Earn a Professional Certificate in Lean Enterprise, and gain practical knowledge that can be immediately applied to your work place. During this 12-week program, you and your project team will implement Lean concepts to your business, improving quality while decreasing costs. Whether you work in service, transactional activities, or manufacturing processes, your organization will benefit from the experience of our seasoned instructors.

Estimated Cost
Min. Completion Time
3 Months
Course Format
In Person

The Lean philosophy is a strategy for achieving significant improvement in performance through elimination of waste in the total business process.

The SDSU Lean Enterprise program will introduce you to the Lean philosophy by incorporating learning tools that include simulations, exercises, lectures, assignments, and a project.

Throughout the program, you will work in project teams applying the Lean concepts to your work place. A unique added value of SDSU’s Lean Enterprise program includes site tours of San Diego companies to see how local companies are applying Lean principles. Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a certificate of completion.

Who Should Attend

  • All organizational levels planning and/or implementing a Lean initiative, including directors, managers, supervisors, leads, and hands-on line staff
  • Professionals from medical device, health care, finance, fabricated metal, machining, plastics, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, electronics, construction, and computer industries
  • Government and military contractors
  • Personnel from operations, finance, human resources, production, inventory control, new product development, manufacturing, quality engineering, and supplier management

Workplace Benefits

  • Improve quality while decreasing costs
  • Reduce inventory and remove waste
  • Develop a closer relationship with your customers
  • Execute projects that show quick ROI
  • Learn strategic business need with tactical "how to"

The SDSU Advantage

  • Free Lean mentoring sessions
  • Nationally recognized team of dynamic, experienced instructors
  • Lean administrative component
  • See Lean in action - company tours
  • Parking is included with tuition and adjacent to the classroom
  • All course material, tours, breakfast snacks and lunch on full-days are included


Labor Analysis
Operations Manager — Nationwide

Job Postings
Last 12 months

Projected Growth
Over 10 years

Salary Range


For more information, or to bring all or part of this program to your organization email lean.ces@sdsu.edu or call (619) 594-5489.


2019 Spring2019 Summer2019 Fall
LM 0001 Lean Enterprise Certificate Program

Lean Enterprise Certificate Topics include:
Lean Basics and Simulation
Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) and A3
Value Stream Mapping – Current and Future State*
Change Management
Facilities Layout
Cellular Flow
Standard Work
Kaizen Events
Administrative Lean
Visual Workplace and 5S
Quick Changeover
Mistake Proofing
Creating a Sustainable Lean Culture
Metrics and Incentives*
Equipment Management*
Team Project Presentations

* With Tours

Course Date(s)

Lean Enterprise Topic Descriptions

Lean Basics and Simulation
Lean principles, tools, and application. Interactive simulation teaches how to implement Lean principles in your operation, achieving rapid and dramatic results.

Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) and A3
The PDCA/A3 workshop shows with examples and simulations, this crucial technique heavily enforced by Toyota and top Lean organizations: How to think in an A3 format, how to solve a problem by addressing its root cause.

Value Stream Mapping - Current and Future State (with tour)
Map value streams and develop current state and future state maps of your organization.

Facilities Layout/Cellular Flow
Systematic team-based approach to designing and implementing cells, thereby increasing productivity, reducing inventory, and decreasing costs.

Change Management
Manage change through effective communication.

Kaizen Events
This focused, team approach gets fast measurable results, decreases resistance to change, and makes use of employees’ intelligence and creativity.

Strategic Continuous Improvement/Standard Work
Make Lean a part of any organization. Study Lean strategy, project selection, and implementation used by successful companies. Sustain a long-term focus on continuous improvement.

Visual Workplace and 5S
5S system results in less waste, better space utilization, higher productivity, improved morale, and a safer environment.

Metrics and Incentives (with tour)
Identify incentives that drive the outcomes desired in a Lean operation.

Quick Changeover/Mistake Proofing
Change the long “set-up” from hours to minutes. Create a mistake-proof environment, not errors.

Administrative Lean
Eliminate waste in sales, order entry, new product design, inventory control/management, purchasing, invoicing, scheduling, production control, and accounting.

Equipment Management (with tour)
Total productive maintenance in the Lean facility, including equipment design and automation issues.

Creating a Sustainable Lean Culture
The effectiveness of a Lean implementation depends on the ability to develop the underlying culture of Lean thinking to support continuous growth and improvement. This workshop explores the foundations of Toyota’s unique culture and helps you understand your role in supporting the transition from conventional to Lean culture.

Team Project Presentations
Teams formed at the beginning of the semester will present results of their own Lean improvements. Projects will be evaluated to meet experience requirements.


Student Success Stories

The interaction with the other businesses along with course materials, exercises, and projects was absolutely fantastic. ... Our business is not profit based and has limited resources, so the only way to better serve our customer is to improve the timeliness, quality, and capacity of our services. The tools and techniques provided in the course for removing non-value added steps from procedures and tapping the potential of every employee to improve their processes allows for the organization to do just that. One of our metrics is ‘Reliable Promises’ which is basically on-time delivery. The only way to keep a promise is to understand your processes and create one that has a predictable outcome. With Lean, you not only create these predictable processes, you put into place a method to continually improve them by empowering the employees to own those processes. An example since completing the course: we coordinated a Five S event to better organize one of the shops and create better flow in the workspace. When we kicked it off, we implemented a Daily Kaizen feedback system for improvement ideas. The event was very successful and the shop is much better organized, which reduced the time significantly in completing the remanufacturing of their product. What was more amazing was the ideas that poured in and the buy-in from the employees to take their ideas and run with them. With space they freed up, they installed a second test machine, effectively doubling the capacity.

