The IASSC Certified Lean Expert Body of Knowledge™ is an assembly of a comprehensive set of topics and subject matters that are intended to be representations of the universally and commonly accepted, minimum competencies and core proficiencies requisite of an IASSC Certified Lean Expert™.
This established IASSC Standards aim is to be diversely recognized as a relevant and practical version of the knowledge expectations of a Lean Expert. It consists of 38 individual subject matter topics.
IASSC Lean Certification Exams are constructed based upon the topics within the IASSC Lean Body of Knowledge. Through proctored examination, candidates are expected to demonstrate that they have an adequate level of competence in the topics defined within the IASSC Lean Body of Knowledge.
IASSC Certified Lean Expert Body of Knowledge Topics
1. Introduction to Lean – An introduction of Lean including definitions, benefits, principles and history. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Apply
2. Gemba (The Real Place) – A philosophy that reminds us to get out and spend time on the “floor” – the place where real action occurs. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
3. Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) – A strategy where employees work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements in the process. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
4. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) – Metrics designed to track and encourage progress towards critical goals of the organization. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
5. Teamwork and Team Skills – Team working, reaching consensus, brainstorming, motivation skills, individual and team empowerment. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Apply
6. MUDA (Wastes) / MURA (Fluctuation) / MURI (Overburden) – the three families of efficiency losses. Muda (Waste) being anything in the creation process that does not add value from the customer’s perspective. MURA (Fluctuation) being waste of unevenness or inconsistency and it works against efficiency, Mura creates many of the seven wastes that we observe, Mura drives Muda! By failing to smooth our demand we put unfair demands on our processes and people and cause the creation of inventory and other wastes. MURI (Overburden) to give unnecessary stress to our employees and our processes. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
7. 5S – Sort (eliminate that which is not needed), Set In Order (organize remaining items), Shine (clean and inspect work area), Standardize (write standards for above), Sustain (regularly apply the standards). Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
8. Kano Model – A theory of customer satisfaction and product development that identifies five categories of product qualities based on how they affect the customer’s perception of the product. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
9. Just-In-Time (JIT) – Key principle aiming to pull parts through production based on customer demand instead of pushing parts through production based on projected demand. Relies on many lean tools, such as Continuous Flow, Heijunka, Kanban, Standardized Work and Takt Time. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
10. Bottleneck Analysis – Identify which part of the process limits the overall throughput and improve the performance of that part of the process. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
11. Continuous Flow – Creation where work-in-process smoothly flows through production with minimal (or no) buffers between steps of the process. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
12. Takt Time – The pace of production that aligns production with customer demand. Calculated as Planned Production Time / Customer Demand. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
13. Value Stream Mapping – A tool used to visually map the flow of production. Shows the current and future state of processes in a way that highlights opportunities for improvement. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
14. Flow diagram (or swim-lanes diagram) – Visual mapping of a transactional / cross-functional process showing tasks sequence for each actor on parallel lanes, to highlight complexity, lost time, irritants, thus showing improvement opportunities and project a target improved process. Blooms Level: Create
15. Spaghetti diagram – Visual tool to represent the physical flow of products or movements of persons, highlighting wastes, safety or cross-flow quality risks. Blooms Level: Create
16. Layout Planning – Review and discuss different layouts such as product layout, process layout, cellular layout, etc. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Apply
17. Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) – Reduce setup (changeover) time. Techniques include: Convert setup steps to be external (performed while the process is running), Simplify internal setup (e.g. replace bolts with knobs and levers), Eliminate non-essential operations, Create Standardized Work instructions. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
18. Heijunka (Level Scheduling) – A form of production scheduling that purposely produces in much smaller batches by sequencing (mixing) product variants within the same process. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
19. Kanban (Pull System) – A method of regulating the flow of goods both within the “factory” and with outside suppliers and customers. Based on automatic replenishment through signal cards that indicate when more goods are needed. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
20. Jidoka (Zero Defect Principle) – Aiming for zero-defect, by preventing their occurrence, signalizing, reacting as quick as possible and solving definitively. This relies on various tools and techniques such as Autonomation, Andon, Poka-Yoke, Root-Cause Analysis and Quick Response Quality Control. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
21. Andon – Visual feedback system for the plant / office “floor” that alerts when assistance is needed, empowers operators to stop the process and organizes the reaction process to solve the issue. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
