Course Description

Online Design Thinking for Lean March 2021

South Africa

This online Design Thinking for Lean course will practically help you learn to blend Design Thinking and Lean capabilities to create more efficient and value-based outcomes aligned to your customers needs.

Our approach  is to use a facilitated learning-by-doing approach which provides practical hands-on experience that can be applied in the work place.

Design Thinking brings even more value when the approach is combined with Lean doing practices in terms of operational efficiency and developing capability to service the customer more effectively.

Similarly, Lean capabilities can be enhanced by a more customer centred, empathic approach to uncover through insights, new concepts that support a more customer centred approach.


On-boarding ( 2 hours)

The online Design Thinking for lean course starts with a short session to define the broad Design Thinking and principles that underpin this approach to Lean, meet the group, define how we want to show up for our time together, find our feet in the on-line workspace (Miro) and address course objectives.

This short session will also include Lean principles applicable both for the design thinking project and for its operational application. It will cover how

– Design thinking is used to identify new opportunities/markets, and
– Lean can reduce the go to market lead time and transform the idea in an operational process.

Module 1: Problem Statement/Vision  [2.5 hours + homework]

Theory: We share concepts around how Design Thinking complements a Lean operating environment and where Lean principles and Design Thinking principles overlap. We will create a vision and problem statement.

Practice: We present a problem as a case study (it will be a specific problem that will be relevant to apply design thinking and Lean). You will decide on the best approach with our guidance, define the team engagement tactics to be used,  develop an opening problem statement, set up a multi-disciplinary team, plan and define a blended approach to eventually develop an optimal solution.

Module 2: Design thinking for engaging and defining customer preferences [2.5 hours] + homework

Theory: We cover how design thinking can be used to help operating teams better understand their customer needs using empathy, research and an “outside-in” approach.

Practice: Within a design thinking framework, we define opportunities to engage the customer and determine what outcome they prefer. What is value, from their perspective?  We conclude preparation for customer engagement with a dry-run pilot and peer feedback on questions and approach. Learn to de-biase your questions and how to gather user and other stakeholder stories.

Module 3: From research to opportunities [2.5 hours + homework]

This is a practical module in which we analyse data and learn to define opportunities from the customer’s perspective. Before looking to reduce waste or optimise a process, we must better understand the customer need. Learn how to triangulate and make sense of data from multiple sources. Learn how to reframe an opportunity to benefit the customer before optimising and removing waste.

Module 4: Using Lean principles to improve customer experience [2.5 hours + homework]

Theory: Module 4 is the crux of this programme. Being intentional in the design, and implementation of the opportunity. Learn how to come up with solutions that meet user needs, while eliminating waste based on value and allowing for an optimal customer experience. What backstage opportunities can we put in place to ensure the customer thrives and succeeds in their goals.

Practice: We will come up with new concepts that benefit the client and provide opportunities for improved customer experience.

Module 5: Output [1 hr inspiration + offline work and review]

Theory: How to sell a new concept that optimises organisation efficiency opportunities.

Practice:  Learn to share new concepts with internal clients across the organisation and ensure a unified effort to implement a seamless customer experience.

Participants will complete this course by publishing their choice of one of two writing assignments:

A reflection on Lean and Design Thinking opportunities in your organisation


An evidence-based piece reporting on findings gleaned from the process

Delegates must publish this post on a respected public platform relevant to their industry (i.e. LinkedIn, Medium or a blog).

Delegates may co-author this post with another delegate if they wish, provided both parties make an equal contribution.


On publishing the writing assignment for the online Design Thinking for Lean course, delegates will be awarded a certificate from DesignThinkersAcademy for the successful completion of this Design Thinking for Lean course.

We can introduce a Green Belt certification as one process has been completed (Lean-based) with supervision of a Black Belt that will be issued by LEANOVATION.

What you will learn

How to implement an intentional, best-practice Lean project with a focus on incorporating the customer’s needs and defining efficiency based concepts.

Participant profile

This online Design Thinking for Lean course is targeted to people in a Lean or efficiency based environment looking to create opportunities that benefit the customer using Design Thinking principles and mindsets.

Facilitators and coaches

This online Design Thinking for Lean course is developed and presented by Frederic Adolph and Robert Bloom. Frederic has a certification Lean Six Sigma black belt for services  and has many implementations in many functions (Manufacturing, Finance, HR, Customer services) in many sectors (industry, under his belt. Robert, who will co-facilitate, has 10 year’s experience in Design Thinking and its application in a work environment, having facilitated and trained on projects in 3 hemispheres.

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About this Event

The course takes place in 6 sessions over 2 weeks:

Thursday 18th March– Onboarding (2 hrs)
Monday 22 March– Module 1
Friday 24 March– Module 2
Monday 26 March– Module 3
Wednesday 29 March– Module 4
Friday 31 March- Module 5

Time: 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM (SAST)

Online platforms: Mural & Zoom
Language: English
Max. participants: 10


Early Bird Ticket Price R8 999 (for African citizens), until 8th Feb 2021

Regular Ticket Price R9 999 (for African citizens)

All prices are intended excluding VAT in a South Africa based company.

A certificate from DesignThinkers Academy is awarded to participants who successfully complete the course.

Discounts available for teams signing up, non-profits and government organisations.


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