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. Does this sound like your enterprise? ESP can help! 

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. When our firm delivers this training program, your instructor will be one of the ESP originators and a co-author of the new book, Fit-for-Purpose: How Modern Businesses Find, Satisfy & Keep Customers

Is Enterprise Services Planning the Right Training 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 from ESP Training?

(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. The Fit-for-Purpose gives us a strategic opportunity"
  • "Love the risk assessment frameworks"
  • "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"

Expert Track (whole week)

Executive Track material plus:

  • Cost of delay
  • Real options
  • Demand shaping
  • Capacity allocation
  • Risk hedging
  • Portfolio Kanban
  • Delivery and project forecasting
  • Liquidity and volatility
  • Scaling
  • Working with irrefutable demand
  • Managing dependencies
  • Dynamic capacity reservation systems

Sample takeaways:

  • "I didn't realize there are so many options for managing demand and risks"
  • "Dependencies are a big problem in our large enterprise. We've learned at least a dozen new options how to manage them better"
  • "It was extremely helpful to learn about dynamic reservation systems"

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

When and Where Is the Next ESP Training?

April 23-27

Canada Toronto
2018 TBA Netherlands Amsterdam
July 23-27 Belarus Minsk

Registration and Venues


Toronto full price is $6000 + HST for the full-week Expert Track. The two-day Executive Track, $3000 + HST. Early-bird 25% discount ends Friday, March 16. 

Toronto venue: Le Germain Hotel Maple Leaf Square

75 Bremner Blvd

Toronto, Ontario M5J 0A1

Note: this hotel is right next to the Union Station and Air Canada Centre. There is another Le Germain in Toronto on Mercer Street, please don't go there.

Enterprise Services Planning, 5-day Expert Track, Toronto, April 23-27


Enterprise Services Planning, 2-day Executive Track, Toronto, April 23-24



Registration for ESP training in Amsterdam will be handled largely by our Dutch partner. Dates to be announced later, likely in May or June 2018. Registration page, specific dates, venue, prices TBD.


Dates are tentative yet very likely. Prices and venue TBD, registration page to follow.


This training class is certified by Lean Kanban University as ESP level training. Participants receive standard LKU certificates of class completion.

  • Substitutions of participants are allowed anytime until the start of the class
  • Refunds are provided as follows: 35 days or more, 100%; 15 days or more, 50%
  • The organizer reserves the right to cancel classes if registrations are insufficient
  • Our Dutch partner may apply other appropriate policies with respect to ESP training in Amsterdam.



The ESP 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)

The schedule doesn't have to be 9 to 5. We adapt to local conditions and shift this eight-hour frame accordingly.


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

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
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
Q14 Portfolio Kanban
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