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Optima offers custom training and proven programs for effective learning.



You know what you want to achieve conceptually but need to learn how to make it ‘real.’ Optima makes it real through interactive, hands-on workshops and seminars that include:

  • Training that is customized to each client, industry and situation
  • Classes led by knowledgeable, experienced instructors ‘who have lived it, done it, and grown it’
  • Hands on simulations and exercises
  • Breakout groups and discussion
  • Go to the Gemba (whenever possible)
  • Group brainstorming

Choose the site of your choice

  • Onsite at your business where the learning experience can be real, practical and hands-on
  • Off-site at Optima or another location of your preference


Executive Lean Overview

Optima’s Executive Lean Overview and Certificate program is specially designed for senior Executives and Leaders regardless of where they are on the Lean journey. There is a direct relationship between organizations whose leaders have undergone Lean training and their ability to succeed in implementing transformational change through Lean. As a result, this program focuses on developing the skills required to strategize, lead, direct and manage Lean activities.

The program is designed for those who have greater responsibility for deploying Lean and managing Lean initiatives. The key focus is on corporate-wide topics such as strategy, people development, organizational problem solving, and leadership.

Designed to be flexible and agile, we custom build the course for busy managers and executives. This allows for maximum flexibility for those with time constraints. Programs range from one to five-day sessions, although most are only one to two days in length.

Lean Sales and Marketing and Lean as a Growth Strategy

Lean is often mistaken as a manufacturing-only initiative. Sometimes it is only seen as a cost cutting or workforce reduction tool. Often it is considered a purely operational process just for those “manufacturing people”. In reality, Lean is focused on Value Creation; it is strategic and a growth strategy. A real Lean organization focuses on what is needed to create value (from the customer’s point of view. From a Sales and Marketing perspective, this requires a clear and profound understanding of how our customers view -and perceive – value.

In this workshop you will examine how traditional sales and marketing practices are filled with “muda” that not only waste resources but even worse, block attempts to become a Lean enterprise.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide an introduction to the culture, processes and techniques required to support a Lean system. During this workshop we will demonstrate the methods of Lean Sales and Marketing that can be readily introduced to create a truly Lean management system. People attending the workshop will also develop an approach for introducing Lean thinking into their own sales and marketing teams.

Lean Principles Overview and 8 Wastes

This workshop is specifically designed to provide the fundamentals of continuous improvement and Lean. It answers the question, "What specific steps/actions do I take to begin implementing?" Our training focuses on actual applications, not just concepts, in plain language with the case studies, worksheets, formulas, and methodologies you need. Through simulation and other hands-on activities you learn step-by-step methodologies for implementing and making the transition from siloed process optimization to seeing the value stream and focusing on how to optimize the flow of value. You will learn the 8 wastes and develop understanding of how to get to the root cause of those wastes and the strategies and tools to eliminate them.

Lean Problem Solving Methodology

Provides a roadmap on how to solve most of the problems your organization faces. In this workshop, we will demonstrate the use of the A3 as a problem-solving tool. This workshop will introduce you to how this tool is used, and will discuss the framework required to develop and sustain problem solvers.

Facilitation Skills

A workshop for those who will be leading Lean teams and continuous improvement initiatives within the organization to promote the continuous improvement culture. These are the individuals who will be conducting and facilitating Lean events and who are in a position to coach, mentor and develop team members. This workshop will enhance a participant’s knowledge of: the integration of the Lean toolbox, organizational leadership, and culture.


3P Lean 3P (Production Preparation Process)

An event-driven process for developing a new product or process – product/service and process are considered together to develop overall better outcomes. 3P is a game-changer that results in better products that require less initial capital investment and lower ongoing costs. It includes all facets of the organization including R&D, Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Process, manufacturing, Maintenance, Safety, etc.

Typically, Lean had been largely relegated to fixing existing problems in our manufacturing plants. 3P takes Lean principles upstream into the new product development arena, and applies them liberally at the point in the process where they can have the most influence on both product and operation. Enormous advantages are created by deeply understanding customer needs and developing alternative designs that will create breakthrough benefits. Time is no longer spent trying to fix “baked-in” problems.

New products and new operations require many functional groups working together, but traditional development is typically a series of successive sub-optimizations and hand-offs. Time pressure and a passion to quickly reach a design decision squashes innovation.

Our Lean 3P training brings stakeholders together and sequentially takes them through a process where products are developed alongside of the manufacturing operations. We teach how the process works and how to execute an effective 3P program.


A method to create workplace organization through the principles, systems, and tools of a visual and orderly management and process standards. 5S engages people through the use of 'Standards' and ‘Discipline' to help create a high performing environment. It is not just about housekeeping or cleanliness for cleanliness sake, but concentrating on maintaining the standards & discipline to manage the organization effectively. It is achieved by upholding & showing respect for the Gemba [workplace] every day. 5S helps us understand abnormal conditions so we can proactively address the situation before it truly becomes a problem. Our 55 training contains hand-on simulations and goes to the Gemba wherever possible. The culture, discipline and systems required to sustain 5S are covered in detail.

