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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

Build a Workplace People Love - Just add Joy

Create 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

Curating a Legend

The 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

Innovation Through Collaboration

Get the inside account and details from Toyota Avalon’s chief engineer about the all-encompassing makeover of the 2019 model, recently unveiled at the North American International Auto Show. 

You’ll hear how the automaker’s U.S.-based design, engineering, and manufacturing organization set best-in-world performance targets for the 5th generation Avalon, which incorporates Toyota’s New Global Architecture, K-sedan platform.

You’ll also learn how the team’s innovative spirit and worldwide collaboration led to the adoption of completely new technology for multimedia, audio, exterior lighting, connected technologies, and other areas on the all-new Avalon. which is designed and assembled in the U.S.

Randy Stephens
Randy Stephens

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

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Learning Sessions

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

Solar Turbines (a Caterpillar Company), one of the largest producers of industrial gas turbines in the world, has a history of continuously improving the value it delivers to customers. After successfully implementing lean principles in manufacturing, the company has brought them to the office and product development.   

Join them for this reflection on their journey, which has yielded huge improvements in development velocity, product cost management, quality, and product/program financial success. You’ll hear about real challenges, failures, and LPPD experiments, including value stream mapping, front loading, obeya rooms, and – their best experiment to date -- workflow management to level work and improve value-stream flow.

You’ll also learn about the cultural values and associated behaviors that sustain process gains and some simple rules to make workflow management a success and your biggest competitive advantage.

Solar’s workflow management system has achieved:

  • Clarity and alignment of priorities, internally and with customers (no more priority meetings, hallway lobbying, or associated start/stop madness)
  • Elimination of “hidden factories” (over processing, working on the wrong project) velocity gains (improvements exceeding 30%!)
  • Reduced work queues and process bottlenecks
  • More engaged and empowered work groups
Set-Based Concurrent Engineering
LPPD for a Better World: Applying LPPD to Solve Challenges in the Contexts of Poverty
1,500 New Products: Every Year, On Time and On Target
Lean Process Creation: The Required Process for Developing Products Customers Want
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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