Lean Government Summit

March 1, 2023 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
March 3, 2023 - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Eastern Standard Time (ET: UTC/GMT-5)
Delivered virtually via Microsoft Teams

The Lean Government Summit is an international forum for leaders and change agents in government to exchange breakthroughs in their Lean transformations.

This 10th edition of the Summit is a virtual event using Microsoft Teams. Breakout activities have been planned to allow participants to spend time together to compare notes and provide chances to build a network of fellow Lean practitioners.

During the keynote address on March 1 attendees have the opportunity to submit topics and themes to be addressed in the Lean Clinics on March 3 from 15:15 to 16:15 ET.


  • Cultivate a network of improvement professionals to share knowledge and experience to help each other deliver better quality work, faster
  • Keep informed on the latest thinking from Lean, Agile/Scrum and Service Design to be able to apply it to solve business problems facing knowledge workers today
  • Provide practical advice and tools to make an immediate difference to process efficiency to attendees

Public servants only please.


All times Eastern Standard Time (ET: UTC/GMT-5)

Wednesday, March 1
10:00 - 11:30

Pre-Summit Keynote Speaker

An interview and Q&A with Ken Miller, author “We Don’t Make Widgets” and “Extreme Government Makeover”

Ken’s books and talks have had a tremendous positive impact in government by providing mental models and language that help make the case for systems thinking and transformation. In this live interview, Ken will share his learnings from a lifetime of transformation in government both as a public servant, and as the founder of the Change and Innovation Agency. Time will be set aside for participants to ask their own questions. 

Ken is the founder of the Change & Innovation Agency (C!A®), a firm dedicated to increasing government’s capacity to do more good. Driven by his passion and unwavering focus to help the nation’s most vulnerable, C!A has become an industry leader in business process redesign for human services, having helped transform how agencies in 45 percent of states in America and several large counties deliver vital safety net program benefits – including eligibility, child welfare, child support and unemployment insurance – to children and families in need.

Prior to founding C!A, Ken served as the Director of Performance Improvement for the State of Missouri and as the Deputy Director of the state’s Department of Revenue. During his tenure in Missouri, Ken helped the state reduce the time to issue tax refunds by 80% at less cost and cut wait times in motor vehicles offices by half. He also helped to save the state more than $100 million in two years, with 10 of his department’s projects earning awards at the state or federal level for innovative practices and extraordinary results. Ken led the improvement initiative that earned a state agency the Missouri Quality Award, making it one of only a handful of government agencies in the country to win a Baldrige-based award. He was also co-creator of the “Show Me Results” outcome-based planning and budgeting process that garnered one of only two “A” grades from GOVERNING magazine for “Managing for Results.”

Wednesday, March 1
11:30 - 12:00

Interactive Exercise: Solicitation of potential topics/challenges to address during the Lean Clinics on March 3 (15:15 - 16:15)

Friday, March 3
8:30 - 8:35


Friday, March 3
8:35 - 10:00

Lean Panel Discussion: Keys to Successful Lean Transformation

Learn about the Lean journey and lessons-learned at the state, provincial and enterprise levels of three advanced Lean transformations. Panel discussion with questions from the audience.

Chris Irwin, Director, Ontario Lean and Continuous Improvement Office, Province of Ontario - As a Director in the Lean and Continuous Improvement Office for the Province of Ontario, in the Cabinet Office, Chris has led the Ontario Public Service to save years of work, millions of dollars in cost avoidance and has created a vibrant Lean movement. He is an engaging speaker, thought leader, and practitioner who constantly innovates and improves the way Lean is practiced.

Nadia Vallières, Director, Strategic HR, Infrastructure Canada - Nadia led the transformation of the HR branch at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) speeding up all key HR services by an average of 70% and creating a culture and systems of continuous improvement.  ISED became a benchmark for Lean HR in Canadian government.  She currently leads the HR transformation at Infrastructure Canada and is achieving similar results.

Friday, March 3
10:00 - 10:15


Friday, March 3
10:15 - 11:15
(concurrent sessions)

Session 1: Leadership Needed for Operational Excellence in Public Sector

Dr. Sanjay Bhasin Head of Continuous Improvement for the Probation
Service (England and Wales); Visiting lectureship with Buckingham University Business School

Extensive research indicates that leadership remains the top barrier for implementing Operational Excellence (OPEX) in government, yet the approaches organizations try to embed it are not increasing success.

In this talk, Sanjay will share:

  • Why the current approaches to engage leadership in OPEX have not made much progress
  • How transformational and transactional leadership, and which specific traits, behaviours and values may be keys to increasing the success of OPEX in the public service.

