Past Events

June 6, 2017 - I.T. Leadership Network forum: 'Stealth Lean' at CoverMyMeds

Columbus-based healthcare software maker CoverMyMeds made headlines earlier this year when McKesson Corp. announced a $1.1 billion deal to acquire the company, but it’s been a dynamic player in central Ohio’s tech startup scene for nearly a decade. Fast-growing and routinely honored as one of the region’s best places to work, CoverMyMeds also has been working to ingrain a culture of continuous improvement into everything from its day-to-day software development to its big-picture strategy. But how does a structured approach to lean and agile thrive in a casual, jeans-day-every-day culture?

Director of Quality and Risk Management Rick Neighbarger and Agile Coach Nate Lusher offered insights on: 

  • Operational excellence in a startup culture: Driving change in a consensus-building, not top-down, environment;
  • “Stealth lean:” Teaching the tools and behaviors without getting lost in the lingo;
  • Garnering buy-in: Selling change up and down the ladder; and
  • Moving forward in the face of change: Continuing a lean journey after the McKesson deal.

June 3, 2016 - I.T. Leadership Network forum: Spotlight on MassMutual

Dalton Li is a vice president at Springfield, Mass.-based MassMutual Financial Group, a $29 billion-a-year life insurer with 11,000 employees. At MassMutual, Li supports strategy, deployment and executive coaching for its enterprise-wide lean management implementation. In this session, he charts MassMutual’s lean journey, highlighting the company's approach to tools and principles, coaching, and sustaining gains.

Li began his career as a nuclear submarine officer based in Annapolis and later served as an assistant professor for the U.S. Navy before working at consultancy McKinsey & Co. for six years. He joined MassMutual in his current role in 2012.

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IT Leadership Network forum - June 5, 2015

Featured Speaker: Dave Margil, Lean Deployment Leader, Bose Corporate Information Systems

Audio giant Bose Corp. has been implementing lean throughout its manufacturing and other back-office operations for years, but only in the last half-decade has this drive for continuous improvement begun in its IT division, Bose Corporate Information Systems. Leading the charge to deploy lean inside Bose IT is Dave Margil, who is joining COE’s IT Leadership Network forum June 5 for a wide-ranging look at the organization’s progress in the last five years.

At this event, Margil will share key insights gained in building a continuous improvement mindset along with challenges along the way. His talk will include a discussion of how lean and agile coexist in a broader “ecosystem," and how they cross-pollinate and enhance one another. He will also address the role of coaching as a key success factor in sustaining the lean journey.

About the speaker:

Margil has been in his role at Bose Corp. since 2010. In CIS, he is responsible for developing the Lean Enterprise Vision and deployment roadmap in CIS and for driving Lean Six Sigma practices throughout the IT function. He leads value stream improvement activities, contributes to the internal Lean Six Sigma curriculum development, and delivers training and coaching to employees throughout Bose Corporation.

Prior to this role, Margil spent several years as a Business Engagement Manager and as a Project Manager in the Bose Online Commerce Group. Before joining Bose he co-founded and spent several years as the VP of Product Development for a small Cambridge-based computer game company. He is a certified Black Belt and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts.

Due to privacy restrictions, session unavailable for streaming

IT Leadership Network Webinar: The Case for Visual Management - Feb. 19, 2015

Companies that leverage visual management tools in the information technology space have found they offer a simple way to ensure “everything is right” on the front lines. Visual management, however, has a wide – often untapped – range of potential for developing and sustaining a lean management system.

Join Fisher College of Business Executive-In-Residence R. Gary Butler (pictured, right) for COE’s first IT Leadership Network session of the year, an interactive webinar that makes the case for visual management and guides you through how to get the most out of it. This extends to tying visual tools to standard work, escalating problems and ensuring strategy and vision are consistent at all levels of the organization.

In addition to his Executive-in-Residence post, Butler is the co-director of the Master of Business Operational Excellence degree program at Fisher. He arrived in 2008 after spending more than 30 years at Eastman Kodak Co., where he managed operations in Europe, Asia and North America. Butler has extensive experience in quality assurance, lean methodology and manufacturing management.

