Lean Government Summit brings together global public servants and thought leaders to share breakthroughs in the delivery of products and services through improved processes, innovation and energized people.

Featuring a range of speakers and subject matter designed to address the top issues of current and aspiring Lean government practitioners.

  • When: October 1 -  2, 2019, 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily
  • WhereWestin Hotel, 11 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa
  • Cost: $995 + HST
  • Presentations and presenters subject to change
  • Public servants only please
  • Past Summits: Jan 2019201820162015201420132012

In partnership with: 


7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m Registration/Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 8:35 a.m Introduction
Location: Confederation I Ballroom - Level 4

8:35 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Reducing Wait Times with Systems Thinking
Ken Miller, Lean Government Thinker and Author: "We Don't Make Widgets" and "Extreme Government Makeover"
Location: Confederation I Ballroom - Level 4

The Auditor General of Canada reported this year that about half of the 16 million Canadians who tried to reach an actual agent when contacting a 2017-18 sample of government call centres could not get through.  The recommendations of this report included allowing callers to decide if they prefer to wait, use self-service options, or have the call centre call them back later, and posting client-focused service standards.  

In this talk, Ken will explain how this approach addresses the wrong end of the problem:  it does not address the causes of the 40-70% of call volumes that are typically “progress-chasing” failure demand calls that overwhelm staff and create the waiting.   Speed up the underlying service delivery process, and these call centre calls go away. It also does not address the organization’s ability to resolve the caller’s issue on first contact. And finally, it typically measures the wrong things:  measuring wait times instead of resolving the issues on first contact, or eliminating the need for a call in the first place, creates shorter calls, but more return calls. Ken will then share an approach to use systems thinking to improve the system instead of simply addressing the symptoms.

10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Networking Break
Location: Confederation I Ballroom - Level 4

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
When to Use Which Approach: Lean, Six Sigma, Service Design/Design Thinking, Agile/Scrum, Lean Startup, Re-engineering
Craig Szelestowski, President and Founder, Lean Agility Inc.
Location: Confederation I Ballroom - Level 4

Each of the above improvement disciplines have developed their own “island” of followers, who have had some success in applying their approach to solve problems.  That said, the “Islanders” of each discipline seem to spend significant effort promoting their discipline and attacking the shortcomings of other disciplines – instead of integrating useful parts of other approaches to improve their own practice. In this interactive session, participants will break out into groups to explore the following questions about each of these disciplines:  What is it? What are its distinguishing features?  What “jobs” does it do best?  What are the basic steps to use it? Where is it most likely to fail?

After the breakout sessions, Craig will share a framework that outlines where it makes sense to apply each of these approaches to maximize the effectiveness of your transformation practice, regardless of which island you started from.

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m Lunch

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Strategy Room: Advanced Lean Practices at the Hôpital Montfort (bilingual session)
Dr. Bernard Leduc, Chief Executive Officer
Lise Vaillancourt, Director of Corporate Lean and Project Management Office
Location: Confederation I Ballroom - Level 4

The Hôpital Montfort began its Lean journey in 2010 and has made impressive progress in that time.  Instead of focusing solely on improvement projects, and in order to create focus and to execute its steps toward its “North Star”, the hospital implemented a Strategy Room.  Designed to visualize the overall priorities and performance of the hospital, it is a single place to integrate strategic dimensions, a place and time to coordinate and resolve issues and to overcome obstacles. It is not a traditional reporting meeting.  In this talk, Dr. Leduc and Ms. Vaillancourt will describe their Lean journey, and the role of the Strategy Room in taking them to their next level.

Better Software in Half the Time
Amy Yee, Chief Digital Officer, Health Standards Organization (HSO)
Jill Graves, Professional Scrum Master and Trainer
Location: Provinces II Ballroom - Level 4

In this presentation, Jill will begin with an overview of Agile/Scrum.  She is followed by Amy who will share the HSO’s case study. As a not-for-profit, HSO’s focus is on developing standards, assessment programs, and other methodologies to enable health and social service providers around the world to move the needle on quality while doing what they do best: saving and improving lives.  In this talk, Amy will share how HSO used Agile/Scrum to reboot a stalled major software project and deliver better quality product in half the time, while energizing staff. 

