Enterprise Services Planning

(five-day modular training program)

Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) is a framework of tools that leaders of 21st Century knowledge-work enterprises can apply to their strategic and capacity planning. ESP is often described as the equivalent of MRP for a professional services business. Such businesses employ many educated professionals, who think for a living, perform largely invisible work, and deliver mostly intangible products and services to customers

Such businesses are increasingly exposed to VUCA - the conditions of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. It is often futile, under such condition, to plan specific results, deliverables, and milestones. The VUCA reality quickly tosses such plans out of the window. Does this sound like your enterprise? ESP can help! What you can do is, plan the capacity of your services to sense, respond and deliver the right levels of service that meet customers' purpose. You can plan the mechanisms of feedback to keep your network of services balanced and capable to execute your strategy. You can plan to avoid risks your enterprise can't take and to manage the risks it chooses to take. That's what we mean by "planning."

ESP complements the delivery capabilities generated by Kanban "from the middle" and agile approaches "from the bottom up"  and connects them "at the top" with the models and tools you need to manage on enterprise level.

Is Enterprise Services Planning the Right Investment for Me?

  • Yes - if you are a leader/executive taking responsibility for your company’s strategic decisions
  • Yes - if you a manager responsible for design, implementation and/or delivery of products and services to your company's customers -- you manage one service or a network of such services
  • Yes - if you are an improvement consultant or coach responsible for pragmatic actionable advice to such executives and managers

What Will I Learn by Taking Part in an ESP Workshop?

(This is a brief overview. The detailed agenda is near the bottom of the page.)

Executive Track (Days 1 and 2)

  • Overview of strategy
  • Organizational risk
  • Fitness for purpose
  • Custom risk assessment frameworks
  • Alignment of strategy and capability
  • Survivability assessment

Sample takeaways:

  • "Our strategy reviews are dominated by competitive analysis. Fit-for-Purpose gives us a strategic opportunity"
  • "Love the risk assessment frameworks. We should implement them right away"
  • "Strategy-capability alignment is very powerful. We now see what capabilities we need to invest in to do better in the business we're in"

Product Manager Track (Exit: Middle of Day 4)

Executive Track material plus:

  • Cost of delay
  • Real options
  • Demand shaping
  • Capacity allocation
  • Risk hedging
  • Portfolio Kanban

Sample takeaways:

  • "I didn't realize there are so many options for managing demand and risks"
  • "Our "portfolio" is just a large collection of projects and work-in-process. We can now turn it  into a tool to help us decide which risks to take and how to manage those risks."

Expert Track (Whole Week)

Executive Track and Product Manager's Track material plus:

  • Delivery and project forecasting
  • Liquidity and volatility
  • Scaling
  • Working with irrefutable demand
  • Managing dependencies
  • Dynamic capacity reservation systems

Sample takeaways:

  • "Dependencies are a big problem in our large enterprise. Wishing they'd go away isn't helpful. We've learned at least a dozen new options how to manage them better"
  • "It was extremely helpful to learn about forecasting and dynamic reservation systems"

Which Track Should I Take? What Prior Knowledge or Experience Is Required?

  • Executives: the Executive Track. No prior training needed. It usually helps if you're accompanied by a trusted advisor/coach or one of your managers who has completed Kanban System Design (KMP I) training.
  • Product managers: the Product Manager Track. The additional day and a half will give you some practical tools and the right level of detail beyond the Executive Track. We'll spare you some difficult "technical" topics back-loaded to Days 4 & 5. Attending together with a colleague-manager who has completed Kanban System Design (KMP I) may help.
  • Managers, consultants and coaches: the Expert Track. Completion of Kanban System Design (KMP I) and relevant experience is required. Completion of Kanban Management Professional (KMP II) is ideal.

When and Where Is the Next ESP Workshop?

