Lean Bronze Portfolio - Effort Estimate and Approach Ideas


I am now looking to commence lean tactical projects as part of the portfolio process.


In doing so, I have been asked by my line manager how much time I would need (rough estimate) would suffice to complete a tactical project to assess whether I can be given time from my regular job (business analyst) to do 3 projects.


Also if my employer was unwilling to provide time to complete these projects at work, would you have have any experience/advice in approaching other organisations (either private/not for profit) to complete the three projects?

Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I suspect others may also have been in a similar situation.




2 Replies

Hi Jeff,

Thanks so much for your reply.


One aspect that I really admire and respect about the Lean community, is that people are willing to impart and share their journey with others starting on this pathway, to which I also commend you for taking the time to respond despite the many other demands on your time.


It would seem then that maybe circa 50 days would be the rough effort to get through end to end a kaizen project, would it not which would equate to me needing about a year to get through 1 project excluding any personal time I expend which could expedite completion?


I am sure the first project may be a little clunky but thereafter through learning, the process would become more efficient as one iterates post learning.


Thanks once again for your time, Jeff. Hope you and your family keep well in these challenging times.





Jeff Fuchs
3 Posts

Congratulations on your efforts to pursue your Lean Bronze Certification!

The portfolio projects are designed around a team-based kaizen event model.  Therefore, anything you look to as a template for a classical kaizen event should get you in the ballpark.  The model of a five-day event is commonly seen, but larger projects, or projects conducted over longer spans of time, are not uncommon.  It really depends on the nature of the problem and the approach.  Preparation might take a month, on and off, and follow up and sustainment might take about that much time, as well.  These are general estimates, of course.

If you look at the portfolio questions, you maximize your score when you are able to describe how you led others on the team, and how you otherwise played a significant role in the project, from problem identification, to scoping, selecting team members, leading activities, and contributing both project management and technical lean skills.  Your projects should also, individually and together, demonstrate your technical knowledge, skill competence and capability range: A series of three projects that all involved 5S would be a poor demonstration.

As a consultant for over two decades, I have not had a "home" organization in which to work, and that has led me to use some creative approaches to ply my craft in pursuit of my Lean Bronze, Silver, and Gold Certifications.  I have done some pro bono work for companies and given them a deal to solve a problem they had, only charging them for expenses.  I helped introduce lean to my old high school district, and done a lot of work with non-profit organizations in my area.  Look for someone in need.  If you can find an overlap between their needs and a suitable scope and target for a demonstration of your lean capabilities, you have found a good candidate.  Doing something to support an organization whose cause you believe in is one of the most rewarding things I have done with my lean skills.  You may never be the same person again!

I hope this helps.  Best wishes in your personal lean journey!


Jeff Fuchs

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