• Lean Office and Service

See Your Business Processes Through the Customer's Eyes

Service operations account for over sixty percent of the cost of meeting customer demand. 

Streamlining your office and administrative processes using Lean concepts, tools, and thinking will help you improve quality, reduce lead time, and serve more customers without adding resources. This five-day certificate program presents a structured way to understand how your organization delivers value and will help you establish business processes based on flow rather than function.

Through lectures, case studies, and hands-on simulations, our expert faculty prepares you to take these tools and techniques back to your workplace so you can begin implementing Lean and transforming your operations. By week's end, you will be ready to identify, prioritize, and leverage your organization's improvement opportunities—all with the customer in mind.


Learning Outcomes

  • Identify what you need to do better in your services to support your strategy
  • Understand how to improve the efficiency of your office/service processes
  • Create an action plan for your Lean improvement initiative
  • Translate your Lean efforts into financial terms
  • Learn easy hands-on tools that anyone can implement in an office/service setting

Program Overview

Each day encompasses a set of objectives that enable participants to understand and appreciate the application of Lean thinking throughout the enterprise. The course relies heavily on examples of non-production Lean applications and will focus on a train-do methodology via a case study that will thread throughout the course. Each day builds on the use of additional tools and information necessary to plan and implement Lean in your office and service areas.


 Overview of Lean Office

  • History of lean
  • Linking lean efforts to strategy
  • Key firm performance indicators and their relationship to lean
  • Lean principles
  • Class exercise in lean
  • DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) and lean

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) in a Business Administrative Environment

  • Overview of mapping
  • Hierarchy of process discovery
  • SIPOC (suppliers, inputs, process, outputs, customers), Swimlane, VSM and Process Maps and when/where to use them
  • Establishing service families
  • Scoping the mapping effort
  • Components of a VSM
  • Developing the current state map
  • Current state mapping example
  • Current state case study
  • Class exercise
  • Group breakout exercise

Waste Exercise

  • System waste
  • Process waste

Value Stream Mapping in a Lean Office

  • Developing the future state
  • Implementation planning
  • Lean project scoping case study
  • Future state case study
  • Class exercise
  • Group breakout exercise

Action Planning

  • Class exercise
  • Group breakout exercise

Lean Office and Service Tools Workshop and Simulation

  • Lean tools for the office
  • Standardized work
  • Quality at the source
  • Workplace organization
  • People involvement
  • Visual controls and management
  • Batch reduction or elimination
  • Poka Yoke
  • Cellular teaming concepts
  • Pull systems
  • Equipment reliability
  • Levelling, management time frame, and takt image
  • Lean office simulation

Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma DMAIC

  • Six Sigma overview
  • Stabilization and optimization
  • Six Sigma DMAIC methodology and tools
  • Lean Sigma bridge
  • Operationalizing Six Sigma

Operation Metrics: Aligning with Financial Reporting

  • What should be measured?
  • Linking process metrics to financial metrics
  • How to use data you already have
  • Aligning incentives for a lean office
  • Understanding and eliminating sources of variability and waste in an office environment

Program Faculty

Faculty from the U-M Ross School of Business and industry team up to deliver this experiential course focused on Lean office and business process improvement. Our instructors have years of industry experience coaching and training Lean implementations.

Izak Duenyas
Izak Duenyas
Donald C. Cook Professor, Ross School of Business
Faculty Director, Executive MBA Program
Professor, Industrial & Operations Engineering
Don Lynch
Don Lynch
Instructor, Nexus

Materials and Resources

Lean Office - Textbook

Resource Book

Provided in Course 

In addition to course slides and case studies, The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Administrative and Office Professionals is provided as part of the course. This textbook offers a step-by-step approach to applying Lean initiatives to the administrative and office environment.


Lean Office - PPT slides

Presentation Slides

Free Download 

Course instructor Dr. Izak Duenyas illustrates key process improvement concepts, including value stream maps, process maps, and swimlane diagrams.

Download PDF