— Richard Thomas, Production Controller, Engine Product Family, SWRMC 930

Before I took this class, I expected to learn how Lean principles applied to manufacturing processes. A key takeaway for me was that these principles can be applied to administrative processes, which was very beneficial. We’re moving away from department silos and looking at a more holistic approach to how we drive our business.

— Patrick Meade, Materials Planning Manager, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf

SDSU’s Lean Enterprise program has afforded me the opportunity to learn and grow in my administrative role in health care. Lean can be easily applied to all areas creating a more cohesive workforce focused on process flow and resulting in improved efficiencies and increased customer and employee satisfaction.

— Joann Sulfuro, Regulatory Compliance Coordinator, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group

SDSU’s Lean Enterprise program provides the optimal blend of classroom learning from seasoned professionals, with hands-on exposure to organizations successfully employing Lean. This training, coupled with the experience of completing a Lean project during the course, not only allows graduates to understand the basics of Lean, but provides the knowledge to apply them, and champion Lean at the enterprise level.

— Captain Kevin P. Gannon, CAPT SWRMC 100, former commander, Southwest Regional Maintenance Center


The Instructors

Joseph V. Colarusso, president of JVC Consulting Inc., has specialized in Lean enterprise consulting since 1996. He has implemented Lean transformations in more than 50 companies, resulting in more than $500 million in client-documented savings. He is a co-founder and program advisor for the Lean Enterprise program at SDSU, and speaker at the American Society for Quality (ASQ) meetings. A former investment banker at Goldman Sachs, Colarusso holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina, a B.S. in computer science, and is a CPA.

Kevin Limbach began his career in the printing industry, and over the past 20 years has held various positions in the golf equipment industry, most recently as V.P. of Operations, Americas at TaylorMade Golf. He’s an active practitioner and proponent of Lean thinking, and serves on the advisory board of the SDSU Lean Enterprise program. He’s a graduate of George Mason University, and holds professional coaching certifications from the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara and the International Coach Federation. Limbach also serves on the advisory board for the Global Supply Chain Management Department at Cal State University San Marcos, and the board of directors at Feeding America San Diego.

Sammy Obara learned and implemented the Toyota Production System (TPS) at Toyota facilities in Japan, Brazil, Venezuela, and the United States. He has taught Lean to a multitude of consulting firms, educational organizations such as Harvard and Stanford, and in humanitarian missions through Asia and Africa. With more than 30 years of Lean experience, he has helped more than 350 companies. These include TPS projects in environments ranging from schools, to hospitals, to military and many others and in a variety of countries, including China, Mexico, Canada, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan, Austria, the U.K., and the U.S. Holding a master’s degree in technology management, he also is a faculty member with the Lean Enterprise Institute and SDSU. He is a guest lecturer on Lean for post-graduate classes at Stanford University, USC, and Loyola Marymount University. Obara is the co-author of the book Toyota by Toyota and several Lean articles published internationally.

Tracy O’Rourke is a Master Black Belt with more than 15 years of success helping organizations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the State of Washington, Cisco, DC Shoes, GE, and Motorola to build their problem-solving muscles and use Lean and Six Sigma to reach their goals. An accomplished facilitator, trainer and presenter, O’Rourke has trained more than 1,000 people, mentored 300+ people, and has helped complete 300+ projects with resulting savings that range from $50,000-$8 million. Her facilitation expertise runs the gamut, from leadership retreats with top executives, to Process Walks, Kaizen Events, and project team meetings. O’Rourke holds a B.A. in English literature from San Francisco State University, an MBA from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University, and is a graduate of the SDSU Lean Enterprise certificate program.

Mike Osterling has more than 30 years of operational leadership experience, including 15 years focused on Lean Transformations. He spent 18 years at Square D Company/Schneider Electric in materials, manufacturing, and Lean leadership roles. He is the principal at Osterling Consulting Inc., is a certified trainer for Lean Manufacturing Implementation (University of Kentucky), is CPIM certified, and is a Six Sigma Black Belt. Osterling has a B.S. in production and operations management, and an MBA in international business from SDSU. He has authored two books: The Kaizen Event Planner: Achieving Rapid Improvement in Office, Service and Technical Environments; and Value Stream Mapping: How to Visualize Work and Align Leadership for Organizational Transformation.

Jerry Wright began his Lean journey with Kimberly-Clark Corporation in 1987, where he learned world-class manufacturing methods and gained expertise in 5S, Quick Changeover, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and Value-Added Manufacturing. Wright joined leading medical-device maker DJO Global in 1997 and held leadership positions in quality, engineering and operations. While the director of operations at DJO, his site was awarded IndustryWeek Top Ten Best Plant, The Shingo Prize, and the AME Manufacturing Excellence Award. Wright is CEO and president of LEANwRIGHT Inc., a Lean consulting and management services company.


Professional Certificate in Lean Enterprise Advisory Board

  • Joe Colarusso JVC Consulting
  • Jeff Foster San Diego Zoo Global
  • James Grant Kaiser Permanente
  • Kevin Limbach TaylorMade-Adidas Golf
  • Sammy Obara Honsha Associates
  • Michael O’Neill CareFusion
  • Mike Osterling Osterling & Associates
  • John Robinson Southwest Region Maintenance Center (SWRMC)
  • Michael Samudio Rudolph and Sletten
  • David Umstot Umstot Project & Facilities Solutions


SDSU Research Foundation Program