is often “invisible” and the waste is harder to see.

During the InBox simulation, each participant assumes a role within the work stream where they will have a chance to practice a variety of Lean tools and techniques, including VOC, Process Mapping, waste identification, bottleneck resolution, takt time analysis, work balancing, and standardized work.   After the first run, participants will collaborate in an instructor facilitated group to create a process map, identify waste and design improvements to the process. Improvements will be incorporated into revised work instructions, which are then ‘tested’ with a new run of the simulation to determine whether the change improved the process.

This workshop focuses on how participants can use the InBox simulation to gain firsthand experience applying the Lean concepts and tools mentioned above (and more!) to transactional processes frequently seen in the back-office. Time will be available throughout the session to discuss how to use the simulation to build capability and better decision-making skills in the workforce.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how the eight lean wastes apply to an office process.
  2. Learn the basics of applying continuous improvement (i.e. plan-do-check-adjust) in transactional work.
  3. Learn and practice the application of lean tools and concepts including voice of the customer, process mapping, bottleneck resolution, takt time analysis, work balancing, and standardized work in a transactional environment.
  4. Relate learning back to similar environments back in your own organization.

April 17th 2015: The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures

KMcCandlessFacilitator:  Keith McCandless, MA, is a founding partner of the Social Invention Group and co-creator of Liberating Structures. He specializes in organizational development, complexity science, and business strategy.

View Presentation Slides (.PDF)



Liberate Yourself and A Culture of Innovation

Now making waves around the U.S. and around the world, Liberating Structures (LS) offers an innovative approach that is swiftly changing how we work, lead, and create together. It provides methods to transform meetings, decision-making, and leadership into an evolutionary model for collective intelligence and growth.  Developed by Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless, the LS offers 33 simple ways to address some of the most challenging aspects of working in groups and organizations.

In this workshop, we learn and apply the methods to:

  • Safely take more riskselephant
  • Liberate your group from unnecessary meetings
  • Develop strategy without excluding people
  • Ensure great ideas have a chance to leave the drawing board
  • Avoiding after-the-fact efforts to sell your ideas with buy-in strategies
  • How to stop separating the deciders from the doers
  • Eliminating counter-productive behaviors to make space for innovation
  • Address challenges from your experience (bring examples)

LS is not only for leaders and change professionals, but also for every person in an organization, business, school or community to use for everyday solutions, projects and strategic planning.  You will be surprised how quickly you can liberate and unleash full potential and creativity in groups of any size.

For more information, go to

Wondering what can be liberated in your work? In this roll up your sleeves immersion workshop we will cover the following territory:

  • Developing strategy without excluding people because it slows you down
  • Avoiding after-the-fact efforts to sell your ideas with buy-in strategies
  • How to stop separating the deciders from the doers
  • Eliminating counter-productive behaviors to make space for innovation
  • Finding alternatives to forcing top-down “best practices” initiatives
  • Bootstrapping a culture of innovation through LS
  • Challenges directly from your own experience

Videos & Info:

24Oct2014: Practical Problem Solving: Fundamentals of A3 Thinking




  • Full day of training and learn-by-doing on lean A3 problem solving methodology.
  • Facilitated by our friends from Simpler
  • Learn to apply the nine-box A3 format.
  • Attendance is capped at 36 participants (8 per organization max).
  • Participate in one of 5-6 teams that will work on a variety of actual problems brought to the workshop by participants.

Workshop Facilitators  

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy © 2014 Simpler Consulting, L.P.  – (Retain the logo and copyright label when using the slides.)




Kaizen Events


Lean Six Sigma