2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Transit

2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Implementing Lean Six Sigma Across a Province
Jane Washburn, Chief of Strategy Management, Government of New Brunswick
Location: Confederation I Ballroom - Level 4

The Province of New Brunswick is in year seven of its province-wide Performance Excellence transformation. In this talk, Jane will share the province's progress and results in implementing Lean Six Sigma within an integrated organizational performance system and the challenges unique to implementation across an entire jurisdiction, as well as the lessons learned so far, with a look ahead to their next steps.

Accountability in a Lean Environment
Bernard Chartrand, Senior Consultant, Lean Agility Inc.
Location: Provinces II Ballroom - Level 4

Bern draws on his deep experience as a Master Coach and Black Belt to explore how to hold people accountable in a Lean environment. Is accountability really just “doing what I am told to do”; or is it rather seeing “how I can contribute to the organization’s objectives”? What should be the leader’s role in holding people accountable: “keeping people’s feet to the fire?”, or are there better ways to support success?   Why do some people feel they can’t make a difference even if they wanted to? How do you overcome this? Finally, he will share practical ways to ensure that when we do make requests, they are clear on the one part and there is an explicit commitment on the other part to follow through on it – both preconditions to accountability.

3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Transit

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Applying the Harada Method
Norman Bodek, President, PCS Press, Co-founder, Shingo Prize (via video-conference)
Location: Confederation I Ballroom - Level 4

Takashi Harada was a junior high school track and field coach at the worst school in Osaka, Japan. After many years studying the world’s best coaches, he created a new methodology to uplift his students. The school went from the lowest rated to the highest rated out of 380 schools and the students won 13 gold medals - number one in all of Japan. Previous Summit attendees have adopted the Harada Method to transform their work and personal lives.  Back by popular demand, Norman shares details of this breakthrough method to improve individual performance to use with your team members, or yourself as an individual contributor – to create world-class performance. 


7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. - Networking/Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
The design of good services: Lessons from the UK Government
Harry Vos, Service Designer, Government Digital Service
Location: Confederation I Ballroom Level 4

The UK Government is a recognised world leader in public sector digital innovation and designing services that work for users. Hundreds of designers are working on every level of government to make public services more effective, useful and usable. The Government Digital Service (GDS) offers service design support, guidance and training to UK civil servants, demonstrating how to develop services in a user-centred way.

Last year, GDS tried to answer the question of ‘what does a good service look like?’. Through engagement with hundreds of service experts from the public and private sector, it developed guidance on the characteristics of a good government service. 

In his keynote, service designer Harry Vos will share the characteristics of a good government service, talk about what good service design looks like and why services need to be designed around user needs. A complementary exercise will allow a deeper exploration of the topic.

9:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. - Transit

10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Lean Management Systems
Ken Eakin, Senior Advisor, Operational Excellence Group, Export Development Canada

Location: Confederation I Ballroom Level 4

What is a "Lean management system"? We hear the term "system" often but usually associate it only with IT systems.  Yet management systems are far more important to achieving desired behaviours and results than digital tools are.  Management systems determine how, when and why we use our IT systems (and other work tools) to get the work done every day by signaling what behaviour is expected, prioritized, monitored and rewarded.

Using real-life examples drawn from his on-the-job experience, Ken will talk about a "systems" view of work and how applying such a view can help you improve your Lean practice and its results.

Continuous Improvement at the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (bilingual session)
Ghislaine Saikaley, Assistant Commissioner, Compliance Assurance Branch, Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
Location: Provinces II Ballroom Level 4

Since 2009, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has been evolving into an organization with a Lean culture.  In this bilingual presentation, Ghislaine and OCOL employees will share the highs and lows that go with the implementation of a continuous improvement culture in a federal institution.   

