Lean Operations

Managing Risk and Uncertainty

Perform a strategic operational audit. Design effective processing systems. Identify metrics to measure improvements. Based on the science of lean operations, this program will give you the tools and framework for operating a world-class organization.

Designed for executives, consultants and other individuals involved with an organization’s operations, this collaborative learning experience will show you how to optimize your organization’s costs, quality, speed and customer service — all of which will make a significant impact on your bottom line. Frameworks for diagnosing, improving and designing effective processing systems will be explored through real-world case studies, group workshops and computer-simulation models.

Under the guidance of an esteemed faculty team, you will analyze the laws that govern operations, explore the Business Process Flows Framework and investigate the critical link between operational drivers and business strategies. These exercises will help you master and implement the practice of lean operations at your organization.

This program will be offered in a live virtual format for fall 2020 and spring 2021. Our live virtual programs are built to deliver a rich experience that’s comparable to our in-person programs. In this highly interactive format, you will have the opportunity to engage with our faculty and your peers in live discussions and lecture sessions. You will come away with the tools to navigate and succeed in the new business landscape.

Combined Program Option: Operations Management Week (for 2021 only)
Take Supply Chain Management with Lean Operations program consecutively as part of Operations Management Week and qualify for a discounted fee. This combination offers you an executive-level overview of the innovative approach to operations management taught in the acclaimed Kellogg MBA Program.

Jan A. Van Mieghem / Academic Director

Information Session

Thursday, November 5 at 1pm CT

Learn more about Lean Operations at our upcoming Information Session. During this live one-hour session, you’ll meet with faculty and staff who will be on-hand to answer all your questions.

Who Should Attend

  • High-level manufacturing or service managers who shape an organization’s operations
  • Managers who want to improve existing operational systems
  • Consultants and engineers who must justify the cost of improvement projects
  • Production-control specialists
  • Federal Government managers with oversight of institutional or organizational processes

Key Benefits

  • Linking the operational key performance indicators to the financial metrics and the operating system
  • Customize policies according to your systems’ natural tendencies
  • Analyze process flows to target improvement efforts
  • Identify strategies for increasing throughput, shortening flow time, reducing variability and improving quality while managing risk and uncertainty
  • Learn operations risk management

Program Content

The Strategic Role of Operations

  • Strategic operations framework
  • Defining improvement

The Business Process Flows Framework

  • Analyzing process flows: basic operational measures
  • Linking operational metrics with financial metrics

The Toyota Production System

  • Diagnosing common
  • Lean tools
  • Making improvements and Kaizen

Basic Process Dynamics

  • WIP, flow time, throughput relationships
  • Little’s Law
  • Internal benchmarking
  • Analyzing bottlenecks

The Corrupting Influence of Variability and Uncertainty

  • Mechanics of congestion
  • Batching effects
  • Buffering with WIP, capacity and service
  • Diagnostics

Data Driven Operations and Risk

  • Noise versus signal
  • Risk assessment
  • Controlling a process
  • Risk management strategy


Jan A. Van Mieghem - Academic Director; Harold L. Stuart Professor of Managerial Economics; Professor of Operations

Achal Bassamboo - Charles E. Morrison Professor of Decision Sciences; Professor of Operations; Co-Director of MMM Program

CPE Credits

Continuing Education Credit
This program is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and is recommended for 36.50 CPE credits.

Continuing Professional Education Information
The Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.

All Kellogg programs that qualify for CPE credits do not have pre-requisites. Advanced readings and case preparation is required. A packet of course materials is emailed to all participants before the program begins.

All Kellogg programs are group-live or internet-based. Program level: Advanced. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaints and refunds, please contact our office at 847-467-6018.

What Participants Say

“Eye openers to the potential opportunities to improve the company's bottom line in the services industry. Since I am in the consulting services industry, [this program] gave me ideas that I look forward to trying out in my company.”
Associate Partner - Aon Mergers & Acquisitions, Hewitt Associates LLC

“In a concentrated but deliberate fashion, this [program] provided a thoughtful perspective on understanding variability in a variety of processes - manufacturing, services, non-profit, and how to qualitatively and quantitatively dissect them to provide a framework for continuous evaluation and improvement.”
Medicine, Cleveland Clinic

“Every operations specialist should have the skills from this [program] in their toolbox. The knowledge…is relevant, insightful, and immediately applicable in almost any operational setting.”
Executive Director Operations, Falken Tire

Personal Consultation

Please contact us to schedule an advising session

2020 Session

December 2-8, 2020

Start: December 2 at 8:30 AM

End: December 8 at 12:00 PM

Live Virtual Program

Download the Topic Overview


2021 Session

April 13-19, 2021

Start: April 13 at 8:30 AM

End: April 19 at 12:00 PM

Live Virtual Program

Download the Topic Overview


Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208