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Lean First Program

Lean First Training & Certification Levels:

  1. Lean Daily Improvement Facilitator
  2. Lean Practitioner
  3. Advanced Lean Practitioner
  4. Lean Leader


Lean First

Lean healthcare is the application of “lean” ideas in healthcare facilities and health-related organizations to minimize waste in every process, procedure, and task through an ongoing system of improvement.

Lean First training and certification courses are offered in a variety of formats: onsite, remote delivery and through PHA Direct, an online platform for instruction, coaching and community building. Through this platform, all learners have access to CONNECT Community of Practice, an online community of practice devoted to excellence in healthcare. Lean First courses are offered on a cohort basis (remote delivery) for the general public or on a cohort basis to a specific organization or hospital system (remote delivery or onsite). Whether the training is for a single hospital or multiple organizations, cohorts are limited to 12 participants each. Contact Jack Fenton for information about training and certification.

1. Lean Daily Improvement (LDI) Facilitator

The Lean Daily Improvement (LDI) Facilitator possesses the basic knowledge, skills and confidence to effect change using proven lean methodologies, and understands how to make small but meaningful daily adjustments while work is being done, and sustaining the gains (holding metrics) that have been made through other change efforts. LDI builds a team-based, continuous improvement habit at the point of service. Workers from the front line to the back office ― and the administrators and clinicians in between ― use LDI tools such as the team huddle, counter measures, and a visual management board to keep improvements on track as work is being done.

The training will teach learners to define an application or problem to solve; choose a key performance metric; collect and display data visually; run team huddles to get to root causes; assign corrective actions; and keep the process moving. Training can be completed onsite in a two-day classroom format; over a series of live webinars; or through our an LDI Course online through PHA Direct. The last option features a series of 10 modules with digital badges.

2. Lean Practitioner

The Lean Practitioner (LP) plans, delivers and facilitates-to-closure Kaizen and Rapid Improvement Events (RIEs). Each LP learning cohort has a maximum enrollment of 12 participants. For professionals who have already demonstrated an understanding of introductory lean tools and concepts, and want to advance skills, see Lean Practitioner Accelerator. Four days of classroom-based training start participants off developing the competencies of lean practitioners. The focus is on learning facilitation rather than training delivery. Participants engage in active learning including journaling and learn-by-doing. The four-day curriculum is structured around PHA’s RIE A3 problem-solving process.

LP Certification Requirements & Performance of Top-level Competencies

3. Advanced Lean Practitioner

The Advanced Lean Practitioner (ALP) plans and facilitates Value Stream Analysis (VSA) events, and works to deploy advanced solutions such as Kanban and lean service cells. In this Lean First course, the learner will take on broader responsibilities, including Value Stream Management and the facilitation of complex Rapid Improvement Events (RIEs) to ensure that successful solutions spread across the organization. Four days of flipped-classroom-based training that will start participants off developing the competencies of advanced lean practitioners.  The focus is on learning how to prepare for, deliver and facilitate a four-day value stream analysis event.  Participants engage in active learning, including learning-by-doing and journaling. The four-day curriculum is s structured around PHA's VSA A3 problem-solving process. The Lean Practitioner course is a prerequisite for the ALP course.

ALP Certification Requirements & Performance of Top-level Competencies

4. Lean Leader

Lean Leaders (LL) play a fundamental role in using lean to move key operational, clinical and financial metrics and build a continuous improvement culture. This course offers customized programs for: 

  • Executive Lean Leaders or those in charge of the overall lean transformation for the organization. 
  • Assigned Lean Leaders or those appointed as executive sponsors, value stream owners, value stream improvement team members and improvement event owners. 
  • Emergent Lean Leaders or all other managers, leaders and selected staff in the organization responsible for coaching front line workers to solve problems in new ways, rounding in support of continuous improvement efforts and modeling key skills and behaviors of a lean culture. 


Jack Fenton


Assistant Director, Lean Services


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