May 4-8 in Toronto, Canada. Registration is open. For participants outside Canada: this purchase is subject to the province of Ontario's Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) at the rate of 13%, bringing the total price to $5650 (CAD) or approximately $4300 (USD) or 3900 EUR, slightly less than what the price has historically been at David J Anderson School of Management facilities in Seattle and Bilbao. We plan to create another registration option on the SquirrelNorth website soon.

Enterprise Services Planning (ESP), Toronto, May 4-8, 2020 (full five-day training program)

Enterprise Services Planning (ESP), Toronto, May 4-8, 2020 (5-day)

Enterprise Services Planning (ESP), Toronto, May 4-8, 2020 (5-day)


Enterprise Services Planning (ESP), Toronto, May 4-5, 2020 (Executive Track)

Enterprise Services Planning (ESP), Toronto, May 4-5, 2020 (2-day Exec Track)

Enterprise Services Planning (ESP), Toronto, May 4-5, 2020 (2-day Exec Track)


Who Is Leading My ESP Workshop?

Alexei Zheglov - he is one of the key contributors to ESP and has more experience applying and teaching it than anyone except the ESP originator David J Anderson. Alexei is a co-author of the new business book, Fit-for-Purpose: How Modern Businesses Find, Satisfy & Keep Customers


Participants receive standard Kanban University (KU) certificates of completion.

  • Substitutions of participants are allowed anytime until the start of the workshop
  • Please see the registration pages for pricing and refund policies
  • The organizer reserves the right to cancel if registrations are insufficient



The ESP workshop approach is not to impart large bodies of knowledge or complicated process solutions for you to implement. Instead, we bring in stories and exercises to give you many opportunities to reflect and discover options for what you could be managing differently and better in your enterprise. Like all of the Lean Kanban curriculum was created through collaboration of leading experts and validated many training classes around the world. As a result, you get pragmatic, actionable guidance you can implement in your organization next week - because it doesn't require permission, a large budget or getting others to change.

Daily Schedule

Each day includes four intensive 90-minute sessions. With proper breaks between the "quarters" as well as the lunch breaks, it takes about eight hours to complete each day's agenda. Here's the approximate schedule:

9:00-10:30 Class session (Q1)
10:30-11:00 Break 
11:00-12:30 Class session (Q2)
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-3:00 Class session (Q3)
3:00-3:30 Break
3:30-5:00 Class session (Q4)


Here's the approximate day-to-day agenda of the five days of Enterprise Services Planning workshop.

Q1 Introductions, Overview of strategy
Q2 Organizational risk categorization, corporate identity, fragility, resilience, robustness, antifragility, organizational dilemma
Q3 Fit-for-Purpose framework: core concepts
Q4 Fit-for-Purpose framework: managing for F4P, F4P cards and box scores, from insights to action, integrations
Q5 Custom risk assessment frameworks: visualizing risks, cost of delay, sequencing
Q6 Custom risk assessment frameworks: design your own
Q7 Alignment of strategy and capability
Q8 Strategy review and survivability assessment
  Executive Track ends
Q9 Cost of delay in depth: market payoff functions, delay cost functions, probable cost of delay in starting, urgency, optimal start date and class of service guidance
Q10 Real options, using options to manage under conditions of uncertainty, implications of uncertainty and options on organizational design
Q11 Embedded options, complex sequencing, custom risk assessment frameworks in more depth, shaping demand with policy
Q12 Shaping demand with capacity allocation
Q13 Risk hedging, dynamic WIP constraints, prioritizing market segments
Q14 Portfolio Kanban
  Product Manager Track ends
Q15 Mathematical properties of time in process, probabilistic forecasting of deliveries and projects
Q16 Labour pool liquidity, system liquidity
Q17 Volatility, turbulence, squeezes, Fit-for-Purpose case study, scaling, contrasting approaches to managing dependencies
Q18 Enabling capacity planning with Kanban cadences, options for dealing with irrefutable demand
Q19 Dependencies: summarizing various types of dependencies and various options for managing them (learned throughout the class)
Q20 Dynamic capacity reservation systems