Joan Wellman & Associates, Inc

North American Study Trip

Lean Leader Training

Leading the Lean Healthcare Journey

JWA Clinets in the News

JWA in the News

5S for Healthcare Workshop Kit

New JWA YouTube Channel »
JWA ‘NEW OFFICE’ MILESTONE – JUNE 20, 2012 JWA offices have moved to a new corporate ‘home office’ in Mercer Island, WA »
Integrated Facility Design at 2011 NACHRI Annual Leadership Conf. »
Problem Solving Training. Be able to explain what is needed to define a “problem.” »
JWA Lean Facility Design featured at national Lean Design Forum. »
Seattle Children’s and JWA featured in NY Times. »
Joan Wellman joins faculty of the Lean Enterprise Institute....»
LeanBlog Podcast #80 – Joan Wellman, Lean in Healthcare by Mark Graban. »
Factory Efficiency in Health Care »
JWA and Seattle Children's continue to collaborate. »
North American Study Trip: Management System for the Lean Enterprise. »
Advanced Lean Healthcare Training. »
JWA Lean Healthcare Seminars. »
New 5S for Healthcare Workshop Kit available. [TO ORDER: ONLINE STORE] »
» read more


JWA pioneered the application of the Toyota Production System (TPS) to healthcare in 1995. Today we build on our lean consulting success in diverse industries such as aerospace manufacturing and software development to drive waste out of healthcare processes. Our focus on lean healthcare has resulted in dramatic operational and clinical quality improvement, healthcare cost reduction, healthcare access, employee and patient safety and physician/staff engagement.
We partner with lean healthcare clients in extraordinary ways. We begin by asking the question, “How can we ensure that your healthcare organization continues to drive out waste long after the lean consultant leaves?” Our work with clients includes:

  • Adapting  principles of The Toyota Production System and other high reliability organizations to the Lean Healthcare System
  • Establishing a Lean Management System that creates an engine of healthcare waste reduction
  • Certifying Lean Leaders who will ensure that this is a long term, generational effort
  • Certifying internal lean consultants in lean healthcare tools including Rapid Process Improvement, 5S for Healthcare, Value Stream Management, Daily Management Systems and 3P for Facility Design
  • Promoting the use of lean industry partners for each of our lean healthcare clients
  • Providing extensive lean healthcare training materials
  • Creating the infrastructure necessary to promote lean healthcare
  • Developing lean champions on the healthcare Board of Directors

has almost thirty years of consulting experience to executive leadership of large- scale change initiatives. The focus of her consulting work has been on implementation of Toyota Production System methods and strategies in both service and manufacturing organizations. In 1995, Joan pioneered the implementation of lean strategies and rapid improvement methods to support strategic initiatives in healthcare and health research organizations. She founded Joan Wellman & Associates, Inc. in 2000 to focus on lean consultation to healthcare and research organizations. Joan developed the Lean Healthcare Series training, offered in collaboration with Seattle Children’s Hospital and has led numerous executive study trips in Japan and North America. She is a frequent speaker at national conferences including Organization Development Network, American Society for Training and Development, American Society for Quality Control, the National Association of Healthcare Quality, Society of Pediatric Anesthesia, and Medical Group Management Association. Joan was recently appointed faculty of the Lean Enterprise Institute and published the book Leading the Lean Healthcare Journey in 2010.

JWA Associates are senior career professionals who are Toyota Production System experts with deep understanding of lean healthcare implementation. In addition to their technical knowledge, JWA Associates are skilled strategists, change agents, coaches and developers of internal talent. We are experienced and comfortable working in the Board Room as well as on the front line.


In addition to our lean healthcare consulting services, JWA offers lean training through our Lean Healthcare Seminar Series. This series is offered in Seattle or at your site. These training classes are summarized below. See SEMINAR SERIES for more information.

  • Lean Leader Training. Learn the basic knowledge of the core Toyota System principles; Explain how these principles apply to healthcare; Demonstrate the ability to apply these principles to case studies conducted by participants onsite at local healthcare organizations during the workshop week; Demonstrate understanding of lean principles through teach backs; Observe what a lean system looks like by visiting a local lean manufacturing facility; Benefit from the presenters’ practical knowledge and experience in a variety of industries, including healthcare.

  • RPI Workshop Leader Training. Learn the key outcomes and tools used in the RPI Assessment and Planning phases; Practice diagnostic and planning skills by doing case studies; Practice Assessment and Planning reporting skills using actual cases; Review the standard RPI agenda and practice skills required to lead a workshop; Learn what makes the Follow Up phase successful and the tools required to sustain workshop gains; Benefit from the presenters’ practical knowledge and experience in a variety of industries including healthcare.

  • Advanced Lean Consultant Training. Understand how simplicity is an underlying theme for cellular design; Minimize resources and maximize throughput by transitioning from a traditional / functional operational design to cellular processing; Utilize labor for work balancing in the creation of a self-regulating and self-improving operation; Provide a deeper understanding of the technical materials for the development and certification of RPI Workshop Leaders.

  • 5S Coach Training. Definitions and benefits of the 5S workplace visual systems and organization; Role of 5S in patient safety initiatives; Process and materials for communicating the 5S system to your organization or area; Methods and tools to plan for 5S implementation; Methods and tools to implement a 5S event; Ways to manage change within your organization; Strategies and tools to measure and sustain the improvements.

  • Facilitator Training for Lean Leaders. Understand role of the Lean facilitator and how to use it to build and maintain a high performing team; Acquire a flexible set of tools and techniques to provide structure to group discussions; Learn facilitator strategies to use at different stages of Lean workshops and team development; Study options for making decisions and overcoming barriers to buy-in; Examine strategies for constructively dealing with conflict and encouraging effective group behaviors; Develop specific facilitation strategies to improve the overall effectiveness of any Lean workshop.

  • North American Study Trip: Management Systems for the Lean Enterprise. Understand how Toyota based management systems are fundamental for the success of a lean enterprise; Observe first-hand how different organizations utilize these powerful management systems to achieve success; Develop action plans to transfer study tour lessons learned.

JWA Workshop Case Studies:

RPI – Physician Credentialing

RPI – Pharmacy Restocking

RPI – Home Care Infusion Billing

RPI – Interpreter Services Scheduling

RPI – Small Volume Parenteral (SVP) Batch Process

RPI – Outpatient Pharmacy

RPI – Daily Medication Bin Fill

RPI – Central Processing Department Case Carts

RPD/3P – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

RPD – Emergency Department

5S Event Case Study: Clinic Standardization

5S Home Care Hospice Offices

5S Home Health/Hospice