22. Poka-Yoke (Error Proofing) – Design error detection and prevention into production processes with the goal of achieving zero defects. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
23. Root Cause Analysis – A problem solving methodology that focuses on resolving the underlying problem instead of applying quick fixes that only treat immediate symptoms of the problem. A common approach includes use of Ishikawa (fish-bone diagram) and 5 Whys. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
24. Risk Analysis – Risk of failure in Lean improvements and processes and how we can consider and reduce them to have a successful projects. Including the concepts of the FMEA method for products, machines, processes or projects. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Apply
25. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) – A holistic approach to maintenance that focuses on proactive and preventative maintenance to maximize the operational time of equipment. TPM blurs the distinction between maintenance and production by placing a strong emphasis on empowering operators to help maintain their equipment. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
26. Six Big Losses – Six categories of productivity / capacity loss that are almost universally experienced: Breakdowns, Setup/Adjustments, Small Stops, Reduced Speed, Startup Rejects, Production Rejects. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
27. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) – Framework for measuring loss for a given process. Three categories of loss are tracked: Availability (e.g. down time), Performance (e.g. slow cycles), Quality (e.g. rejects). Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
28. Standardized Work – Documented procedures for production that capture best practices (including the time to complete each task) in order to avoid variability of practices and favoring sustainability of Kaizen improvements. Must be “living” documentation that is easy to change. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
29. Sustainment – Discuss importance of maintaining and sustaining results of Lean project after improvement and how it can be monitored through regular meeting and team review and etc. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Apply
30. Visual Management – Visual indicators, displays and controls used throughout facilities to improve communication of information. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
31. Short Interval Control / Active Supervision – Set of standardized management rituals to monitor Safety / Quality / Delivery / Cost performances in a timely manner to allow early reaction and daily improvements, involving field actors (in consistence with Gemba and collective intelligence logic): measurements at the workstation, stand-up operational meetings, Gemba walks, shift hand-overs, relying on the Visual Factory. Blooms Level: Create
32. Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment) – Align the goals of the company (Strategy), with the plans of middle management (Tactics) and the work performed on the plant / office “floor” (Action). Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
33. Kaizen task-force workshops – Also known as “Kaizen Blitz or Kaizen Event”. A structured work group improvement event focused in couple of days (typically 3 to 5), involving field players and following DMAIC logic to deliver rapid, accessible, accepted and demonstrated improvements. Blooms Level: Create
34. Change management – Approach and practice to management efficiently the culture change induced by the Lean roll-out within the organization. Relying on adequate communication plan, training program for and coaching of lean key players. Blooms Level: Evaluate
35. DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) – A step-by-step methodology to carry out an improvement initiative answering a clear need for change, based on facts and being put under standard for sustainability. Blooms Level: Understand
36. SMART Goals – Goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Specific. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Analyze
37. Stakeholder Management – Discuss Stakeholder analysis including communication, presenting, reporting and change management. Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Apply
38. PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) – An iterative methodology for implementing improvements: Plan (establish plan and expected results), Do (implement plan), Check (verify expected results achieved), Act (review and assess; do it again). Blooms Taxonomy target level (max): Create
The IASSC Lean Body of Knowledge™ and IASSC Certification Exams™ target the incorporation of the Bloom’s Taxonomy – Revised (2001) model. IASSC aims to define Cognitive level benchmarks for Lean Expert, Lean Leader and Lean Practitioner subject matter items within each corresponding Body of Knowledge. More information pertaining to how IASSC uses Blooms taxonomy can be reviewed here.
Levels of Cognition based on Bloom’s Taxonomy – Revised (2001). These levels are from “Levels of Cognition” (from Bloom’s Taxonomy – Revised, 2001). They are listed in order from the least complex to the most complex.
Remember: Recall or recognize terms, definitions, facts, ideas, materials, patterns, sequences, methods, principles, etc.
Understand: Read and understand descriptions, communications, reports, tables, diagrams, directions, regulations, etc.
Apply: Know when and how to use ideas, procedures, methods, formulas, principles, theories, etc.
Analyze: Break down information into its constituent parts and recognize their relationship to one another and how they are organized; identify sub-level factors or salient data from a complex scenario.
Evaluate: Make judgments about the value of proposed ideas, solutions, etc., by comparing the proposal to specific criteria or standards.
Create: Put parts or elements together in such a way as to reveal a pattern or structure not clearly there before; identify which data or information from a complex set is appropriate to examine further or from which supported conclusions can be drawn.