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The California Lean Academy

About The Lean Academy

What is Lean?

LEAN is a continuous improvement methodology based on five key principles to eliminate waste and increase value designed to improve processes and quality from the point of view of the customer.  Lean, refined over decades in the manufacturing and service sectors, offers a simple but highly effective system that can be implemented in all areas of an organization using the expertise of the organization’s own employees. Read our Lean Fact Sheet here.
  • Purpose

    Using existing resources, develop a Lean Academy which provides a standard, consistent and department-transferable approach for training and certification in continuous improvement methodologies.

    • A Lean orientation session to expose state employees to process improvement methodologies (White Belt certification);
    • A one-week basic Lean training for students that want to gain a better understanding of Lean methodologies and tools to implement in their programs (Yellow Belt certification);
    • A menu of training offerings and pre-approved subject matter experts to guide, facilitate and build internal capacity and support for continuous improvement initiatives;
    •  The development of Lean expertise within the state workforce that will measurably drive government innovation, accountability and efficiency.
  • Problem
    While continuous improvement is essential to ensure customer value and operating efficiencies, efforts to address business process improvements have been inconsistent and typically driven through IT project management or in response to a specific problem.
  • Opportunity

    Opportunity: The growing success of other organizations, together with the formation of the GovOps Agency creates an opportunity to develop, implement and sustain a statewide Lean Academy that proactively promotes and supports:

    • Continuous improvement as a standard practice.
    • Standardization of business process improvement methodologies, training and resources;
    • Employee engagement in process improvement;
    • Creation of a change management culture that drives government innovations and efficiencies to better serve Californians.
  • Objectives and Accomplishments


    Phase 1

    By July 2016, develop and implement Lean training curriculum for White and Yellow Belt certification.

    Phase 2

    By January 2017, develop, implement and sustain a LEAN Academy that promotes and supports a change culture utilizing standard methodologies that drive government innovation and efficiencies.


    • As of December 2015, delivered seven White Belt cohorts and certified over 150 students.
    • Presented first pilot of Lean Leadership Orientation.