Lean Applied to Business Processes

Global Supply Chain

Looking for Custom Solutions?

Courses can be conducted onsite at your organization or modified to suit your organization’s needs. We offer custom solutions in aerospace and defense, global supply chain management, healthcare and strategic leadership. Contact our industry representatives for more information.

Course Offerings

Lean Applied to Business Processes

Course Description


This program is designed for leaders and process improvement practitioners at any level—in short, anyone who is interested in bottom-line improvements. It applies to those supporting operations in a manufacturing or MRO environment, but is also a foundational course for leaders in administrative or knowledge-based businesses of all kinds, including professional services, education, healthcare, and government.


Lean Applied to Business Processes is designed to help you achieve a significant increase in capacity by identifying and eliminating waste in your business processes.

Long, bureaucratic administrative processes are frequently the main constraint to the revenue or mission of most organizations. Even though the lean methodology has made a tremendous difference for manufacturing operations in the last few decades, it is often applied only to the shop floor. Without addressing the same issues in the administrative functions that support the shop, gains will ultimately be limited or unsustainable.

But by adapting the tools traditionally used to identify and eliminate waste in manufacturing and applying them to administrative functions (management, customer service, sales and marketing, engineering, invoicing/accounts receivable, purchasing/acquisition, product development, IT, human resources, etc.), you can substantially reduce waste and improve productivity in your organization. These gains are achievable in a broad range of industries outside manufacturing, because they can be used anywhere knowledge or information is being transferred.

This five-day program, taught by lean practitioner Bill Peterson, will teach you to reduce the time and effort needed to execute business processes by 30% to 80%, increasing throughput and making your organization more effective and more competitive in the global marketplace.

You’ll learn concepts through lectures, see them demonstrated in simulations and business cases, and absorb them by participating in hands-on class exercises. As you move through the course, you’ll create an action plan that will help you apply all concepts taught to your own organization.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to visualize your process so that you can streamline it (you’ll learn about strategic alignment, SIPOC, value stream mapping, the Theory of Constraints, and other key visualization tools)

  • How to analyze the root cause of waste in your process (the 8 Wastes, the 5 Whys)

  • How to apply lean countermeasures (visual management, standard work, the 5 S’s, eliminating multitasking)

  • How to implement an action plan and create a feedback loop for positive change

You’ll return to your organization with your action plan, enabling you to begin your custom improvement process immediately; once you’ve completed a specified project as part of that plan, you’ll earn a Lean Green Belt at no additional charge.

Duration & Dates

September 23 - September 27, 2024

One week (4.5 days)
Please contact us for more information.

William (Bill) Peterson
Email: wpeterso@utk.edu


This course is offered as an open enrollment course on the UT campus or as a custom course at your preferred location.


Cost includes most meals, single-room hotel lodging, on-campus transportation, materials/simulations and professional education credits, where applicable.