Lean Academy

Expand your Lean knowledge and skills at the Denver Health Lean Academy


What is Lean?

Lean is a growing, universal approach to eliminating waste and improving performance across many industries. It challenges organizations to proactively illuminate problems (waste) and performance issues from the perspective of the customer, identify the underlying processes impacting performance, and commit to continually improving those processes. Lean’s core tenant of “Respect for People” implores organizations to ensure every employee contributes and commits to continuously improve the processes they work to deliver.

Denver Health was one of the first healthcare delivery organizations to successfully adopt Lean as an improvement methodology with quantified success.  Through Denver Health's Lean Academy, Denver Health shares years of accumulated learning and invites novice to expert participants from any industry to continue their Lean journey and advance their knowledge and practice Lean methods.


Certification now being offered! 

The Denver Health Lean Academy is excited to now offer three Lean Management System (LMS) certification level pathways for professional who attend our trainings! Learners can pursue a Bronze, Silver or Gold certification for demonstrating their mastery of the lean knowledge they obtained in the classroom while attending our Core courses and our intensive Deep Dives. Check out our Certification page for additional information.


NOTE: Effective June, 2024, DHLA course prices will be increasing. These price changes are necessary in order to continue to provide high-quality, effective, and valuable Lean training. Prices for participants who are enrolled (or who have a signed contract) for classes prior to June, 2024 will have their class price honored. Please contact the Denver Health Lean Academy if you have any questions. We appreciate your continued patronage and look forward to learning together. 


We've redesigned our classes to align with our new certification program! Check out the information below and join us for a Denver Health Lean Academy course!

Lean Full Immersion | 5 day training

During this 5-day interactive series, you will journey through the first two levels of the Denver Health Lean management system (LMS), from the front-line tools and practices to the leadership commitments and behaviors and problem solving that support a highly functioning LMS. The immersion will provide you with a strong foundation in Lean principles and prepare you to advance a Lean culture through leadership practices rooted in respect for people and a commitment to continuous improvement. The Thursday and Friday course will alternate between LMS Deep Dive: Lean Leadership (formerly Coaching for Continuous Improvement) and Strategic Planning and Deployment (the third level of the Denver Health Lean Management System).

LMS Deep Dive: Lean Leadership will rotate between virtual sessions (May & Nov) and in-person sessions (July).

Course offering dates: July 22-26 (Leadership), Sep 23-27 (Strategy), Nov 18-22 (Leadership-virtual)

Course cost: $3800


LMS Lean Foundations | 2 day training

Join LMS Lean Foundations to dive deeply into the foundational elements of Lean practice that will allow practitioners to establish the needed bedrock on which to build their Lean management system. This 2-day course is designed for individuals who are looking to stop "fire fighting" and start building "fire-resistant" systems inside of their day-to-day operations so they can reliably deliver to their customers and enhance their work environment while problems are small. 

Key Concepts: 6S and Visual Management, Standardized Work, Performance Metrics, Daily Management, Help Chain, Gemba Walk, Leader Standard Work

Course offering dates: Jul 22-23, Sep 22-23, Oct 22-23, Nov 18-19

Cost: $1650


LMS Continuous Improvement | 1 day training

Have you successfully established the foundations of your Lean management system? Attend LMS Continuous Improvement for an immersive experience that orients practitioners to core continuous improvement practices that improve performance using Lean methodology. This 1-day course helps individuals take the next step in their Lean management system journey to improve daily practices, tackle medium to large problems, and develop a culture of continuous improvement that empowers everyone in the organization to be a problem solver.

Key Concepts: A3 Problem Solving,  Process Mapping, Kaizen, Value Steam Mapping

Participant Tip: We strongly recommended participants take the 2-day Lean Foundations course prior to, or in combination with, Continuous Improvement. LMS Continuous Improvement builds on the principles, tools, and simulation in the 2-day Lean Foundations course.

Course offering dates: Jul 24, Aug 20, Sep 25, Nov 20

Course cost: $825


LMS Deep Dive: Lean Leadership (formerly Coaching for Continuous Improvement) | 2 day training

This course orients participants to foundational theory and engages learners to standard Lean leadership approaches.  Understand your personal behavioral preferences and maximize your strengths to be more effective in coaching your diverse team.  The skills acquired in this class will provide you with an array of coaching skills across a 5-step coaching model and set you up for success to drive and sustain continuous improvement. Sessions rotate between virtual (May) and in-person (July).

