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Lean C3 for Operational Excellence (C3-Opex)

Integrating process efficiencies with strategy, voice of the customer, and project success.       ​

Summary for Lean C3 for Operational Excellence

Lean C3 for Operational Excellence enables you to get fast, eye-popping results from any process improvement efforts.  It provides a new paradigm, recognizing that most waste is rooted in knowledge-intensive work and requires new tools.  Lean C3 represents a dramatic departure from traditional Lean, which adopts a bias for process improvement at the personal job level within a manufacturing environment. This Lean C3 for Operational Excellence (C3-Opex) workshop addresses major opportunities often missed by tradition, such as how to:

  • Improve speed, simplicity, cost, and yield (done right first time) by at least 50%
  • Quickly determine which of numerous processes should be the focus of 1st improvement
  • Apply state-of-the-art Lean to the knowledge work performed by every function and level
  • Collaboratively impact cross-functional process performance
  • Align processes with both enterprise strategic objectives and customer experience
  • Deploy process work to support customer-centered culture (C3) practices
  • Use new tools to cut process mapping and analysis time by > 75% beyond the norm
  • Organize transformation projects to avoid scope creep and produce outstanding results
  • Remove customer-experienced waste such as waiting, hidden costs, support needs

This fast-paced, interactive, and application-oriented workshop uses your own work examples to demonstrate eye-popping improvement potential. The new tools you will use are designed expressly for the knowledge-intensive current age and available nowhere else.  You will see cases from other practitioners who eliminated, simplified, and accelerated process performance for savings of millions of dollars within just a few months.

Process excellence focus has been the dominant approach to organizational improvement for over a century. No matter how sophisticated the tools used, process excellence mapping of work is part of the effort. Practitioners using conventional methods encounter several problems solved by Lean C3 for Operational Excellence (C3-Opex):

  • Mapping of activity is notoriously labor intensive and, when completed, the root cause of poor performance is often elusive or ambiguous. By changing what is mapped and measured, about 90% of the effort can be eliminated while clearly isolating what to improve.
  • Improvement is heavily concerned with producer-centered, internal processes. The result can achieve one-sided success, never experienced by customers.
  • Numerical improvement objectives are anemic, with 20-30% considered acceptable. The method you will see shows how 80% cycle time reduction- as customers experience it- is routinely achieved.
  • Manufacturing-based process improvement is often complex and of limited value in a knowledge-intensive work context. See how to simplify, eliminate, and innovate.

It is of questionable value to pursue any reduction of waste (of time, activity, cost, resources, poor quality) that does not clearly advance both strategic enterprise objectives and customer-desired outcomes.  Yet traditional Lean often does exactly that.  The aim of Lean C3 for Operational Excellence (C3-Opex) is to make your efforts so highly productive and impactful that you and your practitioner colleagues exceed your leadership’s expectations. The logical flow of course content supports that, starting with focus on the strategic context of the enterprise and the related experiences of customers. You will leave this workshop with new insights, a clear roadmap to deploy, and new tools you can immediately apply.

We welcome you to learn how to do what others believe is impossible.

Lean C3 for Operational Excellence Training Takeaways

  • Mastering Excellence: A Leader’s Guide to Aligning Strategy, Culture, Customer Experience and Measures of Success, by Robin Lawton (2017)
  • 8 Dimensions of Excellence Framework
  • New Lean C3 Tools for mapping, analyzing and improving any process
  • The Strategy Map for connecting strategy to daily work, applicable to everyone
  • A Voice of the Customer method that is easy, powerful and unique

Lean C3 for Operational Excellence Training Learning Objectives

By attending Lean C3 for Operational Excellence, you will learn how to:

  • Establish the strategic context for all process improvement
  • Eliminate waste and inefficiencies within and across functional groups by > 50%
  • Decrease expenses by improving yield and reducing cycle time by >80%
  • Map and analyze process performance relevant for knowledge-intensive, manufacturing, and customer application
  • Strengthen the four areas of performance most measurement systems miss
  • Determine who “the customer” really is in every context and why it matters
  • Inject excising initiatives with strong customer bias, strengthening what you do well
  • Use new tools to achieve speed, simplicity, and success
  • Organize process improvement teams to avoid scope creep while getting top results


Lean C3 for Operational Excellence (C3-Opex) Training Outline

1. The 8 Dimensions of Excellence framework

  • Self-assessment: your strengths on customer knowledge, strategy and improvement
  • Separating and prioritizing process, product and outcome expectations
  • Aligning strategy, process, measures, customer values, behavior: roadmap & steps
  • How to advance your current initiative(s) such as Lean Six Sigma, ISO 9001, new product design, and other approaches
  • Vital Lies: constraints on excellence

2. Redefining Knowledge and Work as Product

  • Four key questions that advance traditional management of operational excellence
  • How to define “service” and knowledge work as measurable products
  • Connecting strategic direction to daily operational excellence, relevant to everyone
  • Identifying the “root cause” of failure and success: A $20 million case study

3. Creating the Lean C3 Process

  • Distinguishing and aligning the producer’s and customer’s processes
  • Rethinking process as a flow of products versus activities
  • The 5 faces of waste
  • The new way to map processes without needless minutiae
  • 6 tactics for reducing process time consumption
  • How to cut process time and complexity by 90%
  • The minimum six measures to know and report on every target process
  • Evaluating product from the prism of efficiency and waste

4. Lean C3 Project Management for Optimum Impact

  • The top 10 reasons projects fail
  • The C3 criteria enabling you to prioritize which process(es) to address now
  • Keys that have produced almost 100% project success over twenty years
  • Cases that illustrate Lean application and huge results in a variety of contexts

5. Laser Focus on the Customer (including employee customers)

  • Unambiguously determining who “the customer” is in every context
  • Differentiating the three roles a customer can play, and why it matters
  • Enhancing success by empowering the right customers
  • What we should learn from Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, others

6. Integrating The Voice-of-Customer, Innovation and Great Design

  • Ten reasons surveys fail and how to improve success
  • The “word formula” questions that always uncover what customers want
  • How to separate and balance the 12 critically different customer voices
  • Convergent versus divergent thinking: Why GE never made candles
  • Innovation and design thinking to drive WOW!

7. Connecting the Dots and Taking Action

  • Deployment with high potential, high readiness, high visibility
  • Heroes, not martyrs


Lean C3 for Operational Excellence Training Intended Audience

C3 for Operational Excellence is intended for a diverse audience, including members of the C-suite, change leaders, initiative champions and individual contributors responsible for conceiving and executing top-flight performance improvement and innovation.  Employees from the line to leadership positions will benefit, including those from internal disciplines including quality management, human resources, IT, customer service, productions, marketing, and supply management.

The length of the session determines the depth of material covered and the amount of hands-on application time.

  • Live in-house workshops (customized to the client’s special objectives and circumstances):  1 to 4 days
  • Public workshops:  1/2 to 3 days
  • Executive seminars and dinner lectures:  90-120 minutes
  • Interactive webinars:  2-4 hours

Excellent! [You] challenged me to make a mind shift to apply the customer-centered thinking in my work. The emphasis on creative divergent thinking may be the key to our success in the next 10 years.


Steve McAlexander

Assistant Vice President, American Honda Motor Company