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.


We've redesigned the Denver Health Lean Academy to include new and enhanced offerings!


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 in-person sessions (January) and virtual sessions (May).

Course offering dates:

Jan 22-26 (Leadership), Mar 18-22 (Strategy)

Course cost: $3500

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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:  

Jan 22-23, Feb 20-21, Mar 18-19

Cost: $1500

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

Course offering dates: 

Jan 24, Mar 20

Course cost: $750

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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 (October & January) and in-person (March).


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: 

Jan 25-26 (in-person)

Course costs: $1500

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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:

Mar 21-22

Course cost: $1500

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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: Contact us for available dates


Course cost: $750




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: $1500



Lean Academy LMS Deep Dives

Introduction to Lean Virtual | 2 hours, Virtual

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. 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

Workshop dates: 

Jan 9 10:00a-12:00p, Apr 1 1:00p-3:00p MDT

Workshop cost: $125 

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LMS Deep Dive: Lean A3 Problem Solving | 4 hours, In-person

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)

Workshop dates:

Mar 7 8:30a-12:30p

Workshop cost: $250

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LMS Deep Dive: Lean Process Mapping | 2 hours, Virtual

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

Workshop dates: 

Feb 28 1:00p-3:00p MDT

Workshop cost: $125

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LMS Deep Dive: Gemba Walks | 4 hours, In-Person

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 four-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.

Workshop dates:

 Apr 3 12:30p-4:30p MDT

Workshop cost: $250

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LMS Deep Dive:  Daily Management and Help Chain | 4 hours, In-Person

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)


Workshop dates:


Workshop cost: $250

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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.

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