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Driving High Performance in Product and Process Development


Thank you for your interest in our inaugural lean product and process development (LPPD) conference "Designing the Future"

Why call it "Designing the Future"?  Because that’s exactly what organizations do when they develop new products and processes – nothing less than designing their future because the decisions made during development will impact them for years to come. 

I am thrilled that some of the most successful practitioners and leading thinkers have agreed to speak at this important learning and sharing event. 

LPPD principles and practices comprise a unique and powerful system that has been successfully applied to transform development capability in automotive, construction, robotics, health care, aerospace, furniture and others. Consider joining us in Traverse City to meet others who are on this journey and learn how a diverse group of organizations are applying LPPD methods to create new value in their industry.

We are working diligently to make this conference the most important lean conference you will attend this year.

Best Regards,
Jim Morgan

LEI’s Lean Product and Process Development initiative started in earnest 4 years ago. During that time, much has been learned and innovations have been created and a community is beginning to form.

This event features speakers and attendees from all sorts of industries and walks of life. Each presentation is sourced and vetted by thought leaders in the community. We focus on community pull, industry trends, and the expertise of our coaches when vetting and analyzing the right content for our community.

We wanted to create the ideal environment were every attendee gets up close to hear, see, participate and learn. In order to do so we are keeping this event to a limited audience size. We highly recommend you register as soon as possible as with this line up it will sell out.

Plenary & Breakout Sessions | Learning Sessions | Networking Opportunities | Fees | Workshops

Plenary & Breakout Sessions

Lean Product Development in the Context of New Vehicle Architecture at Rivian

Rivian is developing electric vehicles that inspire people to get out and explore the world. In 2020, the company will launch a pickup and SUV with a level of performance, capability, and utility beyond anything else on the market. Starting with a clean sheet, Rivian has developed a vehicle architecture optimized for connectivity, an electric drivetrain, and autonomy.

The company’s scalable architecture will support a portfolio of vehicle models in a wide range of segments and new technologies as the industry transforms from personally owned vehicles to mobility services. Rivian’s systems-based product development approach is enabled by a multi-disciplinary, cross-functional organizational architecture that reduces the need for iterative design processes and the overall time-to-market.

RJ Scaringe
RJ Scaringe

LPPD Journey at Solar: Using Experiments to Learn and Continuously Improve

Solar Turbines (A Capterpillar Company), one of the largest producer of industrial gas turbines in the world, has a history of continuous improvement towards providing the best value to our customer’s. After very successfully implmenting Lean principals in manufacturing,  they have taken these principals into the office and the product development cycle. 

During this presentation they will reflect on our journey that has yielded vast improvements in development velocity, product cost management, quality improvements, and product / program financial success.  Yet, sharing their challenges and failures in this journey are the real story.  We’ll tell the story of Value Stream Maps, Set Base Engineering, Front Loading, Obeya Rooms, Kanban . . . but most importantly a 10 year reflection on this journey and our latest experiment.

You will learn the cultural values and associated behaviour which led Solar’s Gas Compressor Engineering organization out of the daily fire fight / chaos and into a highly productive and continuously improving team.

Howard Kinkade
Howard Kinkade

Applying LPPD to Solve Challenges in the Contexts of Poverty

What if we applied Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) principles to some of the world’s most difficult challenges in the contexts of poverty and humanitarian work? In this session, Kendra will talk about how MIT D-Lab, a program at that works with people around the world to develop and advance collaborative approaches and practical solutions to global poverty challenges, has applied LPPD principles to its research, courses, and technology development projects.

Kendra Leith
Kendra Leith

Curating a Legend

FordThe crown jewel of Ford Motor Co., the Mustang is one of the most-coveted vehicles in the world.  As one of the very few who have served as its Chief Engineer, we will discuss the daunting task of gaining credibility and acceptance from the Mustang’s cult-like customer base, and subsequently leading a team to develop a highly anticipated 50th Anniversary product.  The role of the Chief engineer is to lead the team through the bureaucracy, uncertainty and unchartered waters.  We will discuss the characteristics of a leader in challenging the norm, setting the vision and unlocking the potential of his or her employees.

We will also discuss how transferring the skills of the Mustang’s Chief Engineer enabled the creation of the Ford Performance organization. FP not only created Ford’s strongest lineup of performance vehicles, but also was responsible for Ford’s triumphant return to LeMans, where its GT beat Ferrari for the first time in 50 years.

