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Continuous Process Improvement

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Thinking Lean

  • Format: Self-paced
  • Course Duration: 1 hr 8 mins
  • SHRM Professional Development Credits: 1.0
  • HRCI Business Recertification Credits: 1.25
  • Certificate of Completion (after passing quiz)
Imagine if something you were doing was ineffective. You have two choices. You can either wait until a Sr. leader questions your effectiveness OR you can take the time to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it.

Lean HR resources are used to eliminate waste, identify the root cause of a problem and focus on the customer. As HR Professionals we set goals to support the strategic needs of the business. We can especially benefit from applying Lean tools in our effort to demonstrate value and meet customer expectations.

Lean HR isn’t just for large companies. It applies to all Human Resources professionals. During this course, you will learn…

  • The core concepts associated to thinking lean.
  • A project management method to help improve an HR process.
  • Several tools which allow you and your team to make process improvements.
  • How to identify an opportunity to use these concepts.

HR Jetpack is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 1.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

This activity, has been approved for 1.25 HR (Business) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at
The use of the HRCI seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute's® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

Title: Continuous Process Improvement
Module: Setting The Foundation
Duration: 3:24

Continuous Process Improvement or CPI is at the root of Lean HR. Overall, our objective in lean is to make enhancements to a workplace process on a regular or routine basis. This is made up of several key components.

Component number 1, Customers. Typically, in lean we focus on our customers. Who is benefiting from your service? Who is receiving it? For HR, when we talk about the Customer, we’re talking about the employee. The manager who comes to your door with a problem. The senior leader that needs guidance on an issue or the individual contributor, someone who doesn’t have any employees reporting to them, asks for your help with a dilemma. They are all your customers. For a Human Resources professional, it all starts with the employee.

Component number 2, need. What is it that the customer needs? What does the customer value? Translation to your HR office, what does your employee need? What is it that HR offers, that they want or value? We, as Human Resources Professionals, have so many products and services that deliver value and fulfill this need.

Component number 3, process. How is the value delivered to your customer? How is this need fulfilled? Focus on the process. Lean requires you to identify the key process which will meet the customer’s need.

Component number 4, asking questions. It’s essential that you and your team are willing to ask questions. What’s working well? What hasn’t been working well? It may be difficult at first but imperative to the next aspect of Lean HR, component number 5, identifying waste.

Wastes are all those things we do that we don’t need to do but we think we need to do them. In Lean, there are a list of specific types of waste which I’ll go over in a subsequent lesson. For now, know that waste refers to non-value added activities and the misuse of resources.

Component number 6, willingness to change. This is most closely associated to your behavior and attitude. We are typically adverse to change but in lean we must embrace the opportunity to improve our process. We must commit to eliminating waste and increasing the value we bring to our customer. This is the case if it affects your department, facility and overall organization.

The final component, implementation. Make it happen! The lean journey directs us to move forward and take action!

In summary, the 7 key components of Lean are Customer, Need, Process, Ask questions, Identify waste, Willingness to change and Implementation. I’ll walk through an example of how these concepts apply in your workplace in a subsequent lesson.

Instructor: Christina A. Danforth

Christina A. Danforth, SHRM-SCP & SPHR, launched HR Jetpack in 2016 to support the development and professional growth of her fellow HR colleagues. She started her HR career in 2002. After obtaining her Master’s in Business Administration degree, Christina joined United Technologies Corporation. She moved across the United States...

Christina's Full Bio

SHRM Recertification

HR Jetpack® is an official SHRM Education Partner recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.

HRCI Recertification

HR Jetpack® is recognized by HRCI as an approved provider to offer credit hours towards aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification.

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