(34) Lean Thinking for Program Evaluation (October 16, 2013: 8am-3pm)

Session Number: 34
Track: Workshops
Session Type: Pre-Conference
Primary Presenter: Joyce Miller
Additional Presenter: Tatiana Bogatova
Time: Oct 16, 2013 (08:00 AM - 03:00 PM)
Room: Columbia Section 4

Schedule: Full Day, Wednesday 8-3
Level: Beginner
Speakers: None


What is lean thinking? How can this approach be incorporated into your evaluation practice and your clients' programs? What process improvement tools can be used to clarify your clients' values and, based on that, identify opportunities for improvement? Quality improvement is at the heart of program evaluation, yet this approach, tools and techniques are not known or widely used in the field of evaluation.

This workshop introduces a nontraditional conceptual framework and methodology for evaluating organizational processes, with the purpose of improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
This session will highlight a systematic and visual way to identify and implement process improvement initiatives and introduce key tools, including value stream mapping (VSM) and process flow mapping (PFM). The session also will address the benefits and challenges to using lean thinking within human service organizations. This interactive workshop will include role playing, brainstorming activities, visual mapping, small-group discussion and case studies.

You will learn:

  • An approach for assessing organizational behavior and problem solving that complements and supports the focus on organizational learning and continuous quality improvement;
  • The fundamental concepts of lean thinking and how they enhance program evaluation;
  • Techniques for analyzing organizational processes that add to the evaluator’s toolkit.

Joyce Miller has more than 20 years of teaching experience as a university professor, as well as 30-plus years as an evaluator and organizational consultant. Miller often facilitates group meetings and provides workshops for audiences ranging from clients, staff, funders and other stakeholders of human service programs. She has extensive experience in presenting at professional conferences, primarily to professional/academic audiences. Tania Bogatova has more than 10 years of experience in facilitating training sessions and workshops in the human service sector related to program evaluation. She regularly presents at professional conferences. As a team, Miller and Bogatova have been delivering workshops on the application of this process improvement methodology for almost a decade.

Session 34: Lean Thinking

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