Designing the Future Summit 2019
Creating New Value Through Lean Development
June 27-28, 2019  |  Traverse City, MI
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Designing The Future 2019:  Changing the way new value is created.

Thank you for your interest in our 2019 Designing The Future Conference. This conference is for those who know that the best way to predict your future is to design it. Doing the same thing you’ve always done, just a little better, is no longer enough - creating a steady stream of new products and services that your customers love is the surest path to sustained success.

Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) principles and practices comprise a unique and highly effective way to design and deliver new products and services. This year’s conference will once again feature some of the most successful LPPD practitioners, from a wide variety of industries, who will share insights gained through years of real world experience.

If you were with us last year then you already know what a great experience this conference can be. We are working diligently to make this year’s event even better.  Consider joining us in beautiful Traverse City on June 27 and 28 for what we hope will be the most important conference you attend this year. Hope to see you there!

Best Regards,
Jim Morgan

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

Why You Need a Product Focus for an Enterprise Transformation

Many organizations have successfully implemented lean practices in isolated areas, but a complete lean enterprise transformation eludes them.  And while these “pockets of excellence” are good, they fall far short of the potential of an aligned and inspired enterprise. 

Now think about this … Creating customer defined value is the first principle of lean and the reason your organization exists.  Your organization’s core products and services are the ultimate manifestation of all your value-creating activities and their true measure of success. Your products also form the most important connections across functions and consequently create a potent platform for organizational change.  Everyone is included – everyone is important! Product and process development are where all the interests and skills of all the various groups intersect and it’s where your customer will experience the greatest impact. The key is to move our focus up stream to development and maintain that value creating product focus throughout the entire value stream.

Jim will share what he experienced as a global engineering director at Ford during the greatest product-led enterprise transformation in recent history under then-CEO Alan Mulally as well as what he is witnessing now at pioneering companies across a variety of industries -- lean product and process development principles and practices are a powerful way to bring the enterprise together and optimize their various lean efforts into a single focused transformation effort.

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Plenary & Breakout Sessions

Envisioning the Future

A prosperous future begins with an idea. Great ideas are informed by the big trends shaping our world while leveraging your company’s strengths. In this presentation, you’ll learn some of the trade-craft involved in bringing about the world you want to see — not simply for the prosperity of your organization, but for the benefit of all stakeholders.

You’ll learn:

  • How to stay up to date on trends;
  • How to know which lines of business should take up bold visions of the future;
  • How to align the broader organization on where to focus innovation efforts – and, equally important, where not to focus;
  • How to generate bold ideas for maximum impact;
  • How to resource this work;
  • How to know when it’s time to kill an idea – and when to keep it going.  
Andi Plantenberg
Andi Plantenberg

How to Create a Great Company Culture on Purpose

You can create a good company culture by accident, but a great culture takes purpose.

Tyler Schilling, president of TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics, and Andy Houk, vice president of product development, will explain from experience why culture is no different from any other project – it takes a lot of thought and work to get great results. 

They’ll explain how purposeful guidance of culture happens through leadership behaviors. And they’ll reveal what behaviors move a company forward -- and what ones set it back.

You’ll also hear how focusing on lean product and process development provided a framework for leadership behaviors that supercharged cultural guidance at Schilling, which makes the robotic vehicles and manipulators needed to search for oil and gas in extremely harsh environments like the deep ocean.

Andy Houk
Andy Houk
Tyler Schilling
Tyler Schilling

Partnering Across the Extended Enterprise to Achieve Excellence in Product Development

Successful and sustainable product development requires a strong partnership across functional organizations and supply chain constituents.  In this presenteation, Susan DeSandre, an executive leader with experience spanning manufacturing operations and procurement, shares her real-world insights gained from extensive experience as a senior executive leader at Apple and at Ford Motor Company during its historic product-led transformation.

Successfully engaging the extended enterprise in lean product development starts with a strong partnership between internal functional organizations. Through a shared vision, aligned objectives, mutual respect and accountability, and open and honest communication, organizations can unleash the full capability of their entire organization. Susan outlines how the powerful “matched pair” strategy and the pursuit of true supplier partnerships enables exceptional collaboration and leads to better development performance, plus a better working environment for all.

Susan DeSandre
Susan DeSandre

Perspectives from a Chief Engineer: Caterpillar’s Next Generation Hydraulic Excavator

The first newly developed platform in over 25 years, Caterpillar’s 320 and 323 Next Generation Hydraulic Excavators were designed to serve the global excavator market from a common platform.

