SmartHort Lean Modules

Are you looking to increase the productivity of your horticulture business?

This practical online course will guide you step by step through the application of Lean theory within your business. It will help you improve labour productivity, reduce business waste and build your capacity to grow the business.

Lean implementation is often low cost and relatively instant. Participants in our training courses have seen productivity improvements of 10–15%, often higher.

The techniques taught apply to all aspects of horticultural business; from growing, picking, packhouse, offices and maintenance. Anyone who wants to introduce business improvements will benefit from these Lean modules.  

The course is designed and delivered by experts Fedden USP. There will be 16 sessions in total and further modules will be added below once recorded.   

We recommend completing all the modules in order.

Module one: Lean and labour productivity in horticulture and agriculture

Lean module 1.1
  • An introduction to the SmartHort Lean training course
  • The history of Lean
  • The 5 key principles of Lean
  • How to identify ‘wastes’ within your horticultural business
  • Identifying the areas of your business where implementing Lean could have the biggest impact

66 minutes

Lean module 1.2
  • A detailed look at identifying target areas for improvement within your business
  • Spotting activities that are ‘non-value add’
  • Examples of wastes within horticulture businesses
  • How to carry out your own waste spotting exercise

30 minutes

Template: Waste spotting

User guide: Waste spotting

Module two: How to identify areas for improvement

Lean module 2.1 - Process mapping
  • A recap from module 1.2 on identifying wastes
  • An introduction to process mapping
  • Example process maps
  • A guide to carry out your own process mapping exercise

You will need:

  • Different coloured sticky notes
  • Flip chart paper

40 minutes

Process mapping user guide

Lean module 2.2 - Waste walks
  • What is a waste walk?
  • A step by step guide on how to carry out a waste walk
  • How the waste walk links to your process map
  • How to collect relevant data for process map and waste walk

44 minutes

How to do a waste walk: template

A user guide to waste walks

Lean module 2.3 - Prioritisation matrices
  • What is a prioritisation matrix?
  • A step by step guide on how to populate a prioritisation matrix
  • How to select which trials to do
  • How to convert items from prioritisation matrix into improvement action plans

60 minutes

Action plan template

Prioritisation matrix user guide

Lean module 2.4 - Improvement trials
  • Review of theory from previous sessions
  • Designing trials using Plan, Do, Check, Act
  • A Step by step guide on how to set-up and run a trial / Kaizen event
  • How to establish success criteria for your trial

42 minutes

Lean module 2.5 - Problem resolution
  • A review of theory covered in the course so far
  • Review of setting up an running a trial or Kaizen event
  • Problem resolution of improvement trials or Kaizen events
  • Using one page learning points as part of the plan, do, check, act cycle

38 minutes

User guide: Running a trial or Kaizen event

Close out form

Lean module 2.6 - Standard operations and roll-out plans
  • How to capture the new process in Standard Operation documents 
  • How to plan the roll-out of a successful trial
  • Review of main learning points from SmartHort Lean module 2

32 minutes

Standard Operating Procedure Template

Module three: How to improve productivity in critical operations

Lean module 3.1 - Activity sampling and detailed analysis
  • Why it is important to undertake detailed analysis
  • Introduction to Activity Sampling
  • Activity Sampling Exercise
  • Planning to undertake an Activity Sample
  • Interpreting the results and creating actions

37 minutes

Activity sampling user guide

Activity sampling template

Lean module 3.2 - Practical problem solving
  • The Importance of team based problem solving
  • Overview of problem solving cycle (DMAIC)
  • Defining and measuring problems
  • Tools and techniques for measuring problems and identifying root cause
  • ‘5 whys’ exercise
  • Selecting and implementing solutions

25 minutes

Pareto template

Prioritisation matrix

Tally sheet template

Lean module 3.3 - Short-term interval controls
  • Introduction to short-term interval control
  • Importance of short-term interval control
  • Developing a short-term interval control
  • Using data to improve performance

25 minutes

Lean module 3.4 - Productivity metrics

Productivity metrics and data analysis of productivity rates, e.g. distribution curves

  • Introduction to measures
  • The dimensions of measures
  • Exercise – developing measures
  • Presenting and analysing measures

24 minutes

Measures design template

Productivity measures hand-out

Module four: Visual management and using Plan Do Check Act cycles

Lean module 4.1 - Understand 5S or workplace organisation
  • Understand the theory of 5S or workplace organisation
  • Carry out a 5S audit

5S is a lean technique that results in a well-organised workplace, complete with visual controls and order; Sort - Set - Shine - Standardise - Sustain.

66 minutes

5S or workplace Organisation user guide

5S audit template

Lean module 4.2 - Plan and undertake a 5S activity or workplace activity
  • Step-by-step guide to carrying out a 5S audit
  • Carryout a 5S audit and capturing lessons learnt
  • Sustaining 5S activity and making it part of the culture

38 minutes

How to implement a 5S workplace organisation activity - -user guide

Lean module 4.3 - A review of Lean theory

A review session for all the theory covered so far in the previous Lean modules: 

  • An overview of Lean and its five principles
  • How to identify areas for improvment using waste walks and process mapping
  • How to improve productivity in critical operations
  • Visual management and 'Plan, do, check, act' for improving productivity and quality

59 minutes

Review template - Powerpoint slides

Lean module 4.4 - Summary and outcomes

A review of the overall course and the achievements of particpating delegates

14 minutes

If you have any questions about the course or would like to request copies of the presentations, please email