Key Concept: Coaching 5-Step Process, Questioning, Active Listening, Controlling your Mental Responses, Giving Feedback, Dealing with Difficult Behaviors, Coaching Lean Improvement

Participant Tip: It is helpful to have taken LMS Lean Foundations and LMS Continuous Improvement prior to taking Lean Leadership

Course offering dates:  Jul 25-26, Nov 21-22 (virtual)

Course costs: $1650


LMS Strategic Planning and Deployment | 2 day training

Does your organization or department have its own strategic plan? Is it aligned to your organization’s overall strategy? Designed for leaders at all levels, this highly interactive, 2-day course guides participants through the development of a Strategic Plan using simulation. Following the Lean concept of Hoshin Kanri, learners navigate a process to develop a focused plan with breakthrough ideas and shared action plans.

Key Concepts: Hoshin Kanri, cascading A3s, Lean Leadership, Lean Maturity Assessment, Obeya

Participant Tip: It is helpful to have some Lean knowledge prior to taking this course

Course offering dates: Sep 19-20

Course cost: $1650


Offerings for Executives and Senior Leaders

Lean Site Visit for Executive/Senior Leaders | 1 day

Designed for executives and senior leaders to experience the lean journey and culture at Denver Health, your site visit can be customized to include field trips to operational areas where you can observe lean in action.  Come with questions and gain valuable insights through interactive sessions with lean practitioners at the executive, management and front line level. 

Sample Agenda: Lean Leader Panels, Q & A with Executives, Overview of the Lean Journey at Denver Health, Gemba Walk to Operational Area

Course offering dates: Contact us for available dates

Course cost: $950




Lean Management Systems for Senior Leaders | 2 1/2 day sessions

This half-day, two session workshop is facilitated by Denver Health executives and senior leaders. You will be inspired and challenged as you learn about lean leadership and the importance of your role in your own self-development. This course has a pre-workshop assignment provided to you upon registration that will enhance your learning.

Key Concepts: Lean Transformation Framework, Lean Leader Behaviors, Leader Standard Work, Coaching and Mentoring, Integration of Improvement into Daily Operations, Alignment of Business to Strategy and Mission, Succession Planning. 

Course offering dates: June 25 & 27, Oct 15 & 17

Course cost: $950




Lean Executive/Senior Leader Site Visit and Lean Management Systems for Senior Leader Combination | 3 Sessions

Executives and leaders that join us for a customized Site Visit combined with the Senior Lean Leader Workshop will get the ultimate Lean learning experience.  Spend one full day and two half-day sessions with our leaders and executives and accelerate your organization’s Lean journey through an interactive experience where you get insight into Denver Health's lean culture at all levels of the organization.

Sample Agenda: Lean Leader Panels, Q&A with Executives, Lean Journey at Denver Health Overview, Gemba Walks to Operational Area (if available)

Key Concepts: Lean Transformation Framework, Lean Leader Behaviors, Leader Standard Work, Coaching and Mentoring, Integration of Improvement into Daily Operations, Alignment of Business to Strategy and Mission.

Course offering dates:  Contact us for available dates

Course cost: $1800




Classic Lean Foundations Course - University of Denver (online)

Sign up now for Classic Lean Foundations offered online in partnership with University of Denver!

Now available in a fully online format, Classic Lean Foundations can be the first step in your lean education. The course focuses on core Lean principles and tools. With a blend of 4 interactive live sessions hosted by Denver Health Lean Systems Improvement staff and self-guided modules, you will learn to put your customer first, and systematically problem solve to make your processes more efficient and effective. Your Lean foundation will empower you to improve quality, safety, and efficiency in your scope of work. Sessions are held on a monthly basis. Registration is completed for this class using the University of Denver Office of Health Informatics Professional Development Platform. If you are a Denver Health employee, looking to attend this option, please contact Denver Health Lean Academy (leanacademy@dhha.org) for more information.

Key Concepts: Lean Waste, Continuous Improvement, Daily Management, Value Stream and Process Mapping, A3 Problem Solving, Standard Work, Visual Management.