Dave Pericak
Dave Pericak

Teaching Lean Thinking in Product Development

We thought lean was a toolkit to optimize processes. Then we learned we had to create a system of people, processes and tools. Next, we figured out that lean is a way of thinking, a practical approach to scientific thinking. The thinking way is taught within Toyota as Toyota Business Practices and On-the-Job Development. More recently, Mike Rother has been teaching it as the improvement kata and coaching kata. We will review the Toyota model of designing to meet a challenge through iterative learning and discuss ways to develop this thinking way in your people.

Jeffrey Liker
Jeffrey Liker

LPPD for a Complex System: Mobility 2.0

We are making progress in applying LPPD concepts to an ever expanding range of discrete goods and services. But what about complex systems involving many goods and services, which may themselves be clean sheet designs? The design of Mobility 2.0 -- autonomous vehicles using low carbon-fuels as shared assets in a digitally connected system – is a fascinating current example.  Who is the chief engineer? Where is the concept paper? How can concurrent engineering with set-based design work? The challenge for LPPD of designing large systems will be the focus of Jim Womack’s plenary presentation.

James P. Womack
James P. Womack

The Clinical Design and Innovation Program of Michigan Medicine

In this session, Medical Director Lawrence Marentette, MD, will describe how a cross-functional team of project managers, industrial and operational engineers, and data, financial, and business analysts used LPPD thinking as an approach to reduce unnecessary admissions, improve ambulatory care access, and develope care pathways. It also is starting a new cost accounting strategy. Working with lean product and process coaches and practitioners, the team is reinventing new ways to improve its analyses of programs and conditions. 

Lawrence Marentette

Build a Workplace People Love - Just add Joy

Menlo InnovationsCreate an intentional team culture focused on the business value of joy and unleash the human energy and the results you always knew were possible.

In this talk, Rich Sheridan will explore what an intentionally joyful culture must choose as its focus, what joy looks like, feels like, how it is organized. Along the way, you will be confronted by paradoxical approaches of how workplace noise increases productivity, how two people at one computer outperforms hero-based organizations 10-to-1, how rigor and discipline emanate from a shared-belief system, how transparency conquers fear, how all of the disciplines you study including agile, lean, and six sigma when done well are really about building human relationships at the intersections of business and technology, between project management and software development, between development and design and how quality can be a natural result of a team built on trust.

This is not a theoretical talk, but rather a talk built from well over a decade of experience of leading a team focused on "the business value of joy".

Richard Sheridan
Richard Sheridan

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Learning Sessions

Open All Close All
“Out of the box” innovation with TRIZ

The power of TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) is to transform design contradictions into opportunity for innovation through a systematic way of thinking out of the box. Every system embeds one or more (technical) contradictions that are challenging for designers and engineers to overcome. For example, the ability to be as strong and as light as possible at the same time, or to be fast and easy to control, or a smaller size with a higher capacity.

During this session the participants will face real design challenges and will learn how TRIZ principles easily guide problem solving initiatives towards innovative solutions, able to exceed customer expectations. Moreover, the session will give insights on how to use TRIZ within A3 thinking and how to approach contradictions in order to support and address set-based design initiatives.

What you will learn:

  • What is TRIZ and systematic innovation and how to apply it
  • How TRIZ supports problem solving within A3 thinking initiatives
  • How to address your system contradictions and how to innovate
  • How to systematically cover knowledge gaps and how to address open ended problems
  • How to address innovation efforts and how to increase their outcomes by prioritizing innovation areas impact
Obeya Management System: Creating Better Products Through Transparency and Collaboration
Processes that serve people ARE the product
Set-Based Concurrent Engineering
Visible Knowledge
1,500 New Products: Every Year, On Time and On Target
Lean Process Creation
The Craft Beer Game

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Networking Opportunities

The summit is designed to be the best networking venue in the Lean Community by providing formal and informal ways for you to connect with counterparts facing the same challenges as you:

  • Networking Happy Hour (continue conversations and compare notes after the first day)
  • Networking Breaks (30 minutes to allow time for a phone call, cup of coffee, and conversation)
  • Lunch Roundtables (attendee-led discussions on topics you've told us are important to you)

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