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Lean Portland

Lean Portland

By Lean Portland
Lean Portland is a volunteer group based in Portland, Oregon that offers Lean and Six Sigma consulting to nonprofit organizations. We also host learning events, free workshops, interviews, happy hours and volunteer opportunities and mentoring for other practitioners.
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E22: Lean Portland Community Consulting Process Improvements with Nonprofits - Nov Happy Hour
Join us for a share out from our volunteer consultants about what we've learned over the past 10 years.   * listening to voices of our nonprofit partners (customers)  * unexpected benefits of helping others  * building community through building relationships  * turning the continuous improvement lens on ourselves   AGENDA:   * Improvements within Lean Portland to increase the number and quality of nonprofit volunteering projects  * Reducing Administration Required to Onboard Harvest Leads with Portland Fruit Tree Project  * Improving Inventory Supply Management for Trash Cleanup Events with SOLVE   Learn more about Lean Portland at  To check out upcoming Lean Portland events, visit
November 05, 2021
E21: Applying Lean to Body Piercing with Stephanie Hill - May Happy Hour
Case Study with Stephanie Hill: Prysm Piercing Shop   As a member and volunteer for the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) and having a partner who owns a body piercing studio, Stephanie Hill had the rare opportunity to share a Lean case study with a room of 200 international body piercers at an annual APP conference. Modified for the Lean Portland Happy Hour, Stephanie will share this case study of how she worked with her partner, Rob Hill at Prysm Body Piercing in Des Moines, Iowa, to increase profit using Lean practices. While members of the Happy Hour may not own piercing shops, they will walk away with approaches that are useful in any environment.   Stephanie is the owner of Light Bulb Moment Consulting, helping businesses and nonprofits find and fix problems related to client and workforce experience, capacity constraints, and profit. She has 20 years of experience working in Continuous Improvement and has her Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma. She also has certifications in Strategic Human Resources Leadership and Agile. Stephanie is passionate about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and has facilitated courses on the topic for more than 400 people. She recently led a webinar for the Iowa Lean Consortium entitled, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Continuous Improvement Professional.” Stephanie has a master’s degree in public health from Des Moines University and a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Kenyon College.   Learn more about Lean Portland at
August 31, 2021
E20: Facilitating Process Improvement Events with Paddy O'Brien - April Happy Hour
At our April 6th Happy Hour, we are delighted to feature long-time member of Lean Portland, Sheilah "Paddy" O'Brien, who recently finished writing her latest book, “Facilitating Rapid Process Improvement Workshops (RPI), a Self-Study Guide for Lean Leaders.” This is a follow-on to her first book, “Lean for the Nonprofit, What You Don’t Know Can Cost You."   With two books under her belt, we wanted to have a conversational Happy Hour with her and ask: “What was it about our Lean culture and practice that compelled you to write these books?” We think you will find the answers will pique your interest.   We will collectively discuss, "How do I continue to learn after my initial training to Lean? What’s next to advance my improvement skills?” Also, we will discuss the nature and challenges of taking Lean into non-manufacturing environments. Paddy will briefly outline the content of her book(s), and, through a casual interview format, share her journey, insights, and lessons learned from years of experience facilitating events and applying Lean in state government and non-profits. We hope you can join us! Learn more about Lean Portland at
July 08, 2021
E19: Daily Management Systems (DMS) at Providence with Ernest Mayer - March Happy Hour
Ernest Mayer is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Project Manager at Providence Health & Services in Portland, Oregon. He explains the Daily Management System (DMS) he has helped developed with local nonprofits, and how that transitioned into a rollout across Providence. He explains that DMS is more than a set of tools and metrics, it requires a culture change that starts with managers transitioning to leaders, where they coach and mentor instead of dictate and give orders.   Connect with Ernest at Learn more about Lean Portland at
June 11, 2021
Ep 18: Creating Your Personal Flow with Lori Jorgenson (Feb 2021 Happy Hour)
