Transition to

We are phasing out this website and are transitioning to our “new home” at . Please check it out for the latest news, and a long list of academic and practitioner resources!

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Feature Article About Our Work

PM Network - June 2013

The cover story in June of PMI’s flagship magazine, PM Network, is an article on our work on Lean Management: “Cut Waste, Save Money: The Lean Enablers Equation“.

It is based on our work of applying Lean Management principles to better running large-scale engineering programs. A key resource, if you are interested in more, is our book “The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs”, which you can download as a PDF at MIT’s digital library. We also just won the 2013 Shingo Research Award for the book.

If you are interested in getting involved in our work, please explore our website and sign up to our mailing list.

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Join us June 26 at INCOSE IS 2013

Please join us on June 26, 2013 for a 1-day workshop at the INCOSE Annual International Symposium in Philadelphia.

Learn about implementing the Lean Enablers and hear about the Lean journeys of your peers!

The workshop will take place from 10am to 5pm

Agenda highlights include:

  • Risk-based assessment of your program to identify the most relevant Lean Enablers
  • Maturity assessment of your organization in their use of Lean Enablers
  • Workshop formats and implementation methods for Lean Enablers
  • Exclusive Sneak Preview of our Encyclopedia of Lean Enablers
  • Discussion of implementation success stories

You can download the flyer here.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

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Bo Oppenheim video commentary on the “Guide”

A brief video commentary by Bo Oppenheim on the “Guide to Lean Enablers” is now available on Youtube: .

This video was shown at the Shingo award ceremony on May 7 2013, where we received the 2013 Shingo Research Award for the Guide.

The video is about 2 minutes long.

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“The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs” Receives International Recognition for Contributing to the Global Discipline of Operational Excellence

Shingo Research AwardOur book, the “Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs“, received the 2013 Shingo Research Award! Please read the full press release below.

The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, part of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, has selected “The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs” by Josef Oehmen, et al., as a recipient of the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award.

“Receipt of the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award signifies authors’ significant contribution to the body of knowledge surrounding operational excellence,” said Robert Miller, executive director of The Shingo Prize. “”The intent is to motivate others to learn from them.”

“The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs” is based on the findings of a one-year project executed by experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),Project Management Institute (PMI) and the International Council on Systems Engineering(INCOSE) during 2011 and 2012. The guide identifies 43 “lean enablers” or tools that organizations can utilize within their project management efforts to increase efficiency and eliminate wasteful activities. Surveys completed by programs that implemented the tools reported improvements in cost, schedule, quality and stakeholder satisfaction.

“‘The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs’ offers careful examination of effective programs and illustrates how collaboration between program managers and systems engineers, paired with the adoption of lean enablers, contribute enormously to the success of projects,” said John A. Thomas, president of INCOSE. “We’re honored that The Shingo Prize recognizes the Guide’s use of lean thinking to remove waste and deliver value to customers.”

“What I find so compelling about the Guide is that it’s wisdom is deeply rooted in the real-world experiences of active systems engineering practitioners,” said George Rebovich, Jr., director at The MITRE Corporation. “The Guide’s best practices and lessons learned are authentic and immediately usable. It’s a must-have resource for every program manager and systems engineer.”

By “challenging” or applying for an award, authors invite a group of accomplished professionals and trained examiners from The Shingo Prize to thoroughly review their publications. The examiners select the publications they think are worthy of recognition.

“On behalf of PMI, I congratulate the MIT-PMI-INCOSE team on their receipt of the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award for their work on ‘The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs,’” said Mark A. Langley, president and CEO of Project Management Institute. “This team clearly demonstrated the added value that can be delivered through integrated program management and systems engineering.”

The authors will receive the award during the opening social of the 25th Annual Shingo Prize International Conference held in Provo, Utah, the week of May 6-10, 2013. The opening social is the beginning of this four-day event featuring a selection of workshops, plant tours, keynote speakers and breakout sessions designed to provide ongoing knowledge, insights and experience for organizations in their pursuit of operational excellence.

About The Shingo Prize 
The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence is named after Japanese industrial engineer, Shigeo Shingo. Dr. Shingo distinguished himself as one of the world’s thought leaders in concepts, management systems and improvement techniques that have become known as the Toyota Business System. Drawing from Dr. Shingo’s teachings, The Shingo Prize helps companies and organizations increase their efficiency and effectiveness by developing cultures that better tap the talents of their employees. It also awards and recognizes organizations that demonstrate exceptional results from applying its philosophy and recognizes authors who have contributed important insights and applications of the principles it teaches. Those interested in more information about The Shingo Prize or in registering to attend the 25th Annual International Conference may visit

Authors of “The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs” include Josef Oehmen, Bohdan Oppenheim, Deborah Secor, Eric Norman, Eric Rebentisch, Joseph Sopko, Marc Steuber, Rick Dove, Kambiz Moghaddam, Steve McNeal, Mohamed Ben-Daya, Wolf Altman and John Driessnack.

