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

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

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