Courses and Registration

Lean Fundamentals Classroom Photo August 2016

About Lean Academy Courses

The Denver Health Lean Academy provides numerous Lean tools and systems courses to support you. More courses are scheduled to be added over time, so please come back often to stay up-to-date on their launch and new course dates. Below are course descriptions, dates and fees.


We have transformed the Denver Health Lean Academy to include new and enhanced offering! Check out our listings below for more 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. 


Full Immersion (includes LMS Lean Foundations, LMS Continuous Improvement and LMS Strategic Planning or LMS Deep Dive: Lean Leadership)

May 20-24 (w/virtual Leadership), Jul 22-26 (w/Leadership), Sep 16-20 (w/Strategy), Nov 18-22 (w/virtual Leadership)

5 days $3500 ($3800 effective June 1st)

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 LMS Strategic Planning and Deployment (the third level of the Denver Health Lean management system). The Lean Leadership course will be offered virtually for some sessions.




LMS Lean Foundations (new!) 

May 20-21, Jun 18-19, Jul 22-23, Jul 22-23, Sep 23-24, Oct 22-23, Nov 18-19

2 days, $1500 ($1650 effective June 1st)

Join LMS 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




LMS Continuous Improvement (new!) 

May 22, Jul 24, Aug 20, Sep 25, Nov 20

1 day, $750 ($825 effective June 1st)

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




LMS Deep Dive: Lean Leadership (formerly Coaching for Continuous Improvement)

May 23-24 (virtual), July 25-26 (in-person), Nov 21-22 (virtual)

2 days, $1500 ($1650 effective June 1st)

This course orients participants to foundational theory and engages learners to utilize 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. This class is held virtually for some sessions (January, May & 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




LMS Strategic Planning and Deployment

Sep 26-27

2 days, $1500 ($1650 effective June 1st)

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




Lean Site Visit for Executive/Senior Leaders

Contact us for scheduling options | 1 day, $950

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




Lean Management Systems for Senior Leaders

Jun 25 & 27, Oct 15 & 17

2 morning sessions, $950

This workshop is facilitated by Denver Health executives and 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. This course is two sessions, 3 hours the first day and 2 hours the second day, that must be attended together.

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. 




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

Contact us for scheduling options | 1 full & 2 half-day sessions, $1800

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 a day and a half 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: Gemba Walks to Operational Area, Lean Leader Panels, Q&A with Executives, Lean Journey at Denver Health Overview

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.




Classic Lean Foundations Course - University of Denver

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 System 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 monthly. 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 ( for more information.

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

Non-Denver Health staff may register through the University of Denver website at: Lean Foundations | Professional Development (



LMS Deep Dives and Workshops

Introduction to Lean Workshop, Virtual

Apr 1 1:00p-3:00p, Jun 4 10:00a-12:00p, Aug 5 1:00p-3:00p, Oct 7 1:00p-3:00p, Dec 12 1:00p-3:00p MDT

Cost: $125

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

May 8 12:30p-4:30, Aug 7 8:30a-12:30p,Oct 8 8:30a-12:30p MDT 

Cost: $250

The Problem Solving A3 is an essential Lean tool providing an effective approach to structured problem solving. This 4-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: Process Mapping Workshop, Virtual

Jul 9 9:00a-11:00a, Oct 9 1:00p-3:00p MDT

Cost: $125

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 2-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

Jun 17 1:00p-4:00p, Sep 11 9:00a-12:00p, Nov 7 9:00a-12:00p MDT

Cost: $250

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 3-hour, in-person class, you will learn the key elements of a gemba walk, engage in best practices for planning, and utilize the Coaching Kata 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: Performance Metrics, In-Person

Jun 3 12:30p-4:30p, Sep 12 8:30a-12:30p, Dec 2 12:30p-4:30p MDT

Cost: $250

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: Visual Management & 6S, In-Person

Jun 20 1:00p-3:00p, Sep 2:00p-4:00p, Nov 6 10:00a-12:00p MDT

Cost: $125

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 2 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

Jun 26 8:30a-12:30p, Sep 13 8:30a-12:30p, Nov 5 12:30p-4:30p MDT

Cost: $250

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: $250

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: $250

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 12:30p-4:30p MDT

Cost: $250

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: $250

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: $250

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)