Enterprise Services Planning

(five-day modular training program)


Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) workshop cannot happen in the usual in-person format for the foreseeable future. It has to move to a virtual format.

There is an international group of participants who registered originally for the in-person ESP workshop in Toronto in May 2020. We postponed this workshop indefinitely in March 2020 after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions affecting many countries. After several months of adaptation to the new realities, we're ready to start in the virtual format.

You can still join this group! Please read the details carefully and find the registration widget at the bottom of this page.

We plan to restart in Q3/2020 (there's some flexibility about the exact starting date - we welcome input from the new participants). Instead of five intense full days - virtual sessions no longer than 3 hours, two sessions per week, so that you can keep sustainable pace and balance ESP learning with work and life demands. These are the preferences of the current participant group.

Due to the timezone differences, the group will split into two subgroups to give everyone convenient learning time in the morning, afternoon, or evening. We're working out specific timings with the participants.


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&2, Virtual: Modules Q1-Q8)

  • 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 (To Mid-Day 4, Virtual: Modules Q1-Q14)

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, Virtual: All Modules Q1-Q20)

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.

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. As a result, you get pragmatic, actionable guidance you can implement in your organization next week.


Most likely, 2 sessions per week, starting in late July. The session length not to exceed 3 hours. Each session will likely cover approximately 2 of the 20 modules (see the ESP syllabus below).

The online participants are located in three clusters of time zones: the Americas, Europe/Africa, and Asia/Pacific. The one-schedule-fits-all approach is impractical. It will be the middle of the night somewhere, always. We plan to repeat each session twice and give people in each geographical zone convenient time in the morning or evening. We're working out the details right now.

We plan to start in late July 2020, give or take a week - coordinating with the registered participants, input from the new participants welcome.


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

Registration for the ESP Workshop

The price of the full ESP program is $5000 (Canadian), approximately $3650 (USD) or 3250 EUR at today's exchange rates.

Participants outside Canada: your registration is not subject to Canadian sales taxes. Please select the shopping cart item with the globe icon to ensure the export sales tax rate of 0%).

Participants from within Canada: as we're based in Ontario, have have to charge you our province's HST (13%) regardless of which province or territory you're based in. This is the clarification we received independently from the CRA and our accountant.

Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) Full Program, global, online, 2nd half 2020

ESP full program, online, 2nd half 2020, tentative start late July (participants outside Canada, sales tax 0%)

ESP full program, online, 2nd half 2020


Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) Executive Track, global, online, 2nd half 2020

ESP Exec Track, online, 2nd half 2020, tentative start late July (participants outside Canada, sales tax 0%)

ESP Exec Track, online, 2nd half 2020


Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) Product Manager Track, global, online, 2nd half 2020

ESP Product Manager Track, online, 2nd half 2020, tentative start late July (participants outside Canada, sales tax 0%)

ESP Product Manager track, online, 2nd half 2020


Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) Full Program, Canada, online, 2nd half 2020

ESP full program, online, 2nd half 2020, tentative start late July (Canadian participants, HST 13%)

ESP full program, online, 2nd half 2020


Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) Executive Track, Canada, online, 2nd half 2020

ESP Exec Track program, online, 2nd half 2020, tentative start late July (Canadian participants, HST 13%)

ESP Exec Track, online, 2nd half 2020


Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) Product Manager Track, Canada, online, 2nd half 2020

ESP Product Manager Track program, online, 2nd half 2020, tentative start late July (Canadian participants, HST 13%)

ESP Product Manager Track, online, 2nd half 2020