LPPDE History: Part 1 The Early Years
NOTE from Lean Frontiers: From it’s beginning, Lean Frontiers, Inc. has supported the vision and mission of LPPDE as a non-profit organization. Leading up to LPPDE North America 2019 (October 21-24, 2019 on Jekyll Island, GA), we are helping to celebrate the 20th LPPDE conference with this multi-part retrospective on LPPDE’s history. We hope that you’ll learn not only about the history of this organization, but also get a glimpse into the learning and maturing of the LPPD community over the years. Join this long-standing community of practitioners by attending the 2019 conference. Learn more at www.lppde.org.
LPPDE History: Part 1 The Early Years
Written by Peter PalmÃ©r, LPPDE Chair
My background of LPPDE
LetÂ´s start in March 2006. I attended a conference in Chicago called Lean Design & Development, it was a great conference but something was missing. One evening we went out with to have dinner with an interesting author I read, namely Michael Kennedy and his son Brian. They brought a friend, Durward Sobek. We had a wonderful evening with great knowledge exchange! The year after we invited Michael to Sweden and then he told me about LPPDE. An organization with the objective to organize the premier knowledge-sharing forum to build and support a community of Lean Product Development experts and practitioners. That sounded great, count me in for Denver 2008.
I had learnt that you should attend the conference with at least one colleague. I could not convince any colleague to go with me so I made the second best choice, a longtime partner in a LPD network from Chalmers University of Technology Dr GÃ¶ran Gustafsson. GÃ¶ran has been to all LPPDE conferences but one from the first one and has become a true learning partner and a deep friend. I also continued the partnership from Chicago with Stefan BÃ¼kk who was my co-leader of the Swedish LPD-network where we started learning about LPD some couple of years before. We planned the trip and divided the different tracks between us, we were very anxious to go as we read about LPPDE;
ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION
Lean Product and Process Development Exchange, Inc. is a new organization to create opportunities to grow and share the knowledge, expertise and experiences that help organizations use lean product development to dramatically improveproduct development performance. Our board members include Durward K. Sobek, Katherine Radeka, Michael Kennedy, Rich Gildersleeve and Jim Huntziger. We are in the process of obtaining nonprofit status.Â
Exchange of knowledge over a dinner
We had learnt that a dinner was a perfect knowledge exchange so we started the eve before the conference with a dinner with Michael and Brian Kennedy. Some very interesting discussions and a lot of new knowledge and old truths were disussed.
LPPDE North America 2008 in Denver â Pre-conference
The conference started with interactive workshops on Monday, April 21, three in parallel
- Full day: Leadership Skills for Lean Product Developers with Jamie Flinchbaugh and Katherine Radeka
- Full day: Effective Use of Value Stream Maps and Process Flow in Product Development with Jim Luckman
- Morning: Using the Obeya for Visual Project Coordination with Tricia Sutton
- Afternoon: TRIZ for Knowledge Reuse with Ellen Domb
I enjoyed the Obeya and Visual Project Coordination as that was something we were very much on the way with at home and we had a great knowledge exchange during the interactive workshop.
The afternoon session Ellen Domb turned things around saying itÂ´s all about TRIZ and that you should never make a trade-of! She and Brian Kennedy, who also attended the workshop, had a very interesting discussion during the workshop which I understand continued for several months after! It shows that you always need to have a deeper knowledge to understand.
I went directly to my two Swedish friend to sit down in the evening to compare notes and learn together with Stefan and GÃ¶ran. Like the preparation to make a VSM they had visualized during the workshop GÃ¶ran attended which we discussed thoroughly.Â
LPPDE North America 2008 in Denver
The first LPPDE conference chair Katherine Radeka from the board took the stage to welcome us all to the very first Exchange! Katherine was the project leader (chair) of this conference. Katherine had already had a morning meeting with Rocky Mountain PDMA April Chapter Meeting about Lean Product Development First Steps.
Morning session: Success stories
The headline was âSuccess Storiesâ and the opening keynote was Rich Gildersleeve from DJO â Delivering Results through Lean Product Development. Rich, from the board of LPPDE, made a colorful presentation about his companies advances with lean product development. It was the first time I heard someone saying that Lean was not about staff reduction. Of course it is not, I have never heard something that stupid, Lean is about improving! With all the people in the company. But we agreed, it is not about staff reduction. On the other side Rich stressed âLPD is all about the reduction or elimination of non-value add activities. This allows more time for innovation and great product releasesâ, that was one explanation we used in my company to gain motivation for LPD. Take away nonÂ value added time and use that time for innovation! I really enjoyed Richs presentation as it aligned well with my own experience and brought some new ideas, like ProtoStorming: Accelerating the concept development phase. I brought that one home and tested, it worked quite nicely.
Dan Shoenhair of PING Golf followed with âSuccess Story: How Lean Product Development Prepared PING to Optimize the Knowledge Creation Value Streamâ. Dan spoke about Pings long travel along a knowledge based PD and how they worked with customer interests to secure the PD-process maximize the customer value. Their approach with testing first, designing second really felt obvious. They had gone through the PD Value Stream to Knowledge value stream and were now working with the Innovation value stream. A great example of successful knowledge driven PD.
