Product Development Exec: Great Products and Services Aren’t an Engineering Thing, They’re an Enterprise Thing

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In his keynote at the annual Iowa #Lean Consortium Conference on October 30, 2019, product development executive and Lean Enterprise Institute author James Morgan will explain how lean product and process development marshals the total capabilities of companies to consistently create and deliver exceptional products and services, the Institute announced today.

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Product development executive Jim Morgan will keynote the Iowa #Lean Consortium Conference on October 30, 2019.

Great product development is not a lone genius thing. It’s not even an engineering thing. It’s an enterprise thing.

Revolutionary products created by visionary geniuses may get the lion’s share of press but the vast majority of successful new products are innovations on a previous theme that literally determine the future of companies, employees, customers, and communities, says Jim Morgan, PhD, COO of electric vehicle start up Rivian, and author most recently of Designing the Future.

Creating this steady stream of winning new products and services that beat the competition is the surest path to sustainable company growth -- not waiting for a solitary star toiling in isolation to create a groundbreaking new product or an entire new industry.

“I feel strongly that great product development is not a lone genius thing,” said Morgan, who also is a senior advisor on lean #productdevelopment at the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute.

“It’s not even an engineering thing,” he said. “it’s an enterprise thing. It requires engagement with manufacturing, product development, IT, marketing, service, supply chain, purchasing, -- the whole organization collaborates in a way that very few other activities require. This is a very unique perspective on innovation that lean product and process development or LPPD has.”

#Innovating New Products and Processes
In his presentation, Morgan will detail the key principles and practices of LPPD, a comprehensive system for creating new value by designing complete, profitable value streams. Using LPPD methods, as companies develop new products and services, they develop in tandem the process steps needed to deliver them to customers, including all activities from raw materials to saleable goods.

Morgan also will describe his real-world experiences implementing LPPD at different companies and his research into its origins, tools, and methods.

The annual fall conference, sponsored by the nonprofit Iowa Lean Consortium, expects to draw more than 400 executives, managers, and continuous improvement professionals from healthcare, services, government, education, manufacturing, finance, and other businesses to the Sheraton West Des Moines, October 29-31, 2019.

The conference (#iowalean19) features three keynotes, preconference workshops, tours of companies practicing continuous improvement, and breakout sessions. Registration is open now at: .

Morgan will speak at 9:15 a.m. on Oct. 30, followed by a book signing for his latest book Designing the Future. Co-authored with lean management guru Jeff Liker, it describes how a variety of companies in a variety of industries are successfully applying LPPD principles to profitably generate new products and services – and the processes to deliver them – with speed, precision, and high quality at an affordable cost.

Morgan, a globally recognized product development expert, also leads the LPPD training initiative at the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). Prior to joining LEI, he spent more than 30 years in industry as a product development leader, including serving more than 10 years as a global engineering director at Ford Motor Company during the product-led revitalization under CEO Alan Mulally.

About LEI
Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit training, publishing, and research organization based in Boston, MA, with a mission to makes things better through lean thinking and practice to create more value and prosperity while consuming the fewest possible resources. Founded in 1997 by management expert James P. Womack, PhD, LEI conducts research, teaches educational workshops, publishes books and ebooks, runs conferences, and shares practical information about lean thinking and practice. Visit to learn more.

About the Iowa Lean Consortium
The Iowa Lean Consortium is a dynamic, member-driven non-profit dedicated to advancing lean in all sectors of the economy. Driven by members’ needs, the ILC can provide the philosophy, tools, and techniques to meet today's business challenges through members serving members, including but not limited to the following sectors: manufacturing, service/transaction, businesses, education, healthcare, and government. Visit to learn more.

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Chet Marchwinski
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