ITLN kickoff event draws, inspires tech-savvy crowd
(April 3, 2012)
The Fisher College of Business on April 3 teamed up with Nationwide Insurance to host a crowd of nearly 200 information technology and process improvement professionals for an in-depth look at how to apply lean principles to IT.
Delivering the keynote address to Nationwide associates and representatives of 20 other companies was Mike Orzen (pictured right), a world-renowned process improvement consultant and co-author of the book Lean IT. Orzen headlined the kickoff event for the IT Leadership Network, a new group formed within the Center for Operational Excellence in Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
Lean thinking, which seeks to maximize customer value and eliminate waste through problem-solving, can drive important process improvements in the IT space, Orzen said. IT professionals often have trouble keeping up with the complexity and growth in their organizations and find it extremely challenging to sustain improvements once implemented.
“We’re really good at describing what lean is,” he said. “We don’t have a good track record of being lean and staying lean.”
The event drew an enthusiastic response from the crowd, which included featured attendees from a wide range of companies located all over the world. Fisher Dean Christine Poon said the forum is a prime example of the college’s dynamic relationship with industry.
“Fisher’s partnership with Nationwide is driving a more efficient marketplace by facilitating dialogue that helps create greater innovation in lean practices,” she said.
Tom Paider, Nationwide’s director of IT application and the new group’s champion, called the kickoff event “an unqualified success.”
“Participants walked away not only with a concrete understanding of Lean IT but also how they can begin applying it immediately in their own organizations,” Paider said.
The event is the first of four forums for the IT Leadership Network scheduled this year, which will take place on Fisher’s campus.
“As our membership continues to grow more diverse, we’re thrilled to see such a demand from the IT sector and we’re happy to grow our programming to meet it,” said COE Executive Director Peg Pennington.
Read more about the event at COE's blog, Think OpEx.