Productive planning session using Business Model Canvas

With our new roles defined for Lean Portland, we decided to use a kaizen event format for planning next steps. We dedicated about 4 hours on Saturday, July 8th to align with the mission of our group, and make progress on our goals.

Attendees included Matt Horvat, Maria Grzanka, Thomas Cox, Ernest Mayer and Brion Hurley.

We decided to use the Business Model Canvas approach, to keep us organized and focused, and to better understand how we provide value to the community.

We identified four primary customers:

  • Public service organizations (nonprofits, government agencies, NGOs, not-for-profits)
  • Donors of public service
  • Senior consultants
  • Junior consultants

One of the key takeaways from the session was the role of potential donors of nonprofit organizations. If they are investing money, they might be interested in our assistance, to make sure the money is being used as efficiently as possible.

We will continue updating and refining the model over the next couple months, and we’ll be sharing it during our monthly happy hours.

Successful Lean Workshop with OEN and Friends

On June 19th, Lean Portland consultants Kjell Van Zoen and Brion Hurley conducted a 5-hour Lean and Green Workshop.

The event was coordinated by one of the nonprofit clients of Lean Portland, Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN), and the space was provided by Ruby Receptionists.

Over 30 attendees arrived to learn more about Lean concepts and tools. Attendees included OEN staff, Ruby employees, other nonprofit clients (Free Geek and The Rebuilding Center), and other local businesses interested in learning more.

The attendees learned about lean concepts such as: lean culture, respect for people, kaizen and continuous improvement, how lean can improve the environment, single piece flow vs batching, pull, kanban, the 8 deadly wastes, value streams, and much more!

The course was highlighted by a camera simulation, along with 2 improvement rounds, where teams implemented single piece flow, cellular layouts, kanban, and reduced customer defects.

Overall, the feedback was very positive, and plus/delta sheets were reviewed to make the next workshop even better!

Shorter, free Lean workshops are being setup in July and August. If you are interested in attending, visit the links below:

Press Release: Lean Portland Partners with New Leadership at OEN

Portland, Oregon – April 14, 2017 – Maggie Finnerty, the new Executive Director at Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN), announced today that OEN is entering into an agreement with Lean Portland (a Benefit Company) for lean coaching and consulting services.

Often associated with the manufacturing industry, lean principles have potential to drastically improve the efficiency of nonprofits, many of which are already operating with scarce human and financial resources. As Lean Portland extends its reach into the nonprofit sector, it hopes to help nonprofits reduce operating costs and strengthen revenue streams by helping staff better prioritize and focus their time.

The agreement is part of Lean Portland’s unique mission: Developing our members leadership skills by helping nonprofit organizations learn to continuously improve.

“During a change in leadership, many existing processes are often revisited and called into
question,” says Finnerty, who started her role in January. “There is no better time for OEN to
start our Lean Journey, and we’re thrilled to have access to the unique talents of Lean
Portland’s volunteers. We are surprised and delighted to have world-class talent volunteering their time for us.”

“We’re here to teach the tools, but more importantly, we are coaching staff to help them adopt the underlying mindset that drives positive engagement,” explains Matt Horvat, Founder of Lean Portland. “Our vision is that Portland is a city where people are actively engaged in making improvements to their own work. And having ownership in your work is fundamental to dignity.

As Taiichi Ohno, the father of lean, used to put it, it’s about “respect for humanity.”

Lean Portland is also engaged in projects with The ReBuilding Center and Free Geek. Past
clients include Friends of the Children and Social Venture Partners. The current project for OEN involves Lean expert volunteers Kjell van Zoen of, Brion Hurley of Rockwell Collins, and Thomas Cox of Becoming a Best Boss.

The OEN staff looks forward to reporting their progress to their board, to their members and to the public.

About OEN
Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) helps entrepreneurs start up and scale up through
mentorship; hands-on business training; and access to loans, cash, and capital. A nonprofit,
membership-driven organization with a 25-year track record, OEN drives innovation, facilitates job creation, and puts Oregon on the map as a center for entrepreneurial excellence. For more information, visit

About Lean Portland
Lean Portland is committed to jointly developing leadership skills of its members and the staff of local non-profit organizations through project-based volunteer work that lead to continuous improvement. It has been a formalized professional organization since 2010 with the ultimate goal to ‘teach itself out of a job’ by developing people’s capabilities, building the Lean brand, and creating lasting impacts in the larger community.

To reach this mission, Lean Portland focuses on creating educational opportunities for members that are directly connected to pro-bono projects for local non-profit organizations. Lean Portland also provides members with networking and educational events, as well as the opportunity to build lasting relationships with other members and non-profit organizations. By creating an open source of methods, resources, and projects completed by the group, communities through the world will be able to replicate successes and learn from mistakes.