Registration non-Denver Health employees is managed through the University of Denver website at: Lean Foundations | Professional Development (du.edu)

Lean Academy LMS Deep Dives & Workshops

Introduction to Lean Workshop, Virtual

Aug 5 1:00p-3:00p, Oct 7 1:00p-3:00p Dec 12 1:00p-3:00p MDT

Cost: $200

Introduction to Lean is targeted for those new to Lean or those who have recently joined a Lean organization or team. The course allows learners to gain a basic understanding of what Lean is, how it is applied, and the value it brings to organizations. Through active learning and simulation, students learn to view their work as a process, understand who their customers are and what they value, know how to define problems, identify and quantify waste, identify high value improvements, and gain a basic understanding of the behaviors that support a Lean culture. Having a solid Lean foundation empowers students to continue their education in and application of Lean.

Key Concepts: why Lean matters, what Lean is, what are systems and processes, who are your customers and what do they value, what is waste and what are its impacts, what are problems and how to prioritize them, how to deliver continuous improvements, what Lean behaviors looks like, what practices allow Lean behaviors to thrive.




LMS Deep Dive: A3 Problem Solving Workshop, In-Person

Aug 7 8:30a-12:30p, Oct 8 8:30a-12:30p MDT 

Cost: $400

The Problem Solving A3 is an essential Lean tool providing an effective approach to structured problem solving. This four-hour, interactive, and hands-on deep dive will guide participants through the structure and methodology of the problem solving A3 and will allow participants an opportunity to practice the A3 with the support of a Lean Facilitator and their peers. This course aims to support participants in recognizing the advantage of thinking critically about a problem to ensure sustainable solutions that address root cause.

Key Concepts: Lean Principles, Problem Solving A3 tool, Problem Solving A3 Application, Problem Statements, Current State, Root Cause Analysis, Target State, Countermeasures, Experimentation, Plan Do Study Act (PDSA)




LMS Deep Dive: Performance Metrics, In-Person

Sep 12 8:30a-12:30p, Dec 2 12:30p-4:30p MDT

Cost: $400

This 4-hour, in-person course focuses on the concepts and practices of using performance data to understand and manage processes. Participants will take a closer look at the five steps involved in the effective use of performance metrics (understand the process, collect and select metrics, establish a baseline and set a target, make the metrics visible and transparent, establish a routine of reviewing the metrics and taking action) and practice skills beneficial in each step.

Key Concepts: value diamond and scorecards, leading and lagging indicators, targets and baselines, types of data, data quality, PDSA, introduction to data visualization, transparency, culture of improvement.




LMS Deep Dive: Process Mapping Workshop, Virtual

Jul 9 10:00a-12:00p, Oct 9 1:00p-3:00p MDT

Cost: $200

Process mapping, also known as flowcharting, is a technique for visually depicting the steps of a process to build shared understanding of the overall process flow. It helps clarify sequence of work, roles and responsibilities, and handoffs within a process. This two-hour virtual workshop will enable you to walk away with the ability to develop process maps to support process improvement work.

Key Concept: Process map basics including level of detail or altitude, audience, altitude, scope, as well as using process maps to support improvement work




LMS Deep Dive: Gemba Walk, In-Person

Sep 11 9:00a-12:00p, Nov 7 9:00a-12:00p MDT

Cost: $300

Gemba is a Japanese term that means real place, where the work gets done. Gemba Walks create opportunities for leaders to go where the work is done to observe actual processes, engage with workers, ask questions, and discuss continuous improvement. During this three-hour class, you will learn the key elements of a gemba walk, engage in best practice planning practices and practice coaching questions that support the activity of going to the gemba. Participants will practice leading and participating in a gemba walk.

Key Concept: Gemba Walks, Lean leader behaviors, aligning and advancing improvement work, supporting the success of organizational strategic initiatives, go see, ask why, show respect.




LMS Deep Dive: Visual Management & 6S, In-Person

Sep 9 1:00p-4:00p, Nov 6 9:00a-12:00p MDT

Cost: $300

Visual Management refers to an approach to make the current condition of processes and organizational performance readily visible and understandable to all. Visual management creates line-of-sight to the work, creates accountability, prioritizes work efforts, and helps quickly correct course when performance isn’t up to standard. 6S is a form of visual management used to organize workspaces, improve management of inventory, improve flow, and reduce waste. During this 3 hour, in-person class, you will gain the knowledge and skills to apply visual management and 6S to your work and area, including hands-on activities.