A3 Thinking

Applies to Directors, Leaders, and Coordinators of Continuous Improvement, Lean, and/or Six Sigma. Anyone who works on projects, initiatives, or programs that needs to be communicated in a one-page summary. An ideal opportunity to train new managers and empower your workforce. Problem solving fails when problems are approached in a superficial manner, rather than a planned, structured manner. A3 provides structure. The A3 concept involves using A3-sized paper (11” x 17”) to graphically depict the problem-solving process. Developed at Toyota as part of their Lean implementation, it is a powerful tool to encourage people to focus their thinking. It helps clarify links between problems, root causes, and solutions.

Cellular Manufacturing

Addresses process cells, compares traditional processing layouts with cells, and defines how cells accelerate your organization’s waste reduction goals. You will get exposure to the tools, thought processes, and support systems required to design and implement one-piece flow (including calculating takt time and standardizing work practices). Product selection and grouping for your first work cell is also discussed. Finally, cell layout techniques are included to ensure layout viability in the proposed cell site.

Flow, Pull and Takt

Using flow, you will reduce lead times, operating costs, and improve quality. Your customers will see better, more consistent service. Your team and operators will work at a steadier pace in a safer, more ergonomically designed environment.

The participants will be taught by hands-on training methods how to use various techniques to create flow/pull. These include Takt, work balancing, machine balancing, cell layouts, work organization, standardization of work, and implementation strategies.

Hoshin Kanri/Strategy Deployment

Provides key leadership considerations and behaviors in developing high performing leadership teams, driving growth and delivering outstanding results, based on Lean business principles. The presentation features the use of Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment) to help drive and implement the strategy and key business metrics.


Covers how to conduct a Kaizen event – from preparation for the event through follow-up on the improvement activities. Special consideration is given to the roles of Team Facilitator and Team Leader in the process. Facilitation skills are learned.

Kanban Training

Addresses how to develop and implement visual signals to enhance material flow inside your organization. Proper pull system design will simultaneously minimize inventory, while providing a materials management process that all employees can interpret and understand at a glance. Discussion topics will include how to use Kanban when pull is not possible. Covers Kanban types, material requirements and calculations.

Managing for Daily Improvement

Applies to Managers, Area Leads, and Leadership Team Members, in Production, Customer Service, Purchasing, Scheduling, and Marketing. Anyone who works or who is interested in more engagement and empowering people with the ultimate aim of organizational excellence. Learn how to help generate a team environment with a focus on what is important and getting key performance results within a few months. Along with demonstrating how management can connect to real world problems, learn how to create a management system for your environment that focuses on what is important to your people.

Mistake Proofing

Addresses the need to prevent defects from occurring as a strategy to achieve customer satisfaction. This module also provides you with a complete understanding of what mistake proofing is, how it is used as an improvement strategy, and how to analyze a problem for mistake proofing potential. You will understand how a mistake-proofing solution is evaluated to ensure the problem it is addressing will not return.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a measure comparing how well manufacturing equipment is performing compared to the ideal state. In other words, OEE takes an holistic view of all losses that impact on equipment performance: not being available when needed; not running at the ideal rate and not producing first pass quality product. The resulting measurement is expressed as the ratio of the actual output of the equipment divided by the maximum possible output of the equipment under ideal conditions. OEE is calculated by multiplying three independently measured values: Availability, Performance Rate, and Quality Rate.

The workshop presents theory and examples as well as practical exercises to demonstrate practical application.

Problem Solving Methodologies

Presents an eight-step process covering basic problem-solving tools with a critical element – application of the tools. You will gain an understanding of the appropriate application and effective use of each tool. In addition, the tools will be practiced using real examples that you provide. Application of group decision-making (brainstorming, multi-voting and consensus) to identify and analyze problems will also be incorporated.

Quick Changeover/ Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)

SMED is a systematic approach to reducing machine set-up and change over times. Originally devised by Shigeo Shingo of Toyota Motor Company in the early 1950’s, this lean technique can dramatically shorten set-up time from hours to minutes.

Set-up time is the elapsed time from completion of the last part of the previous job until the first part of the next job is made at normal efficiency.

One of the best visual examples of this technique in action can be seen in NASCAR Racing via the ‘pit stop routine’, which takes only a few seconds. Imagine what you could achieve if you could utilize the same methodology in your workplace to drive reduced changeover or set-up times.

This course utilizes actual video footage of machine set-up processes to demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique. A SMED simulation is also used as part of the workshop to demonstrate the improvements this lean tool can make to a set up process. This course is a must for all Production Managers, Supervisors and Engineers, set-up operators who utilize automated plant and machinery.

Standard Work

Standardized work is one of the most powerful but least used lean tools. By documenting the current best practice (highest quality, fastest, safest, and cheapest), standardized work forms the baseline for kaizen or continuous improvement. As the standard is improved, the new standard becomes the baseline for further improvements, and so on. Improving standardized work is a never-ending process.

