Principles of Lean

Validate Your Expertise by Earning a Lean Certificate and Digital Badge

Do you want to increase customer satisfaction, improve quality, raise productivity and make operations run smoother in your organization?

The online certificate in the Principles of Lean will prepare you to become a Lean practitioner capable of recognizing and eliminating wasteful practices that can slow down production and decrease morale.

What You'll Learn

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Gain the knowledge to simplify your procedures and identify what does and does not add value to a process. You will be taught how to:

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  • Interpret the purpose and applicability of core Lean tools and methods
  • Define and describe the five principles of Lean
  • Recognize the eight types of waste
  • Complete a value stream map
  • Apply an A3 form to a real-world process
  • Determine customer needs and requirements

Program Expectations 

The six-week program will introduce you to essential Lean tools and concepts and teach you how to apply them to make quick and impactful improvements. Upon your successful completion of the Principles of Lean certificate program, you will be able to:

  • Define the principles and philosophy of Lean
  • Describe the value stream mapping technique
  • Plan and participate in a Kaizen event
  • Identify the eight types of waste in a process
  • Spot value vs. non-value-added activities


Let's Get Started

Complete the form below to get started.

Questions? Call 469-619-9940

Program Details

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Program Duration

6 weeks

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Start Date

May 6

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Program Format


Mondays (biweekly)

6:30 - 7:30 p.m. CT

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Continuing Education Units (CEUs)


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Professional Development Units (PDUs)


Who should enroll?

This program is designed for working professionals across all industries and roles who want to improve operational performance by eliminating and preventing defects and waste in products, processes and services.

There are no prerequisite requirements to register for the Principles of Lean Certificate program.

SMU alumni are eligible for a 10% tuition reduction.


Why SMU?

  • SMU Continuing and Professional Education has offered noncredit learning programs since 1953.
  • SMU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
  • Lean Six Sigma programs are taught by industry practitioners who have at least a Black Belt certification designation.
  • Live, instructor-led, virtual Principles of Lean class sessions are held for one hour every other week.
  • Students who successfully complete the program will be issued a digital Principles of Lean badge and certificate through Credly.
Instructor Sal Cvorak

Instructor Spotlight: Slavisa "Sal" Cvorak

Sal Cvorak is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Certified Kaizen instructor who has led or participated in more than 100 Lean Six Sigma projects. Over the course of his career, he has applied Lean Six Sigma methods to reduce costs, increase process efficiencies and enhance customer satisfaction for large and medium sized companies in the technology and manufacturing sectors.


Program Content Summary

Week 1: Lean Six Sigma Introduction

  • Lean Six Sigma Benefits
  • Lean Six Sigma Roles and Responsibilities
  • Lean Glossary
  • DMAIC Process
  • A3 Form Introduction

Week 2: Lean Principles

  • The Five Principles of Lean
  • Lean Principle 1: Value
  • Lean Principle 2: Value Stream
  • Lean Principle 3: Flow
  • Lean Principle 4: Pull
  • Lean Principle 5: Perfection

Week 3: Waste and the Value Stream

  • The Eight Types of Waste
  • Waste Walks
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Getting Started on the Value Stream Map
  • Creating a Value Stream Map

Week 4: Lean Methods

  • Identifying Root Causes
  • Lean Pull: Basic and Advanced
  • Lean Flow: Basic and Advanced
  • Spaghetti Mapping
  • Visual Workplace
  • Calculating Takt Time and Applying it to the A3 Form

Week 5: Lean Improvement

  • Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
  • Five Steps of OEE
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Mistake Proofing
  • Rapid Change
  • Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)

Week 6: Kaizen

  • 7S Concepts
  • Kaizen Events
  • Types of Kaizen Events
  • Becoming a Kaizen Event Facilitator
  • Kaizen Event Preparation
  • The Five-Day Kaizen Event
SMU Principles of Lean Badge

Earn a Digital Badge

Complete your certificate and earn a digital badge to add to your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Ready to Get Started?

Get in touch with a student success representative for more information!