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 Nov 7, 2014 - Lean Into Agile Conference

COE teamed with the Central Ohio Agile Association for a one-day conference geared toward bringing new insights to information technology professionals pursuing process improvement.

Keynotes: Mike Keller, CIO, Nationwide Insurance; Mike Orzen, Mike Orzen & Associates, co-author, Lean IT; Michael Sahota, author, An Agile Adoption and Transformation Survival Guide

  • Location: Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH

June 27, 2014

An Elephant on Roller Skates: Nationwide's Lean IT Journey


  • Tom Paider, AVP, IT Build Capability
  • Melanie Kolp, AVP, Finance IT -- Nationwide Insurance


Center for Operational Excellence member Nationwide Insurance has been a leader in lean IT for more than half a decade, using lean to massively scale agile development and, more recently, improve the performance of application maintenance teams company-wide. In this session, Tom Paider, AVP IT Build Capability, and Melanie Kolp, AVP Finance IT, discuss the beginnings of Nationwide's lean journey as well as the new frontiers the company has taken on in the last few years.

In this interactive session, you’ll hear about how Nationwide put into action lean principles such as A3 thinking, standard work, kaizen, and visual management as well as the implementation of a lean management system that sustains and improves the gains already made. Kolp and Paider also will share what’s next for lean at Nationwide.

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Inside AEP's lean IT transformation - Feb. 27,2014

A game-changing lean transformation is under way at Columbus' American Electric Power Company Inc., which for the past year and a half has been implementing tools and principles across the enterprise. A year ago, AEP began the lean journey for its information technology group, which is the centerpiece of COE's first IT Leadership Network of 2014. In this panel discussion, hosted at the company's downtown Columbus headquarters, AEP leaders will offer a candid look into how its lean journey has changed day-to-day operations in IT. That includes visual management tools for top-level and front-line staff, sustainability teams, and new processes to foster accountability and knowledge management.


  • Alberto Ruocco, VP and CIO
  • Venkat Miriyala, Lean Transformation Lead, Operations & Process Transformation
  • Mike Rozsa, Managing Director, IT Business Applications
  • Dave Standley, Managing Director, Telecommunications

Session unavailable for streaming

'Mapping the IT Value Stream' workshop - Oct. 18, 2013

Featuring Peg Pennington, Executive Director, Center for Operational Excellence

In this hands-on, group-based workshop, participants learned how to map the “current state” of an IT value stream through a real-world case extremely common in information technology: Data report creation and delivery. Many IT professionals are skeptical of mapping processes because of the creative nature of IT development, but mapping our standard approach to work at a high level with all stakeholders is the first step in identifying process waste and setting on the right track for true transformational change. 

Session unavailable for streaming

ITLN Forum - Aug. 9, 2013

Featuring Krish Krishnakanthan, McKinsey & Co.

Each company’s lean transformation is different - but learning from others who have traveled that road can bring valuable and useful insights. Join the Center for Operational Excellence’s IT Leadership Network forum Aug. 9 for an in-the-trenches look at how companies are leveraging lean for lasting impact from one of the leading consultants in the field: McKinsey & Co.

ITLN’s featured speaker is Krish Krishnakanthan (pictured, left), a partner in McKinsey’s Business Technology Office. He has worked with financial institutions and technology companies on a range of operations and IT topics and leads the Lean IT and Application Development and Maintenance service lines for McKinsey in North America. He has two decades of experience in IT and operations.

In this forum, Krishnakanthan will offer McKinsey’s perspective on lean IT, recruit attendees for an interactive exercise, and share case studies on two specific companies that have undergone successful transformations. More than a simple overview of tools, this forum will dive deep into how they’re used in high-technology organizations and traditional IT settings.