Basically, standardized work consists of three elements:

  1. Takt time, which is the rate at which products must be made in a process to meet customer demand. The precise work sequence in which an operator performs tasks within takt time.
  2. The standard inventory, including units in machines, required keeping the process operating smoothly.
  3. Establishing standardized work relies on collecting and recording data on a few forms. These forms are used by engineers and front-line supervisors to design the process and by operators to make improvements in their own jobs. In this workshop, you'll learn how to use these forms and why it will be difficult to make your lean implementations "stick" without standardized work.

Toyota Kata

Presents a better way to lead, manage, and develop people, to drive continuous improvement and results. Focusing on influencing how everyone in the organization thinks, acts, and reacts is the foundation of Kata (meaning pattern or form, translated literally from the Japanese as “way of doing things”).

Training Within Industry (JI, JR, JM)

Workshops are designed to deliver new and essential skills to organizational leaders, supervisors, trainers, or area leads who are responsible for getting results through people. These workshops focus on the skills required to improve and document methods, train employees effectively and to mentor employees to improve processes on their own. Based on TWI and its “J” programs (Job Methods, Job Relations, and Job Instruction) and on the principles of Toyota Kata, these skills can help your business processes stabilize, improve, and thrive. We will review each “J” program, and examine how they support and complement one another. You will also learn to effectively coach (coaching kata) others in the improvement kata and assure that we devote enough time by developing Leader Standard Work.

Total Productive Maintenance

Applies to associates at any level in the organization. This seminar begins with education of the major methods of maintaining equipment for reliability. Practical exercises and examples give you the foundation for starting TPM in your organization. Tools to measure the effectiveness of the process are provided and practices. With operator involvement as the foundation, the plant-wide role changes required to support TPM are established as the starting point on the journey to zero unplanned downtime.

Value Stream Mapping
(Manufacturing and Administrative)

Enables you to understand and analyze your processes to uncover waste and its inefficiency. This powerful and visual Lean tool graphically identifies every step in a process flow, giving visibility to both the value-adding and non-value-adding steps. Our process is the key to implementing Lean. We strive to help you align with your key business objectives, defining priorities and resources such that the most pressing issues are addressed first to ensure creation of the annuity effect.

Visual Management / Visual Factory

The Visual Factory Workshop is designed for the organization implementing Lean Enterprise principles for the first time or for the company that has Lean elements in place, but is looking to take their process to the next level to drive continual improvement. The workshop covers the step-by-step basic process of the visual factory for a high performance environment.

During this interactive Workshop visual systems and tools will be reviewed to sustain process improvement, communication goals, attack waste/defects and solve problems. In addition tools and techniques for providing management and value stream associates real time status reporting will be reviewed. Workshop participants will go to the Gemba to see the visual factory in motion. We will focus on how to create a work environment that is self-explaining, self-ordering, self-regulating and self-improving.

Six Sigma

World-class training that imparts hands-on awareness so you can apply the problem-identification and problem-solving techniques in any business process or product. This course includes project mentoring and coaching and actual participation for REAL results.

- Six Sigma Black Belt
- Six Sigma Green Belt
- Design for Six Sigma


Hoshin Kanri (Strategy Development)
by Ed Miller

Provides key leadership considerations and behaviors in developing high performing leadership teams, driving growth and delivering outstanding results, based on Lean business principles. The presentation features the use of Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment) to help drive and implement the strategy and key business metrics.

Mastering Lean Product Development
with Ron Mascitelli

Provides a step-by-step methodology for integrating the powerful waste-eliminating tools of lean product development into any product development process. This material is presented as a practical overview with enough detail to help attendees identify critical improvements they should pursue, and provide the first steps they should take to achieve their lean goals.

Lean Culture
with Mike Hoseus

Explores the unique culture of Toyota:
What is it – How to get it – How to keep it.
The program is intended to demonstrate how connecting and simultaneously developing the “Product” and the “People” Value Streams helps accelerate your lean implementation by setting a foundation for a sustainable lean culture.

Own the Gap
by Bryan Crowell

Based on the collective experience and work of Mike Martyn and Bryan Crowell, we expose many of the conventional myths of leading a Lean transformation and explores the intersection between strategy, improvements, and results. It explores what an integrated Lean Management System actually looks like and how to move your organization past theory to practical application.

Lean Accounting
by Jerry Solomon

Addresses how accounting and manufacturing personnel must develop a partnership to successfully achieve world-class results.

Lean Sales and Marketing
by Ed Miller

Explores how Lean marketing and selling strategies and practices can have significant differentiation and growth opportunities offering strong competitive advantages.


Lean Office Simulation
5S and Visual Management

5S can be a foundation for a robust Lean program and a starting point in creating a visual factory. This is not merely developing an organized facility, but it is also a system to make visual queues “speak to” the worker. This simulation covers the principles of 5S and visual management through classroom training and the application of the technique through an engaging simulation.

View upcoming Workshops & Seminars

Continuous Improvement
Breakfast Series

Our Breakfast Series consist of 2-hour learning sessions that focus on developing skills in leadership, team member management, process improvement and customer service.

View upcoming Breakfast Series Workshops