Coaches & Consultants

James Sutton


Senior Consultant

Based Out Of:

Washington, GA (USA)

James Sutton is a Senior Consultant with Net Objectives, emphasizing improving the mission effectiveness of organizations by building their own brand of integrated Lean Systems Thinking at all levels, and making the workplace more joyous and energizing for everyone. He has been the Chief Architect on major information and integration projects, as well as liaison/negotiator with other governments and regulatory agencies, including the FAA, UK ATC, MoD, and Italian military.

James helps commercial, industrial, and government organizations strengthen their systems of value identification and delivery. They do so by applying principles from Lean, Systems, Complexity Theory, and Innovation science, combined with social-trust mechanisms.

In the 1980s James was among the first in the U.S. to adopt Lean. He studied the Japanese Lean Masters through GOAL/QPC Institute, which made many of their first English translations, and applied it to software and systems work. Since then, James has led or helped projects sized from thousands to billions dollars. Productivity has doubled to quadrupled; release-to-market cycles shrank to once per week, quality improved an order of magnitude, and worker retention hit new highs. His work is described in his book "Lean Software Strategies," awarded the Shingo Prize which Business Week has called "The Nobel Prize of manufacturing."

James is one of a few hundred Expert Systems Engineering Professionals (ESEPs) worldwide. The ESEP is the highest world standard for systems professionals. It is issued by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). He also has a Black Belt in Quality Function Deployment (QFD), and is certified in many Lean, Agile, cultural transformation, and innovation approaches. Some of these include: SAFe (Structured Agile Framework), the Harvard Negotiation Approach ("Getting to Yes"), Kanban, Temenos (helping an organization co-develop a compelling shared vision derived from individual visions), and GTI (General Theory of Innovation). In 2009 he co-founded the non-profit Lean Software & Systems Consortium (LSSC), later Lean Systems Society, which promotes Lean and Systems Thinking on five continents. He became its president in 2011 and remains so today.

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