Process Excellence Leadership Academy



Our client is a global Aerospace engine manufacturer that employs 55,000 people worldwide and has a workforce of 26,000 in the UK. The Aerospace industry is a competitive sector and the delivery of quality engines on time to the customer is critical to the success of the company.

The Process Excellence Lean Leadership Academy [PELA] was identified by the client as the core strand in supporting the challenge of delivering high-quality engines within strict time frames, and in delivering lean learning to the leadership within the company.


The client faced several problems during this time. Improvements were required at every stage of the process in order to reduce lead time delay and deliver on time.

Variation in the lead time for both the design and the manufacturing stages had a huge impact on the company’s ability to forecast and deliver engines to the customer on time.

The client identified the need for leaders within the company to be able to drive problem-solving, and support the continuous improvement that would identify and remove any waste and reduce any variation within the process.


The Engineering PELA is a leadership development course that teaches delegates how to improve team productivity and promote Continuous Improvement [CI] through coaching, visual management and short interval control. Each team works on a value stream improvement project where they are accountable to implement and to reinforce the idea of learning by doing. The delegates are then expected to act as a lean leader within the business; promoting and supporting improvements within their teams.

In 2017, 16 Leadership PELA courses were run globally, consisting of more than 40 teams with over 200+ Engineering leaders. Collectively, the projects enabled improvements of more than £9.5m of tangible benefits to the business, with additional intangible benefits identified.

Teams of 6-8 colleagues, who all have skills and experience form the area, are assigned to each improvement area. Having the actual teams from the area define the problem and solutions allows a greater understanding of both the problem itself and the impact the solutions will have. This enabled the staff to be both the customer of the solutions and the deliverer of change.

Between weeks 1 [5 days] and week 2 [4 days], they have a 4-week gap where they gather data to support their original problem hypothesis. This data is used to support and verify the problem ready for week 2, when solutions for the problem are identified, and to measure and quantify the results at the end of the project. At the end of the 9 days, solutions were agreed upon with the key stakeholder. These actions formed their 100-day plan.

The participants learned to manage stakeholder expectation and have clearer project scope, and needed to very clearly present what was in scope and what was not and gain consensus on this decision. Because of the vague, non-specific scope given for the project, it was important for the staff to manage scope creep, which created issues when developing the current state Value Stream Map. To solve this, we reviewed the scope of the project with the stakeholder and make sure the project brief had a very specific area of focus for improvement.

In most cases, they achieved savings greater than they expected, both with tangible and intangible improvements.

Impact on Performance