Up next was Dantar Oosterwal, Sara Lee with âSuccess Story: Knowledge Based Product Developmentâ. Dantar had the title VP of Innovation, a very interesting start. He stated that âInnovation is a driver of our economyâ¦â. Dantar left us with 3 Key Lessons:
- Be clear about the problemyou are trying to fix
- Bad systems beat Good People every time
- P-D-C-A as close to the work as possible
A very thoughtful presentation and I have had the privilege of having many more knowledge exchanges with Dantar over the years.
To sum up the morning there was a Thought Leader Perspective: Tapping Engineering Potential by Durward K. Sobek, Ph.D., Montana State University
Durward started by making us reflect with the question: âWhat have you learned from the previous three presenters that will change the way you work in some way?â and asked us to write it down! This made me thing really hard about what I could bring home and make real in my professional work. He also asked us to think about if it really was the most important for us to work about and also about how to do itâ¦
He told a story about Vince Lombardi who believet that greatness came from executing the fundamentals, and that should never be forgotten. He also went through the true output from PD: Operational Value Streams. In the 20th LPPDE Exchange I have asked Durward to reflect on this presentation from 2008 and what has happened during these years. That will surely be an interesting presentation.
After lunch we had focused discussions
The group was divided in three parallel tracks for focused discussionsconference started with pre-conference interactive workshops on Monday, April 21, three in parallel:
- Lean Product Development Flow â Bo Oppenheim, Loyola Marymount University
- Visual Project Rooms and Obeya Demonstration â Tricia Sutton
- The Chief Engineer â Michael Kennedy
A great format and I sat in om Michaels discussion and we joined forces all present to discuss the pros and cons of a Chief Engineer system.
Last point of the day was three panels Q&A
The conference started with pre-conference interactive workshops on Monday, April 21, three in parallel
- Knowledge-Based Development âModerator: Michael N. Kennedy
- Lean Transformation Leadership â Moderator: Katherine Radeka
- Lean Software Development â Moderator: Mary Poppendieck
I attended the first panel on knowledge-based development where Michael Kennedy moderated Ron Marsiglio, Ellen Domb, Dantar Oosterwal and Dan Shoenhair. Great discussions, specially whenEllen Domb came back to the theory of not making trade-ofs.
That evening the reflection with my two friends Stefan and GÃ¶ran was quite important as we had all taken in so much more knowledge as well as getting affirmation on quite a few areas.
Day two â morning session
The morning session had the same structure.
Ron Marsiglio, CTO of Teledyne Taptone presented âKnowledge-Based Product Development: One Companyâs Journeyâ. A great journey where Ron decided to go over to Knowledge based development even if it put all deliveries at risk and proved it worked! Even if I have heard Ron tell the story many times afterwards it is still amazing. The succeeded in changing their company culture in a year!
Sarah McCarvill, Otto Bock Healthcare – Success Story: The People Side of Lean Product Development. Sara told the story of the first part of Otto Bocks transformation focusing on the often forgotten âpeople-sideâ of the transformation. Even if the story was quite interesting and we have invited her to tell how their journey advanced my main memory was summing up books on a A3 which I have practiced a lot at home over the years, thanks Sarah!
Reaz Rasul, GE Healthcare – Success Story: Beginning the Lean Transformation. Reaz told us about their planning for the transformation where they started with a Lean product development strategic road-map. They surely made a thorough work with their plans.
As first day the morning we ended with a Thought Leader Perspective: The System Level View by Michael N. Kennedy, Targeted Convergence.
Michael went through his description of the needed LPPD-system with the âtwo-arrow pictureâ we saw everywhere in Sweden afterwards! A true thought leader perspective!
Afternoon open exchange
Wednesday afternoon we had open exchange sessions for small group discussions on the topics that we wanted to learn more about! Each participant had the opportunity to participate in three different Open Exchange sessions with up to 15 other lean product developers. This was a controlled chance to network with others who are keenly interested in the same areas of lean product development. The conference chair accepted nominations for Open Space sessions on Tuesday afternoon, and we then held a vote on Wednesday morning. Topics receiving enough votes were provided with a Thought Leader to host the discussion, a time and a meeting space for Wednesday afternoon for a small group knowledge sharing session.
The BOD stressed: âThis is a great way to dive deeply into a specific area with one of the leading lean product development experts, while you build relationships and share best practices with your peers. We hope this will become a knowledge-sharing tradition at LPPDEâ.
The open exchange topics were:
- Customer Needs
- Global PD
- Integration events
- Knowledge creation
- Lean SW Development
- Software tools
- True Innovation
As we started the LPPDE Exchange we ended! Stefan, GÃ¶ran and myself with our friend Durward Sobek and our new friend Mary and Tom Poppendieck! Another great knowledge exchange and new friends to keep contact with!
A bonus for myself was that I got a ride to the airport in Mary and Toms Jeep! You never get surprised by the possibilities these reflections bring.