Creating flow is one of the principles of Lean Thinking. At first, we apply this principle to process work flows. What might we learn if we applied this to intrapersonal flow? How might we improve quality and reduce waste as we move throughout the day?   Lori Jorgenson is a vitality coach with the Taylor Group in Portland, OR. With her background as a personal trainer and world champion outrigger canoe paddler, Lori joined the Taylor Group in 2017 with extensive experience in the realm of physical well-being. Her role as a vitality coach goes much deeper than that however, recognizing the critical role of vitality of the mind, heart, and spirit to her clients’ overall wellness.  Lean Portland is a socially-driven community built organization for both new and experienced continuous improvement professionals. Since 2015, we've been gathering for happy hour every First Tuesday since 2015!   ABOUT LORI JORGENSON   Lori Jorgenson has over 30 years of experience in the realm of physical well-being and performance. She is a world champion outrigger canoe paddler and experienced personal trainer. In her current role as a Vitality Coach, she uses a whole-person approach to lead people on a journey to their most vital life, in every domain and for every fitness level. She helps her clients stay focused on the joy that comes from a continuous improvement and excellence in their performance.   ABOUT THE TAYLOR GROUP   Since 1987, the Taylor Group has helped organizations and individuals to become true leaders: effective, successful, abundant and generous. Our client’s specific concerns define our work, which evolves in partnership with their changing needs. We assemble a custom team around each client, drawing on our practitioners’ expertise in business consulting, brand planning, executive coaching, leadership cultivation, team building, and personal development. To learn more, or to check out upcoming events visit  
May 17, 2021
Ep 17: Increasing Laptop Refurbishment by 300% at Free Geek with John Ashcraft - January Happy Hour
John Ashcraft joins our monthly Happy Hour to discuss the Lean journey he has helped lead at Free Geek (along with Amber Schmidt and the leadership team), with the help from Lean Portland. Their journey started in 2017, and at the end of 2020, they have almost tripled their output of refurbished laptops. You can watch a video of our talk at Free Geek is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Portland, Oregon with a "mission to sustainably reuse technology, enable digital access, and provide education to create a community that empowers people to realize their potential."  Learn more about Free Geek at Learn more about Lean Portland, a volunteer group who teaches Lean and Six Sigma to local nonprofits at
January 08, 2021
Ep 16: December Happy Hour about Clean Practice with Sam Pardue
At our December Happy Hour, Sam Pardue, founder of Indow in Portland, shares his work history and how he quickly transitioned his company during the pandemic using Lean methodology, called Clean Practice. Watch the full video at Learn more about Lean Portland at
December 25, 2020
Ep 15: Lean Portland History and Setting Up New Cities
Founders of the Lean Portland volunteer group talk with practitioners from Charlotte and Jacksonville to provide history of the group and recommendations for setting up their own volunteer group. Watch the video at Learn more about Lean Portland at
October 19, 2020
Ep 14: Norman "Godfather of Lean" Bodek Interview - Sept 2020 Happy Hour
Our guest for the September 2020 Happy Hour was Norman Bodek, the "Godfather of Lean" He had left the Portland area recently, and moved to Japan (was quarantined at a hotel in Tokyo at the time). You can watch this talk with the slides and video on YouTube Thanks to Maria Grzanka for facilitating and setting up the event! Learn more about Lean Portland at
October 06, 2020
Ep 13: May Happy Hour - Lean Networking Groups
We are so excited to continue our Happy Hour series in the virtual world. One of the benefits of this space is that we can invite people from outside our local area. Hear how these three organizations are "helping people make work better."   * Tracy Defoe, Cascadia Kata Dojo, Vancouver BC  * Brittany Garza, Lean Pop-Up, Salt Lake City, UT  * Brion Hurley, Lean Portland, Portland, OR   You can also listen to this on our Lean Portland podcast at
May 09, 2020
Ep 10: "Lean and Energy Efficiency" with Kjell van Zoen
Since it's inception in 2005, and According to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, Strategic Energy Management (SEM) takes a "holistic approach to managing energy use in order to continuously improve energy performance, by achieving persistent energy and cost savings over the long term. It focuses on business practice change from senior management through shop floor staff, affecting organizational culture to reduce energy waste and improve energy intensity. SEM emphasizes equipping and enabling plant management and staff to impact energy consumption through behavioral and operational change.” Join lean educator, and former lean consultant turned SEM Coach Kjell van Zoen at Energy 350's HQ. Learn how Kjell is applying his lean skills to SEM in order to further Energy 350's mission to "mine energy efficiency as a resource to displace power plants, save businesses money, and protect the environment." Video and transcript coming soon!