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ITLN Forum - May 17, 2013

In the past year, COE’s IT Leadership Network forums have explored lean thinking, Agile methods, culture change, risk management, and the focus shift to people. We’ve offered the tools driving the transformation and the tactics for implementing change. But what happens once you’ve launched a successful implementation? How do you ensure it will stick beyond your involvement for many years to come?

This panel discussion focused on sustaining the change, with leaders who have done just that. They offered insights on successes, setbacks and lessons learned in the process.

Moderator: Peter Ward, co-director, COE


  • Bruno Guicardi, COO, CI&T
  • Brian Janki, VP and general manager, Rigid Packaging and Services, North America Greif Inc.
  • Sean Kiner, director of customer experience, RelayHealth
  • Amy Tomaszewski, AVP operational excellence, and Todd McDonald, AVP IT applications development, Grange Insurance

Stream webcast: RealPlayer | Windows Media Player

ITLN Forum - Nov. 16, 2012

Featured speaker: Jeff Bender, VP, IT risk and compliance, Capital One

COE member Capital One in recent years has grown into one of the largest financial services businesses in the nation, bolstered by banking acquisitions and a booming credit card business. With that expanding scope comes an even greater need for a keen eye on information technology risk and compliance.

Bender gave an inside look at how its IT department has developed a culture of risk management founded in lean and business process management principles amid an aggressive expansion in recent years.

Bender, with Capital One since 1998, previously worked for accounting giant Pricewaterhouse Coopers. A frequent speaker at technology and internal audit organizations, he has a bachelor’s in business administration in management information systems from the University of Notre Dame along with CISSP, CISM and CISA certifications.

Due to privacy concerns, this session is unavailable for streaming

ITLN Forum - Sept. 21, 2012

Featured speakers:

Jon Stahl (pictured left), CEO, Cleveland-based LeanDog
Matt Barcomb (right), Agile coach, LeanDog

Conversations about lean often turn immediately to eliminating waste. While that's an important principle, IT veterans Stahl and Barcomb illustrated other key principles underlying lean thinking. The forum focused on the three principles to facilitating organizational culture change.

  • First is "Amplify Learning," reviewing concepts and techniques that can help build a continuously learning organization.
  • Next is "Decide as late as possible," which will help attendees simplify planning and budgeting processes.
  • And finally, "Build integrity in" looks at decision-making practices for leaders at all levels.

Stream webcast

ITLN Forum - June 8, 2012

Featured presentations:

Lean management in Hewlett-Packard’s delivery system
Srini Koushik, chief development officer of HP’s Enterprise Services

Developing and supporting IT solutions today requires a shift from standardization and factory based development to mass customization. Yesterday’s command-and-control management style has given way to a model built on lean management and software development. Koushik gives an inside look at HP’s industrialized delivery model, an innovative structure that delivers better results by combining unique management and operational models with a focus on the people that drive it. (Click here for a white paper on Koushik’s topic)

Is lean management timeless? Observations from the agile field
Sanjiv Augustine, president, LitheSpeed

Agile development methods are helping cut development lead times, improve product quality and trim engineering costs, leading to increased customer and associate satisfaction and less waste. In reality, these methods are timeless lean principles that focus on customer value, respect for people and continuous improvement. Augustine, president of Alexandria, Va.-based training and consulting firm LitheSpeed, will share how agile teams are implementing lean management at the project, program and enterprise levels to deliver outstanding customer value.

Stream webcast: (Part 1 | Part 2)

ITLN Forum - April 3, 2012

Featured speaker: Mike Orzen, co-author, Lean IT 

They might be blips on a screen or glitches in a system, but waste and inefficiency can run rampant in information technology as much as a shop floor. But in a realm of largely invisible processes, where does lean thinking find its place?

The Center for Operational Excellence and member Nationwide Insurance partnered to bring to the company's downtown Columbus headquarters Mike Orzen (pictured left), a lean IT guru with more than 25 years experience coaching and consulting. Co-author of the book Lean IT, Orzen outlined the value lean can bring to IT with a wide-ranging presentation packed with case studies and deployment strategies.

Stream webcast: (Windows Media Player | RealPlayer)