Announcing Savvy Consortium's

New Product Development & Engineering 

Virtual Training Series

The Savvy Consortium brings eight engineering manager speakers to you, beginning on Friday, April 3rd at Noon CST.

Savvy members and conference participants access the previously scheduled conference speakers virtually in a LIVE ZOOM interactive format every Friday at Noon CST.

Participants will:

  • Benchmark other firms' tools, methods & processes to meet their schedules and serve their customers in the current COVID-19 environment
  • Interact LIVE with speakers and other participants who are managing similar challenges and seeking new opportunities to serve customers and engage teams virtually
  • Learn from trusted peers as they manage and lead their teams through uncertain and volatile conditions.

Series deliverables:

  • access to presentation materials
  • access to recordings

Registration Options: Series of 8 sessions $700 (April 3rd free) or a la carte ($150 each)

Savvy Members: From Free (Members) to Half Price (Colleagues) for Series

Friday, April 3

12:00 p.m. CST
Personas, Collaboration & Productivity in Crisis Mode
  • Beth Lasseter
  • Director of NPD Management Services
  • Savvy Consortium/Optima
High performance teams enhance organizational collaboration to accelerate the speed at which they learn, communicate and deliver results. Beth Lasseter will present a method that is used globally to understand what drives behavior and decision making in cross-functional organizations. She will demonstrate how to apply the method to innovation personas, customer personas, and team dynamics. Participants will engage in a problem-solving exercise that can be adapted to fit their own organizations to improve collaboration, team learning and productivity.

Friday, April 17

12:00 p.m.
Supplier Crisis Management
  • Rick Bauer: Director, Media Qualification, Corporate Technology Services
  • Janelle Hampton: Engineering Manager
  • Donaldson Company
What happens when a key vendor experiences production problems? Rick Bauer and Janelle Hampton from Donaldson will discuss the crisis of a single source supplier suddenly and permanently shutting down its production plant. Rick and Janelle had to quickly involve cross-functional colleagues to successfully identify unknowns, risks, and glitches created by the supply loss. Their practical experiences are a valuable lesson in the current climate of unforeseen operational disruptions.

Friday, April 24

12:00 p.m. CST
Leadership Virtues in Challenging Times
  • Paul LeMay
  • Division Engineering Manager
  • Parker Hannifin Quick Coupling Division
During the past few years, Parker Quick Coupling Division engineering teams learned how to improve their new product development work and build reliable collaboration with each other and their customers. Paul LeMay will present his experiences and outcomes of Parker’s company-wide implementation of a virtue-based work culture, and how the virtues of trust, courage, and wisdom have shaped the integrity of their operations, especially in the current volatile conditions.

Friday, May 1

12:00 p.m. CST
Innovation for Future Needs
  • Sam Landers
  • Senior Fellow R&D, retired
  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Called by former Goodyear colleague and author Norbert Majerus “a true ‘serial innovator’”, Sam is the “best in the field of innovation…and how to make lean and innovation coexist” (Lean Driven Innovation, 2016, xviii). Sam will discuss his extensive experience working with design teams and customers to bring new products to market with speed and success. His Lean journey focuses on value creation and maximizing process flow rather than waste reduction. Sam’s insights will generate energy, motivate engineers and encourage new thinking and tools.

Friday, May 8

12:00 p.m. CST
NPD Cross-Functional Team Integration
  • Terry O'Brien
  • Director of New Product Development
  • Bruno, Inc.
According to Ron Mascitelli, “new product development is the most intensely cross-functional and collaborative process in any business” (Mastering Lean Product Development, 2011, X). Problems in NPD cross-functional teams often stem from poor planning, processes, and communication. Terry O’Brien will share Bruno’s cross-functional team training, philosophy which establishes a common language amongst the various ‘Knowledge Workers’ engaged in the NPD process. Additionally, he will share the tools, methods, and visuals Bruno uses to manage cross-functional decision making at each stage of Bruno’s Stage Gate process.