From the assessment of their investigation processes to the creation of a Centre of Excellence for Continuous Improvement, including the implementation of service standards and numerous improvement events, learn how they promoted the integration of a culture where the concept of continuous improvement has become part of day to day operations.

11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Transit

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
A More Human Workplace
Renée Smith, Director of Workplace Transformation, State of Washington

Location: Confederation I Ballroom Level 4

Last year, Renée spoke to the importance of a human workplace as essential to a Lean culture: banishing fear and creating love, to unleash creativity and improvement.   This year, she is sharing her approach to build routines to implement this in the workplace. Each day more organizations are realizing that they need to create a human-centered, psychologically safe workplace that welcomes people to bring their whole selves to work. But the problem is, we’ve learned to check our humanity at the door and sometimes to bring a hardened version of ourselves to work. The results are fear, mistrust, and indifference that decrease performance and sabotage engagement and improvement efforts. 

So how can we make a shift? A Human Workplace Gathering offers a simple, practical method for (re)learning to be human together at work. In this session, learn what A Human Workplace Gathering is, how to host one and why it’s so important now more than ever. Experience elements of a Gathering and come away with practical tools and inspired to bring more humanity to your workplace.

Lean at Home
Rejean Landry, Senior Consultant, Lean Agility Inc.
Location: Provinces II Ballroom Level 4

Lean practitioners are often asked “do you apply this stuff at home?”.  In response to that question, Rejean has compiled a collection of applications of Lean outside of the workplace.  In this unique session, you will learn a broad range of uses, from getting organized and staying organized, to getting your kids to complete their piano practice in half the time.

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Influencing Executives
Mark Jarvis, Senior Advisor, Management Practices and Governance, Canadian Coast Guard
Location: Confederation I Ballroom Level 4

In his career, Mark has had considerable success in working closely with executives to not only drive their Lean transformations effectively, but also to adopt Lean practices themselves, from Visual Management and huddle meetings to Hoshin Kanri planning.  In this talk, Mark will share some approaches he has adopted to maximize his effectiveness in working with senior executives, including the practice of “coaching up”.

Visual Thinking - Draw Your Way to Better Teamwork
Ellen Grove, Business Agility Coach, Visual Facilitator, Organizational Change Agent
Location: Provinces II Ballroom Level 4

Adding graphic elements to our conversations and visual management systems helps to bring information to life and improve shared understanding of complex or confusing ideas.  You don't need to be able to draw like da Vinci to communicate through drawing: if you can hold a marker, you can learn the skills needed to share your ideas graphically.  In this interactive workshop you'll practice the basic elements of visual communication and consider some of the ways you can use doodling in practice to help communicate more effectively in group contexts.

2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Networking break

2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Choose your own adventure
Craig Szelestowski, President and Founder, Lean Agility Inc.
Location: Confederation I Ballroom Level 4

Participants will vote on which topic they want to hear:

  • Results, Not Resistance:  a better way to create buy-in and execute your solutions - going beyond identifying great solutions to create great outcomes.
  • Lean Strategic Planning:  too many priorities, too little focus, overwhelmed people? Start with your strategy, identifying the "must do, can't fail" priorities and putting them ahead of all else, then executing them while freeing up capacity.
  • Lean for Knowledge Work:  Much of Lean in government has focused on applying it to transactional processes - how do you apply Lean thinking to complex knowledge and project work, where each file may be very different from the last?
Two Uncommon but Powerful Tools for Lean Practitioners
Paul Choquette, Senior Consultant, Lean Agility Inc. 
Location: Provinces II Ballroom Level 4

As a Lean practitioner, you will often hear that the process is not the problem, it’s everything else that causes delays to the process.  But how do you measure “everything else”?  Paul will introduce you to an Activity Value Analysis (AVA) tool which he uses regularly to take snapshots of what people do in an organization. Paul will also explain the powerful concepts of a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) to help pinpoint broken steps in a process, and to prioritize actions to address them. 

3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Meet with presenters and fellow practitioners to troubleshoot challenges and discuss specific topics in huddle sessions.
Location: Confederation I Ballroom Level 4