Lean IT Leadership

Duration :
  • In-House: 3 Days
  • Self-Paced Online: 12 Months
Formats Offered:
Self-Paced Online

Public Web-Based

  • Live Classroom
  • Web-Based
  • Live Classroom
  • Web-Based
Exam Provider:

If you are new to Lean, click here to read a brief introduction.

What is Lean leadership? It’s a specific leadership model focused on cultural transformation that enables people to identify and deal with quality issues at the source or where work happens. The model teaches leaders about the importance of three core principles: Go see, ask why, and show respect.

Lean leadership seeks to improve business and customer value through increased engagement and accountability. Lean IT leadership provides IT leaders with a principle-based methodology – specifically, the Lean Leadership Development model – to develop their organizations into one that has a lean thinking mindset by modeling, driving, and teaching continuous improvement. Lean IT is underpinned by principles that expedite an increase in the reliable and predictable delivery of services, as well as the development of superior IT products and services.

Lean IT leadership is different from traditional hierarchical or command-and-control models. It focuses on leadership principles that are critical to enabling an organization with the agility to quickly and effectively advance service and process improvement opportunities. The established Lean IT leader serves as both a role model and a teacher – or sensei – to their organization. Lean IT leaders help transform their corporate culture by demonstrating their ability to walk their talk by committing to their own self-development and guiding others in the organization do the same.

Quote from a Raving Fan:

“I have been able to immediately apply things I learned in Lean Leadership in my leadership role. Very practical and valuable.”

A Lean IT leader facilitates a more efficient and productive IT organization that emphasizes customer value, better enables the delivery of business value, and improves the business’ financials. Here are just some of the benefits a certified Lean IT leader can bring to their organization:

  • Increased customer satisfaction due to:
    • Customer value being central to all decisions
    • Minimal disruptions in service
    • A faster delivery of promised capabilities
    • Receiving higher quality products and services more quickly
  • Strategic advantages:
    • Everyone in the organization will share a common purpose and goals
    • Work will be more plannable
    • Processes will be streamlined and produce fewer defects, so products and services will be delivered more quickly
    • Less resources will be required to obtain work results
    • Lead times to new capabilities will be minimized
    • Employees will become more productive and motivated
    • The workplace will become a safer place
  • Financial advantages will be realized due to:
    • Value will flow seamlessly from the beginning of the process to the end
    • Lead times will be reduced, and shorter delivery times mean not only will customers get their products faster, but the organization will also make money faster as well

The Lean IT Essentials entry-level course is the first in the Lean IT certification scheme that’s been defined by Professional Designations Corp. (PDC), and it is a mandatory requirement for taking Lean IT Kaizen and Lean IT Leadership.

This intensive three-day Lean IT Leadership course builds on the core knowledge and concepts obtained in Lean IT Essentials. It focuses on how to lead for a culture that embraces Lean and why that’s important. Participants will learn the basics of Lean leadership, the principles of Lean IT leadership, and leadership in an IT context – as well as receive guidance on the practical use of hands-on Lean tools and techniques so they can implement Lean IT in their organization. The course is interactive, participative, and will equip you to become an exemplary Lean IT leader who can inspire, enable, and empower everyone within your organization to embrace Lean IT principles and operational excellence. This can take place at any level of the organization or in any section of it.

This course is key to all IT service management courses that focus on enhancing business value and speed to market, such as Agile, and DevOps. Pink’s course stands out from others because our participants have opportunities to practice meaningful Lean IT Leadership through a series of exercises and even develop a customized strategy to bring back to their workplace so it can be transformed to Lean IT.

The course provides you with the knowledge of how and why Lean leadership is different from traditional hierarchical or command and control models. It focuses on Lean principles such as gemba (go to where the work happens) and jidoka (empowerment of the team member to ‘stop the line’) to address quality issues as soon as they are discovered. Lean leadership principles are critical to enabling an agile team, which deals quickly and effectively with service and process improvement opportunities.

Attendees will define a plan for a Lean IT transformation of their own IT organization, which includes:

  • Planning and structuring a Lean IT transformation using the five Lean IT dimensions
  • Make a change story for your own situation
  • Complete an A3 proposal for the execution of a Lean IT transformation
  • Determine which Lean tools and methods must be applied at what moment in a Lean IT transformation

During this intensive three-day course, you will gain:

  • Understanding of how to apply the key components of Lean leadership that include:
    • The Shingo model and its four guiding principles that directly impact Lean leadership – respecting every individual, leading with humility, creating a constancy of purpose, and thinking systemically
    • The key elements of systemic thinking – holistic thinking, dynamic thinking, and closed-loop thinking
    • The definition of True North values, which are the core values everyone within an organization should exemplify; its five elements are challenge, a kaizen mindset, go and see, teamwork, and respect
    • Defining the Lean style of leadership and the four aspects of the Lean Leadership Development model:
      • Commit to self-development
      • Inspire by being a role model, as well as help others to develop and achieve goals
      • Achieve continuous improvement
      • Develop and implement vision, goals, and communication – and incorporate living by your True North values through repeated learning cycles
    • The five flows of IT value as defined by Bell – external customer-focused, business partner-focused, business customer-focused, system/service-focused, and technology-focused
    • The differences between Lean leadership and Level 5 leadership
  • Comprehension of the importance of committing to self-development both personally and within the organization by:
    • Understanding and applying the key aspects of committing to self-development that include the self-development principles of shu-ha-ri, which is a Japanese martial arts concept that describes the progression of training or learning. Shu means to execute and learn exactly, ha means standardize with some improvisation, and ri means mastering the standards by focusing on deepening your skills and understanding
    • Learning and employing the four key tools that help develop Lean leaders – lead standard work, the gemba walk (going to the place where value is created), structured problem-solving, and visual management
    • Adopting the kaizen mindset of always seeking improvement
    • Accepting accountability in a Lean IT setting and leading others to do the same
    • Implementing the kata of leadership – creating a methodology of repeated, consistent practices
  • Recognition of the importance of developing others as an integral part of Lean IT leadership and help them understand and apply:
    • The Lean concept of eliminating waste, which includes mura and muri
    • The key goals of a gemba walk – support, teach, promote, and the relationship between jidoka (an environment where disturbances to the flow of work through the value streams are made visible) and a gemba walk
    • Genchi genbutsu, which means going to the gemba to observe what is happening, without judging
    • Nemawashi, which means an information process of laying the foundation for a decision, change, or project
    • T-type leadership, which is a combination of a deep understanding of a technical area, supplemented by a broad knowledge of leadership and IT service delivery
    • The five whys method for identifying the root cause of a problem
  • Understanding of how to use hoshin kanri, which is a cyclic method for translating strategy to operations
  • Knowledge about how a Lean IT leader must communicate the vision and goals using five tools for open and transparent communication
  • Practical knowledge of how to use the Lean A3 tool that is a proven method of identifying a problem, analyzing the data, determining the correction actions, and capturing the action plan on a single sheet of paper. This process empowers all employees to realize improvements and solve problems themselves.

For this course you are required to have successfully attained your Lean IT Essentials certificate. Upon registration, you will need to provide us with a copy of your certificate to be admitted into this course. To look at available dates for the Lean IT Essentials certification course, click here.


This course prepares participants for the examination leading to the Lean IT Leadership certificate:

  • The exam is open book, and the Lean IT Leadership official publication is allowed for reference during the exam.
  • The exam is two hours in duration and consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. Sample exams/case scenarios will be used during the course for practice. Participants are provided with an exam voucher so they can schedule the exam at their convenience on any date after their completion of the course.
  • A passing mark of 65% is required to achieve certification.
  • After completion of this course, you may apply for self-directed learning PDUs through PMI. Letter of attendance is available upon request.

You can now be recognized as a Lean IT Professional and use the new designation after your name – LITP. How do you qualify? Pass the examinations for these three certification courses that comprise the LITP certification scheme:


A Lean leader is anyone who is involved with leading or sponsoring a Lean improvement initiative at any level of the organization and within any department. This course is designed for IT practitioners interested in expanding their leadership, mentoring, and team development skills based on the Lean principles developed through the Toyota Way, and includes:

  • Managers tasked with department level improvements
  • Senior IT Leaders
  • Lean project sponsors
  • Project Managers
  • Any role responsible for leading quality and continual service improvement initiatives.

Materials for this course will only be provided as downloadable soft-copy files that can be viewed on a variety of devices. Attendees may print a hard copy of the files in whatever format best meets their needs and can use the files under the Pink Elephant Terms of Use.


Materials included with this course provide a very good overview of the concepts and principles, and adequately prepare attendees for the exam. For those seeking to expand further, we recommend the following publications and articles:

  • Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation — Steven C. Bell, Michael A. Orzen
  • Developing Lean Leaders at All Levels: A Practical Guide — Jeffrey K. Liker

You can purchase these recommended readings from the following sources:


If you would like more information on any of these options below, please call us at 1-888-273-PINK, email us at info@pinkelephant.com, or ask your questions via our convenient Chat window at the bottom-right corner of this page.

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  • Purchase a Team SPO Training Pass – purchasing your seats in bulk means volume discounts, which vary depending on how many seats you purchase at once.
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Team Training On dates convenient to you; exclusively for your team, hosted live online or at your location with our expert instructor.

Get a quote to train your team – open the Chat window below, or contact info@pinkelephant.com.


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Fees do not include applicable tax, which is payable for all events presented in Canada.

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Course Summary

Duration :
In-House: 3 Days

Self-Paced Online: 12 Months

Formats Offered:
Self-Paced Online

  • Live Classroom
  • Web-Based

Exam Provider:
Professional Designations

What is Lean Management?
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Self-Paced Online
USD 915.00