May 14, 2019
Ep 11: Master Brewers Association Northwest - Continuous Improvement Resources Presentation
Lean Portland was asked to present on Continuous Improvement Resources at the Master Brewers Association of America (MBAA) District Northwest Spring Meeting 2019 In the presentation, we talked about Lean concepts, 8 wastes, played the Toyota and Food Bank video, shared benefits and key points of Lean, some examples we've helped with other nonprofits, and books and training we recommend. You can watch the full video at:
May 12, 2019
Ep 9: Nonprofit Volunteering with IISE Chapters
Here is a webinar that Brion Hurley held with the IISE organization that discusses the work done with Lean Portland and other IISE chapters who are trying to teach Lean and Six Sigma to nonprofit organizations Read the transcript, download the slides and get links discussed in the presentation at:
April 21, 2019
Ep 8: "Lean Startups for Social Change" with Michel Gelobter
Are you interested in developing a plan to test out your social entrepreneurship, nonprofit or mission-driven business ideas? Don't waste valuable time, resources or money pursuing your ideas, if you find that it doesn't work for the people you are trying to serve. The Lean Startup methodology (based on Lean Manufacturing principles) seeks to eliminate wasteful practices and increase value-producing practices during the earliest phases of a company or organization, so that they can have a better chance of success, without requiring large amounts of outside funding, elaborate business plans, or a perfect product or service. It is all about agility and flexibility. Its mantra is “build, measure, learn”: create small experimental initiatives, quickly get real-world feedback on them, and use that data to expand what works and discard what doesn’t. These concepts have also been applied to dozens of social sector and nonprofit organizations, focused on reducing environmental impact, improving government services for residents, providing care to those in need, and improving educational outreach. Learn from Michel Gelobter, serial social entrepreneur and author of Lean Startups for Social Change: The Revolutionary Path to Big Impact ( The webinar is hosted by Lean Portland ( and the Portland State University Impact Entrepreneurs (
April 10, 2019
Ep 7: Lean Principles for the Building Reuse Industry (BMRA)
Matt Horvat and Brion Hurley, along with Kelly Stevens from The Rebuilding Center, were asked to give a webinar to the Building Material Reuse Association (BMRA) members about Lean principles and our experiences working with reuse nonprofit organizations. Slides can be downloaded as a PDF here Links BMRA The Rebuilding Center Lean Portland Read the full transcript 
April 02, 2019
Ep 6: Is Certification Right for Me? with Nicole Sisco from PSU CEPE
Is 'certification' right for me? Whether you're talking about Lean, Six Sigma, Lean Sigma, PMI, APICS, Prosci or countless other certification programs, how do you decide which one is right for you or whether you need it at all? Nicole Sisco from PSU Center for Executive and Professional Education will be on hand to talk about CEPE's certificate programs and answer questions. Team members from Lean Portland will facilitate a short brainstorming activity, followed by the usual networking and nerding out.  Watch the video of this podcast at:
January 28, 2019
Ep 5: Lean Brain Thinking with Brock Husby