Key Concept: visual workplace, performance, prioritizing work, safety, accountability, organization, cleanliness, reduce waste




LMS Deep Dive: Obeya, In-Person

Sep 13 8:30a-12:30p, Nov 5 12:30p-4:30p MDT

Cost: $400

Obeya is a Lean tool to deploy a strategic plan in a way that is visible, accountable and adaptive.  This 4-hour, in-person Working Session is an opportunity for those looking to use an Obeya to draft, develop or refine their proposed Obeya with the input of other learners and a Lean Facilitator.  The Obeya as a concept is covered in the Strategic Planning and Deployment course, so it is recommended that participants attend that course for orientation to Obeya as this course will primarily be a working session.  Participants should have an active strategic plan that they need to deploy to bring to the working session (if not a first draft), and it is ideal for a few partners to attend to build their Obeya together.

Key Concept:  Obeya




LMS Deep Dive: Cascading A3, In-Person

Jul 11 8:30a-12:30p, Oct 10 12:30p-4:30p MDT

Cost: $400

This 4-hour, in-person course expands on the proposal A3 and cascading A3 topics covered in the Strategic Planning and Deployment course. Participants will take a closer look at thinking deeply about planning continuous improvement work, breaking large problems into smaller problems, using A3 thinking to develop people, and telling the story. Participants will practice developing cascading A3s through simulation.

Key Concept: A3 thinking, proposal A3s, cascading A3s, business cases, action plans, outcome measures, current condition, target condition,




LMS Deep Dive: Value Stream Mapping, In-Person

Oct 25 8:30a-12:30p MDT

Cost: $400

Struggling with complex systems that are difficult to fix?  Use observation and value stream mapping!  Value stream mapping can help teams better understand the big picture of how that system is functioning today for customers and how to target improvements without breaking other pieces of the system.  This 4-hour, in-person course expands on the Value Stream Mapping topic covered in the LMS Continuous Improvement course.

Key Concept:  Value Stream Mapping, Value & Value Diamond, Observation, Performance Metrics




LMS Deep Dive: Hoshin Kanri, In-Person

Nov 4 12:30-4:30p MDT

Cost: $400

Join us for this 4-hour in-person course to learn about the fundamentals of Hoshin Kanri, a key component of the Lean Management System at the enterprise activity level. In Japanese, Hoshin translated to “direction” or “compass” and Kanri to “Administration” or “Management”. Coming away from this course, participants will gain an understanding of the systematic method that organizations use to set long-term strategic direction and align its functions, activities and people to achieve goals consistently and intentionally.

Key Concept: Hoshin Kanri, Mission, Vision, Values, Cascading Goals, Catchball, X-Matrix




LMS Deep Dive: Leader Standard Work, In-Person

Dec 10 9:00a-12:00p MDT

Cost: $300

The heartbeat of any management system, come join us for an interactive session on Leader Standard Work (LSW). This 3-hour, in person class will deepen learning about what LSW is, allow for practicing of the skills and the creation of a personal LSW for each participant when they leave class to practice with. What gets reviewed gets done! 

Key Concept:  Leader Standard Work, visual controls, management of daily work, improvement work, gemba walks, behaviors of leaders




LMS Deep Dive: Daily Management & Help Chain, In-Person

Dec 11 8:30a-12:30p MDT

Cost: $400

This 4-hour, in-person course expands on the daily management and help chain topics covered in the LMS Lean Foundations course. Daily management is a system that helps translate business goals into successfully maintained, monitored, and improved daily activities. Participants will simulate using daily management and help chains as well as create a plan for applying the system and tools in their real-world jobs.

Key Concepts: Daily management as a system and philosophy, daily management board elements (business expectation, performance tracking, problem-solving); help chain system and philosophy; help chain elements (problem definition, signaling, assessment and diagnosis, problem-solving)




Customized Lean Coaching and Education

Interested in customizing Lean coaching and education for yourself or your organization?  Please contact us to learn more about cost and availability.  Phone: 855-888-5326 Email: leanacademy@dhha.org.

Connect with the DH Lean Academy on LinkedIn

q1:ClientUser does not have access rights to database 'hlt'