As a master Black Belt in LSS, Sanjay’s position as Head of Continuous Improvement for the Probation Service in England and Wales is steering the organisation to a higher level of Lean maturity. He is an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Applied Continuous Improvement and The American Journal of Operations Management and Information Systems. As well, Sanjay is a fellow of the Institute of Continuous Improvement in the Public Sector, the International Lean Six-Sigma Institute, and the Chartered Quality Institute.

Session 2: Streamlining Processes Before Digitizing at the Health Standards Organization (HSO)

Jill Graves, Professional Scrum Master and Trainer, Simply Scrum

In the digital world, there is an epidemic of over-delivering software solutions because clients go “feature-shopping” instead of first understanding the specific business problems be solved by the digital solution. Streamlining processes before digitizing can identify which problems the digital solution should solve versus which problems people and process should solve. This typically results in less software, delivered more quickly with less effort, and satisfied clients – freeing up IT to deliver on other needs.

In this talk, Jill will share:

  • An update on their case study of how the HSO streamlined their processes before digitizing, speeding up development and freeing up resources to work on other solutions.
  • Challenges and lessons learned from their journey.

As a Scrum.org Professional Scrum Trainer (PST), Agile coach, and Scrum Master, Jill helps Canadian public and private sector organizations transform how they tackle complex work by adopting the Scrum framework. She has a deep understanding of Canada's public sector and was honoured with the GTEC Leadership Award in 2015 for her role in the Agile transformation of the Canada Revenue Agency.

Friday, March 3
11:15 - 11:25


Friday, March 3
11:25 - 12:25
(concurrent sessions)

Session 1: Proactive Human Change Management

Alain L'Abbé, Senior Consultant Lean Agility Inc.

Many Lean practitioners overlook early and proactive opportunities to build buy-in and support for their Lean opportunities throughout the life cycle of a project.

In this talk, Alain will share:

  • How to integrate the principles of the ADKAR human change management model into your DMAIC Lean project so that you have optimized sustained buy-in from all levels of the organization.
  • Other keys to building and sustaining buy-in to Lean initiatives in government.

Alain is a seasoned Lean change agent with exceptional skills in addressing the human side of Lean in government. In the past he served as a leader in various Canadian federal government departments, and before that he was a pilot in the Canadian Forces.

Session 2: Measuring Value for Money and Benefits of Lean Projects in Government

Morteza Zohrabi, CEO GVEX

Measuring the value for money is a challenging task especially when it comes to non-capital projects, so it rarely happens. Yet, being able to demonstrate value for your organization’s Lean investment is key to sustaining its support and future funding.

In this talk, Morteza will share:

  • How the five levels of the ROI model work
  • A live breakdown of how the model has monetized the savings in several real-life
    government Lean projects 

Morteza began his career as a medical doctor, then moved into the world of quality improvement. With over 20 years of field experience in workflow optimization, he has devised a unique methodology that he and his team have applied in both the public and private sectors. In his career he has worked in healthcare, provincial government, and the private sector

Session 3: Overcoming Departmental Silos in Palm Beach County, Florida

Dr. Keith A. Clinkscale, the Strategic Planning and Performance Management Director, Palm Beach County Florida

One of the major causes of underperformance in government is that work is done in silos, with little visibility or coordination between silos - leaving optimized silos, but poor coordination and flow across them.  Palm Beach County, a rapidly growing jurisdiction, has made significant progress in creating a more seamless citizen experience, having connected various and sometimes competing functional silos to make progress on important cross-functional challenges such as homelessness such as: housing/homelessness, infrastructure, and economic development.

In this talk, Keith will share:

  • How Palm Beach County coordinated different silos to make progress on their eight key priorities
  • How they created visibility and regular cross-departmental huddles to get functional silos to collaborate across the system as part of how they do their work
  • Challenges and how they overcame these
  • Mini-case studies of their progress so far.

Dr. Keith A. Clinkscale, the Strategic Planning and Performance Management Director at Palm Beach County, Florida, oversees all operations pertaining to the county's long-term strategy plan as well as the strategic planning of more than 30 county departments. In order to help the Board of County Commissioners (BCC), Executive Team, Department Directors, and their staff, he establishes long-term goals and assists them with their objectives, strategies, and actions. He is recognized for developing world-class strategic performance management initiatives. He is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Operational Excellence Executive, and the founder of Palm Beach County's award-winning Strategic Cross-Department Teams initiative.