About the presentation Left brain thinking. Right brain thinking. How do our brain functions impact our Lean practices? Continuous improvement implies continuous change. How do our ingrained habits influence our actions? There is an increasing awareness and incorporation of psychology and neuroscience in business and leadership reading; how and which of these concepts have you integrated into your Lean practice?  You can watch the video of the presentation at: Brock Husby, PH.D., P.E. Brock is a process improvement Leader with primary areas of focus on Lean applied to Finance, Agile/IT/Software Development, Product Development, Healthcare, and Manufacturing, as well other applications. Brock is a Licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.), Certified Scrum Master (CSM)/Lean coach/Lean Product Developer, consultant, author (Productivity Press, Inc. & IISE), instructor (IISE, ELSS, UTSA), speaker and researcher. He has co-authored two books on Lean through Productivity Press: “Lean Daily Management for Healthcare Field Book” and “Hoshin Kanri for Healthcare: Toyota-Style Long-Term Thinking and Strategy Deployment to Unlock Your Organization’s True Potential”. He is currently a Senior Lean Coach with Standard Insurance, leading the Lean transformation in IT/Software Development. He was a Process Assurance Engineer/Corrective Actions Engineer for the Space Shuttle Program at the Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral, FL) and a Technical Assistant at Car and Driver Magazine. He was an Associate Vice President (AVP) at Baylor Scott & White Health, where he was an integral part of the deployment of a holistic Lean approach throughout the 13-hospital, 13,000 employee system. A case study from my Ph.D. Dissertation (based on his consulting work) was recently featured in Prof. Jeff Liker’s new book “The Toyota Way to Service Excellence”. He was one of the 3 Industrial Engineers who built the program for Denver Health becoming the first healthcare delivery organization to win the coveted Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence (March 2011) and demonstrated operational expense savings of $124,000,000 (as of 2013). The event was held in Portland, Oregon on Dec 4, 2018 at CENTRL Office, hosted by North Highland.
January 15, 2019
Ep 4: Presentation at Oregon DHS Lean Academy Conference
This is a presentation on Lean Culture given by Maria Grzanka and Ernest Mayer from our Lean Portland team. We were asked to present at the State of Oregon Department of Human Services Annual Lean Academy Conference, held on August 14, 2018. It was setup by the Office of Continuous Improvement. The presentation is based on material from the Edgar Schein Onion Model and our personal experiences. If you'd like to see the slides and the speakers, click the video link below, or go to Video:
September 17, 2018
Ep 3: Presentation at AOR Spring Reuse Forum with Nonprofits
This is the presentation we gave at the Association of Oregon Recyclers (AOR) Spring Reuse Forum in March 2018, explaining how we helped apply lean concepts to the reuse nonprofit industry, with Free Geek and The Rebuilding Center. You can watch the full video presentation at Presenters: * Matt Horvat, Founder of Lean Portland * Brion Hurley, LSS consultant at Business Performance Improvement * John Ashcraft, Recycling Manager at Free Geek * Mike Alfoni, Project Manager at The Rebuilding Center
August 21, 2018
Ep 2: An Evening with Norman Bodek at Grovemade
On December 6th 2017, Lean Portland interviewed Norman Bodek about his thoughts on Lean almost 40 years after he first founded Productivity Press in 1979. Hosted by Lean Portland and Portland Made at the Grovemade HQ. Introduced by Lean Portland founder Matt Horvat and moderated by Lean Consultant Kjell Van Zoen. EVENT SPONSORS Grovemade Portland Made Keaton Averman & Sven Shoultz of Rose City Digital Marketing PhotosbyKim IISE Portland Chapter Organizers Northwest West Coast Event Productions Business Performance Improvement vanZoen Consulting
July 26, 2018
Ep 1: Intro and Using Lean Japanese Terminology
Thanks for checking out our very first episode of the Lean Portland podcast. We explain what our intent is for our podcast, and answer the question "do you use the original Japanese lean terms in your work?"
July 26, 2018