November conference in Columbus explores intersection of Lean, Agile in IT

For two methodologies that can drive efficiency and change inside an organization’s information technology ecosystem, Lean and Agile seem to raise a lot of questions as well.

Is it an either-or proposition? (No.)

Are they one and the same? (No.)

Is there a way to leverage both to improve IT effectiveness? (Absolutely.)

leanintoagileThe Center for Operational Excellence is teaming up with the Central Ohio Agile Association to explore the intersection between both with the first-ever Lean Into Agile conference, set for Friday, Nov. 7, at the Fawcett Center on Ohio State University’s campus. Lean Into Agile will bring together a mix of industry leaders, sought-after speakers and faculty to highlight how lean and agile principles can be applied in the IT setting. Featured keynotes include Michael Sahota, author of An Agile Adoption and Transformation Survival Guide; Mike Orzen, co-author of Lean IT; and Michael Keller, executive vice president and CIO at Columbus-based insurer Nationwide.

In addition to the trio of keynotes, Lean Into Agile will feature three rounds of breakout sessions throughout the day, a mix of consultants, coaches and business leaders specializing in Lean IT, Agile or the successful combination of the two in an organization. This diversity enables attendees to “choose your own adventure” throughout the conference, filling in knowledge gaps and gaining a clearer, broader picture of the underlying process improvement principles that drive IT success.

Many companies today simply equate Lean IT and Agile, a common misconception but one that can lead to crucial missed opportunities, said Tom Paider, associate vice president for IT Build Capability at Nationwide and champion of COE's IT Leadership Network.

“It's not enough to focus on the creation of Agile teams,” Paider said. “In order to scale agile, there are so many other aspects that come into play: The management system, development of people, problem solving capability, and setting the correct expectations. Lean gives us an avenue to create the whole system, from purpose to process to people.”

Featured breakout session speakers throughout the day come from organizations including Fortune 20 health-care distributor Cardinal Health, software developer CI&T, Columbus IT solutions firm Pillar, Ohio State, Lean/Agile consultancy LitheSpeed LLC, and the State of Ohio Department of Administrative Services, among others.

Check out the list of keynote and breakout speakers at, where registration is open as well. Conference admission, which includes breakfast, lunch and a post-event networking happy hour, is $224. Group sign-ups of five or more people receive a discount of $45 per person.

Register for the event here.

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