Friday, May 22

12:00 p.m. CST
Adapting New Technology In Future NPD Projects
  • Jude Currier
  • Business and Market Strategist
  • Boston Scientific, former
Jude Currier has developed new tech acquisition plans for Boston Scientific for nearly 20 years. He will share his process for collecting and analyzing critical customer insights to understand • Customer needs and value • Current product lines that address the need and value interests • Understanding growth opportunities He will outline his business outcomes approach, customer value expectation tool, technology landscape assessment tool and mapping tool. Additionally, Jude will present visual process steps that lead to market and product technology integration and deployment.

Friday, May 29

12:00 p.m. CST
Voice of the Customer Tools in a Virtual Setting
  • Margot Beesley
  • Marketing & New Product Development
  • HC Companies
The primary unknown on the fuzzy front end of product development is understanding what customers want: • The outcomes they desire • The problems they’re trying to solve • The work they’re trying to do Effective interaction to learn customer practices and expectations is critical to successful project startups and learning cycles throughout the NPD process. Margot Beesley will detail how to engage true listening and probing skills and let the customer identify critical features/attributes. This knowledge can be used throughout customer interaction touch points and the development process to prevent scope creep. Margot will lead an exercise that will improve customer visits, enable productive engineering, and focus on value to the customer.

Friday, June 5

12:00 p.m. CST
Rapid Development & Learning Cycles
  • Damon Jurkiewicz: Senior Industrial Designer, Surgical Solutions
  • Nicole Hollopeter: Director of Human Factors
  • Dana Debelak: Industrial Designer (UI/UX Specialist)
  • Ken Bonenberger: Senior Program Manager
  • Steris Corporation
STERIS Surgical Solutions demonstrates the benefits of user experience based design coupled with rapid, high volume design iteration. The STERIS team highlights the roles of Industrial Design, Human Factors Engineering, and UI/UX Design operating within a cross-functional, stage-gate process.   After first understanding the product lifecycle from end to end, the team then creates a product experience that adds value for all customers and stakeholders within the lifecycle.  The team heavily relies upon tools such as customer co-design and user simulation. This approach generates valuable insights, resulting in meaningful product differentiation and innovation while accelerating new product development. 


Design engineering managers, department heads, chief engineers, functional department engineers, product engineers/marketers, directors of product engineering, change management pilot leaders, product test engineering managers, process improvement managers, product engineering development team members and leaders, and all who are responsible for improving product innovation, product development and process improvement in their product engineering operations. The conference is not open to academics, consultants, authors or gurus.

Over 1000 people have participated in Savvy conferences and learning events. They are design engineers, systems engineers, technical and scientific people; product development teams leaders, knowledge specialists, engineering departments heads, engineering support group leaders, continuous improvement managers, process excellence managers, talent build managers, knowledge system managers, and others whose mission is people development, process improvement and productivity increase.

Partial List of Firms attending Savvy Sponsored Product Development Events:

Toro, Eaton, Timken, Dana, Sauder, Medtronic, McDonalds, General Mills, TSI, Goodyear, Cooper, Amano Pioneer, Diebold, John Deere, Pella, Genie, Pella, Schram, Cabot, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Boston Scientific, Nexen, Masonite, Steris/US Endoscopy, Inovonics, UTAS Aerospace, Wil-burt, Cabot Electronics, Cooper, CNH, GE Medical, Crown, Keithley, Knowles, Parker, Actuant, Deluxe, Tennant, Henny Penny, 3M, Shram, Diamond, Emerson, Terex, Ditch Witch, Waterous, HGST, RT technologies, Altec, Toyota, Saris, Andersen, Wet Design, Sub Zero, Harley Davidson, Autobag, CA Companies, Beckman Coulter, Donaldson, Seagate and participants from many other manufacturers that are implementing continuous improvement in their product design engineering organizations.