The Savvy Consortium's

New Product Development & Engineering Conference XXVII

New Product Development, Innovation & Engineering

Tuesday-Wednesday October 1-2, 2019

The Toro Company

Minneapolis, MN

Learning the NPD&E management concepts, principles, and practices is arduous for most engineering managers. Applying these three requires engineering managers to learn from the actual experiences of high performance Engineering managers working through similar challenges.

This Savvy Conference enables you to build an experience-based understanding of current product innovation and engineering management practices, methods, tools. You will learn how to connect these ‘tools’ with time-tested principles of developing engineers’ talents, people collaboration, process execution, and waste reduction (Lean and Agile).  

If your 2019-20 initiatives require you to drive and build your knowledge and connect the tools, Savvy’s NPD&I&E Conference provides the robust methods to accomplish these initiatives.  You will find it’s always profitable to gain exposure to what others are doing in product development and engineering managers' operations.  New product development and innovation in industries adjacent to your process space are adaptable. By participating in this Savvy NPD&I&E Conference, you will see the Leadership Thinking that Engineering Executives bring to technical products' manufacturing organizations. You will experience and trust the standard principles of Engineering Managers' operating processes and tools that you can ‘bolt on’ to your existing NPD&I&E operations.  This is fundamental to your organization’s success.

A new focus in this Savvy Consortium Conference is “design engineering/manufacturing process”, which is critical to on-time/economically successful new product manufacturing launches.

Tuesday, October 1

Welcome and Opening Presentation
  • Grant Young
  • General Manager Commercial Division
  • The Toro Company
Complex Product Design and Operations Development: DEV-OPS
  • Gene Kania
  • Director of Program Management
  • Broadcom, Incorporated (Chicago)
Complex Product design engineering is successful when the new product is manufacturable in assembly operations. The first step is to map out the tasks from start to finish and includes a visual of the stream of knowns/unknowns, risks and solutions, and the possible waste efforts/useless knowledge that the development team will have to address (both by design engineers and manufacturing engineers). Gene Kania presents the ‘back to fundamentals’ process tasks and people involvement in solving the problems, converting unknowns into knowns while simultaneously making the value building flow from design to assembly. Gene will present the key driver for this process: the executive leader who expects the collaborative work to be done at the operating level. The result: a waste free, smooth flow DEV-OPS problem solving, people respecting system delivering customer-satisfying, differentiated product systems.
Design engineering/manufacturing Process: Panel of NPD and MFG Engineering Managers
  • Panel of NPD and MFG Engineering Managers
The process of transferring critical engineering knowledge from new product design engineers to manufacturing engineers leaves many process problems unsolved. While the root cause of the manufacturing process problems is most often in the product design engineering process, the operations challenges require improvements. This panel will discuss the challenges that repeat and the process tools they use to improve their operations.
Usability: Critical Knowledge for Design Engineering
  • Nicole Hollopeter
  • Director of Human Factors 
  • Steris/US Endoscopy
What do engineers know about the actual use of the products they design? What do they know about the customer users’ interaction with products? Are use instructions clear, intuitive and coherent? What about use context: current knowledge of the use environment, user error, space where new products really used, how used? Safety, reliability, ergonomics, efficient use, risks, and more. The speaker will show experiences in learning the elements of the user interface system made Visual: people, tasks, touch, line of sight, equipment, lighting, light, air, air flow, efficiency. This presentation demonstrates visually, conceptually and describes practically the elements of customer use that design engineers need to identify and solve problems, design product functions and thereby differentiate their products that satisfy customers.
Adapting Lean Methods in an R&D Driven Technology Development Engineering Process
  • Becky Tallon
  • Engineering Director -- Water Treatment Technology
  • A.O. Smith Corporation
Becky Tallon shares her initiatives, and challenges, in adapting Lean tools and methods to improve technology transfer and better integrate Product Development and Engineering Projects with R&D teams, who use different tools and methods to solve problems and generate knowledge. Product Development and Engineering Projects incorporate shorter learning cycles and rich personal collaboration among the technical knowledge people. Product design engineers employ tools and methods that require better resource utilization, greater collaboration, and more frequent pivot points. R&D teams use scientific depth for their problem-solving knowledge generation and technology development, but are often farther removed from the voice of customer, have less collaboration with other departments, and need to take more technical risks. Becky describes how bringing the differences to light enables better R&D and NPD processes, allowing high performance New Product Development teams to better collaborate with R&D people.

Wednesday, October 2

Virtual Reality-Augmented Reality Demonstration
  • Tom Feldmann
  • Sr. Principal Systems Specialist
  • Engineering Technical Services
  • The Toro Company
Visual Management Transformation: Breaking down the walls when scaling your Lean/Agile system
  • Chad Mitchell
  • Manager, HDD R/W Channel Integration
  • iObeya VVM WDC Business Owner
  • HDD RSS Clarity Champion
  • Western Digital
Transforming the human interaction processes, collaboration and co-operation, in multi-location cross functional development teams requires savvy observation and intelligent diagnostics. Chad Mitchell will present his experiences designing and using iObeya for Lean/Agile teams. He will show how the complementing hardware system can work together with iObeya to create team interactions that virtualize the physical obeya room.  He will demonstrate the setup for SAFe agile release trains (ARTs) and scrum rooms that enable the engineers to verbally/visually interact with each other in daily stand-up meetings, retrospectives, and PI planning.  He can demonstrate the connectivity with the Jira database that create a complementary set of tools to improve the overall flow of information.  The impact?  Most companies do not have the luxury of being co-located for R&D. This solution is meant to break down the physical walls and close the time zones between the teams without giving up human interaction that is essential to successful teams.
The Pursuit of Excellence as a Foundation for NPD: Virtues at Work
  • Deborah Savage, Ph.D.
  • Clinical Professor of Philosophy/Theology/Executive MBA
  • University of St. Thomas
Implementing Reinertsen: A Lean Case Study
  • Steve Zielinski
  • Senior Systems Engineering Manager
  • Boston Scientific
Boston Scientific R&D started their lean journey years ago with the adoption of Agile (namely - Scrum). The adoption of Scrum improved many things, but difficult problems remained unsolved or reappeared: the project portfolio grew, the organization was rigid in the presence of change, silos appeared and grew stronger among the functional groups, and projects began suffering schedule overruns. Over the last year, BSC R&D has returned to the foundations of lean/agile. Using Donald Reinertsen's Principles of Product Development Flow as the cornerstone to guide improvements, BSC’s R&D teams are re-discovering lean and driving organizational change. Steve will share the lessons learned with a focus on practical and specific suggestions to accelerate the change in your business.
The ‘Big Room’ Initiative: Why, How, What
  • Rajeshwar Adupala, Chief Engineer – Compacts, Loaders and Attachments
  • CNH Industrial
  • Todd Stute, Continuous Improvement Leader
  • Savvy Consortium


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.

Firms attending Savvy Sponsored Product Development Knowledge Events the partial list of firms below:

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.

SAVE THE DATE: October 1-2, 2019

Savvy Conference XXVII
Host: The Toro Company: Bloomington, MN

Plan for you / your colleagues to participate Savvy Conference XXVII. 20% Discount offered to groups of three or more from the same company.