Steve Shoemaker served as the chief engineer for the excavator portfolio from 2012 to 2017, overseeing the new product from concept to production.  Based in Akashi, Japan, Shoemaker was responsible for the company’s Hydraulic Excavator Design Center as well as the global team with offices in China, Germany, and the US.  Shoemaker will share his insights on leading an engineering organization in Japan and developing a new product from the view of a chief engineer.

Steven Shoemaker
Steven Shoemaker

Re-Thinking Value Creation in Product and Process Development

Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) calls for starting with value for the customer. This is the “kentou” or study phase. And teams from sales, marketing, finance, engineering, and operations (purchasing too) need to be involved, led by a chief engineer. But the path of least resistance, particularly for design engineers, is to bound the problem by thinking mainly about the personal value for the target consumer (individual or organization) of a discrete good or service. The idea is to optimize personal/organizational utility gained from the product while minimizing waste and cost.

However, in the world today a bit of expanded kentou shows that customers often seek a solution to a complex problem involving many products rather than a single product: Mobility rather than a car, health support to prevent disease rather than just an insurance policy to cover the cost of disease, hassle-free shelter rather than a piece of real estate, etc. So LPPD needs to expand its scope in the study phase to consider the broader context. And this is not easy in practice.

Similarly, goods and services today live increasingly in a broader environmental context. So, the value of a product is not just measured by the customer’s personal utility but also by the good and bad consequences for society more broadly of the production of the product and its use through the life cycle.

Product development teams often find these considerations exasperating and default to bounded product analysis, designing as necessary to current regulations. And the consequences are often severe. A current example is designing electric vehicles without any life-cycle plan for the batteries or a low-carbon source of electricity. What looks like a minor issue at low sales volume suddenly explodes into a big problem as sales ramp and products age.

Jim Womack, senior advisor at the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute, will explore ways to consider value in a larger context without creating an impossibly complex kentou challenge.

James P. Womack
James P. Womack

Tearing Down the Barriers: How Honda Is Using LEAN Principles to Prepare for The Future

Frank Paluch spent five years as president of Honda’s R&D facilities in North America. During that time, he helped implement lean principles to improve communication and problem solving throughout R&D. This resulted in better quality, cost, and delivery.

In his new role as executive vice president of Honda’s North American manufacturing operation, Frank is leading the effort to expand lean principles beyond R&D to connect factories, suppliers, and purchasing on a much greater scale.  During this session, Frank will:

  • Explain how Honda used visual management, value stream mapping, and other lean tools to improve communication and problem solving resulting in better quality, cost and delivery.
  • Explain how R&D challenged itself to transform technical systems by utilizing digital tools for validation of design.
  • Share the power of the collaborative environment and how the one-floor concept changed R&D and the role it will play in Honda’s future.
Frank Paluch
Frank Paluch

Ubiquity Robotics

"Impossible - it can't be done!" was the reaction of the CEO of a well known robot company. Her reaction came when I announced my intent to build a 50 pound payload mobile robot platform with a BOM of ~$500 to a packed room of robot enthusiasts in Silicon Valley.  In this talk we are going to tell the story of how we did just that using a wide variety of known Lean tools, experimental methods and a shoestring team. We are going to talk about some of the surprising results achieved by making it easy for your team to experiment rather than making it easy for them to do what you tell them to and why you might want to under-fund the development of your most challenging and innovative big product.

David Crawley
David Crawley

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Learning Sessions

Open All Close All
Giving Users a Voice in UX Design

The High-Tech Anthropology™ (HTA) process is a lean way to put UI designs into the hands of users and get real feedback. Low fidelity, structured prototypes can be created quickly and cheaply, which makes testing with real users a viable option. Using this type of testing, Valerie Cole and Garry Everett at TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics were able to evaluate multiple concepts and find patterns that did or did not help users accomplish goals. 

They report that the ability to gather this feedback before a single line of code is written has been incredibly valuable to their projects in a complex development environment, where it can take weeks to implement one UI design. With HTA, they have been able to iterate several designs quickly and learn what is going to work for users.

As a result, their High-Tech Anthropologists have been able to act as the voice of users during the design phase, supporting decisions with real data, and helping to create software that satisfies users. In this session, they’ll share their knowledge and experiences with HTA to give you:

  • An accelerated introduction to the HTA process.
  • A demonstration of the benefits of HTA, including the cost-effectiveness of quick prototyping.
  • Participation in an example project of developing the user experience (UX) for a mobile app.
  • An overview of each step in the HTA process.
  • Involvement in activities demonstrating the most critical HTA concepts.
Industry Revolution Pulled by Lean Product and Process Development
Managing Product Development in Healthcare with Visual Management (Obeya)
Set-Based Concurrent Engineering
Visible Knowledge

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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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