Friday, March 3
12:25 - 13:00

Lunch / Networking Breakout Rooms

Friday, March 3
13:00 - 14:00
(concurrent sessions)

Session 1: Upstream - Solving Problems Before They Happen

Chris Irwin, Director, Ontario Lean and Continuous Improvement Office, Province of Ontario

Downstream intervention addresses symptoms through firefighting. Upstream thinking addresses the systemic factors that cause problems. This concept is well documented in Dan Heath’s book Upstream. In this innovative and entertaining talk, Chris will share his interpretation of how this concept applies in government:

  • The difference between Upstream and Downstream thinking.
  • Why government leans toward downstream thinking instead of fixing the system that created the problem.
  • Barriers to upstream thinking
  • How to address these barriers in government culture.

As a Director in the Lean and Continuous Improvement Office for the Province of Ontario, in the Cabinet Office, Chris has led the Ontario Public Service to save years of work, millions of dollars in cost avoidance and has created a vibrant Lean movement. He is an engaging speaker, thought leader, and practitioner who constantly innovates and improves the way Lean is practiced.

Session 2: Lean, Leadership, and Music

Bob Emiliani, Professor Emeritus at Central Connecticut State University

Many senior managers have difficulty comprehending and correctly practising the Lean management system, thereby limiting their ability to lead enterprise-wide Lean transformations. Examining many remarkable parallels between Lean and music can help to understand the gaps.

In this multimedia talk, Bob will share:

  • The depth and richness of relationships between the Lean management system and music.
  • How music helps people understand Lean management and how to learn it.
  • How to use the comparison to music to help senior managers recognize the need to personally apply Lean principles and practices daily to become capable Lean leaders.

Bob is Professor Emeritus at Central Connecticut State University. He is a creative and innovative thinker and highly regarded for thought-provoking writing and speaking. His research and writing are deeply informed by hands-on industry experience as well as more than two decades of research and full-time university teaching experience. He studies areas of leadership and management that others ignore. Bob plays the bass guitar.

Friday, March 3
14:00 - 14:15


Friday, March 3
14:15 - 15:15
(concurrent sessions)

Session 1: Optimize Trust and Psychological Safety in a Virtual/Hybrid

Bernard Chartrand, Senior Consultant, Lean Agility Inc. 

Trust and Psychological Safety are both critical to:

  1. Identifying problems so that they can be solved, and; 
  2. Creating better flow in project work and the daily work.

The effect of these is amplified in a virtual environment where it is difficult to “read” people and engage in constructive “water cooler” discussions.

In this talk, Bern will share:

  • What is trust? What is psychological safety?
  • How can you measure each?
  • Practical tactics to create / increase both, in a virtual/hybrid environment.

Bernard (Bern) is a seasoned Lean change agent with exceptional skills in addressing the human side of Lean in knowledge work. In the past, he served as a Lean coach and change agent at Export Development Canada, one of the country’s leading operationally excellent public sector enterprises. 

Session 2: Building Better Measures

Ken Eakin, Senior Consultant, Lean Agility Inc. 

Measurement can be a complex topic. Believing that “what gets measured gets managed”, government often measures too many things—so many that they don’t even know how to make sense of them all. Yet when it comes to improvement, there are no measures to be found. How can we measure the right things without getting overwhelmed?

In this talk Ken will share:

  • The consequences of measuring people versus measuring process;
  • The four different types of measures crucial to measuring improvement;
  • How to distinguish important signals from meaningless noise using control charts.

Participants will be provided a template and led through a hands-on charting exercise to help them create a control chart on their own.

Author of Office Lean: Understanding and Implementing Flow in a Professional and Administrative Environment, Ken served as a Lean/Continuous Improvement mentor/coach at Export Development Canada, one of the country’s leading operationally excellent public sector enterprises. He now coaches and teaches as a consultant both independently and with Lean Agility, while also serving as faculty at the Telfer School of Business at the University of Ottawa.

​​​​​​DAY 2
Friday, March 3
15:15 - 15:25


​​​​​​DAY 2
Friday, March 3
15:25 - 16:25

Lean Clinics

Meet and collaborate with experts and peers in these smaller interactive breakout sessions to address the following challenges:

  1. Engaging and sustaining engagement of senior executives ​​​(​Facilitator: Craig Szelestowski)

  2. Lean and IT (Facilitator: Alain L’Abbé)

  3. Topic to be determined, based on feedback from the community.

  4. Topic to be determined, based on feedback from the community.

  5. Topic to be determined, based on feedback from the community.

​​​​​​DAY 2
Friday, March 3
16:25 - 16:30


Price: $249.95 + tax per person

Contact us to inquire about group discounts as follows:

  • 3-5 people = $237.45+ tax per person
  • 6-9 people = $224.96 + tax per person
  • 10+ people = $212.46 + tax per person


In partnership with: 

Tefler Centre for Executive Leadership