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Workshop at INCOSE Conference in January a Big Success

Hello everyone, just a quick note that the workshop that we held at the INCOSE International Workshop in Jacksonville, FL at the end of January was a big success.

  • We received the 2012 INCOSE Working Group Award for our work on Lean Engineering Program Management with PMI.
  • Our 1-day session was very well attended with 24 participants.
  • We had a number of very interesting presentations, including an overview by Thales of how they use A3-Forms to simplify and streamline the management of the Lean improvement activities.
  • We held a great workshop session in the afternoon, continuing our work on “Lean Metrics”. We identified a number of hot candidates that our work will focus on in the future, including:
    • Value Principle: Requirements maturity and certainty risk.
    • Value Stream Principle: % of ideal value stream defined;
    • Flow Principle: Velocity Measures; and Rework Measures;
    • Pull Principle: Understanding deliverables; and Synchronization of data flow.
    • Perfection Principle: Handling of imperfections; and Continuous improvement.
    • Respect for people Principle: Employee Satisfaction; and Leadership.
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LPM CoP Working Session at the 2013 INCOSE IW, Jan 27

Calling all Lean Program Management subject matter experts (SMEs)!  Our Joint Lean in Program Management Community of Practice (CoP) will meet with the INCOSE Lean Systems Engineering Working Group at the 2013 INCOSE International Workshop (IW) in Jacksonville FL, USA on January 27, 2013 from 9:00am-5:00 pm.  The INCOSE Lean SE WG is our partner in the joint INCOSE-PMI-MIT effort to document Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs.

The CoP has made substantial progress on elaborating the detailed descriptions of each of the Lean Enablers and related supporting elements.  In this working session we will review the progress on the Lean Enablers and plan next steps.  However, much of the workshop will focus on the on-going development and refinement of metrics for Lean program execution.  The combination of enablers and metrics are the major elements in the release of expanded content and materials for the Lean Enablers on-line later in 2013.

We welcome the participation of SMEs who bring their experience and insights about metrics associated with successful program execution, or use of metrics to support successful program management in general.  The INCOSE workshop website will help you to find more information about the IW and to register to attend.


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Join us October 20 at the PMI Global Congress in Vancouver

Please join us at the Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs Working Session, which will occur on Saturday, 20 October from 9:00am-5:00 pm, prior to the PMI Global Congress – North America in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  You can find more information on the PMI Global Congress at their website, where you also need to register if you wish to attend our workshop on Saturday morning.

In the workshop we will explore applying the lean enablers from the study to actual program challenges with professional colleagues working in teams in a highly interactive working session.

The preliminary agenda is as follows:

  • Lean Primer                                                                          09:00 – 10:30
  • AM Break                                                                               10:30 – 10:45
  • Exercise: Identifying/Removing Waste                          10:45 – 11:45
  • Lean Enablers Study Findings/Application                   11:45 – 12:30
  • Networking Lunch                                                               12:30 – 13:30
  • PMI Program Management Standard & Lean Study   13:30 – 14:00
  • Exercise:  Application of Lean Enablers                         14:00 – 15:30
  • PM Break                                                                               15:30 – 15:45
  • Lean & Agile Integration Discussion                               15:45 – 16:45
  • Closing comments                                                               16:45 – 17:00
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Executive summary now available

A brief 2-page executive summary, outlining the content of the “Guide” as well as our group activities, is now available in the Download Section.

The executive summary is the ideal document to share with colleagues, subordinates and management to introduce them to our work.

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Excellent reception of the “Guide”

Our Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs was presented last week at the 2012 Annual INCOSE Symposium. It is a pleasure to report that it was very well received by the community. INCOSE President John Thomas hailed it as a “strong leadership piece” in his welcoming speech at the Joint Leadership Meeting. Gary Roedler, Chair of INCOSE’s Corporate Advisory Board, referred to it as an excellent result of the INCOSE-PMI-MIT collaboration and something that INCOSE should be doing more of. We were obviously very pleased by these kind and encouraging words. And after Terence Cooke-Davies held up and praised the Guide during his keynote speech, the remaining hardcopies provided by PMI were gone in a few minutes.

For everyone who was not able to score a hardcopy, there are still plenty of copies available for download.

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