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Increasing R&D Payback: Applying Lean Principles to the Front End of Innovation

Date: April 15 - 16, 2009

Location: Chicago, IL

This workshop is designed to introduce the principles of Lean R&D and practical strategies for transforming your R&D organization into a Lean innovation engine. Through hands-on practice, participants will learn how to:

  • Apply Lean principles and theory to solve basic innovation problems
  • Integrate multiple innovation problems into fast, high performing R&D projects and systems
  • Master techniques to manage these systems to deliver on time at lowered risk
  • Implement proven methods to create R&D strategy and continually improve R&D system performance
  • Define R&D projects on the basis of clear, fundamental innovation problems that must be solved, and apply multiple approaches to achieve needed innovation
  • Increase the rate of innovation by creating multiple small, fast-moving, low risk sub-projects to solve innovation problems
  • Align sub-projects into smoothly connected R&D systems to significantly decrease time to market
  • Reduce timeline risk by transforming project management systems to manage innovation growth versus task completion

Terry BarnhartCourse Instructor: Dr. Terence M. (Terry) Barnhart
Senior Director – Strategic Management Pfizer Global Research and Development


Participants will learn how to:

  • Maximize the drivers of R&D value within their company
  • Develop systems to identify customer innovation needs, and seamlessly align R&D efforts to fulfill them.
  • Decrease innovation risks by defining R&D projects on the basis of clear, fundamental innovation problems that must be solved, and applying multiple approaches to achieve needed innovation
  • Improve the rate of innovation by creating multiple small, fast-moving, low risk sub-projects to solve innovation problems
  • Increase speed to market by aligning sub-projects into smoothly connected R&D systems
  • Reduce timeline risk by transforming project management systems to manage growth of innovation, not completion of tasks 

Limited to 35 participants

About the Instructor

Terry BarnhartDr. Terence (Terry) Barnhart is Senior Director of Continuous Improvement and Strategic Management and leader of Pfizer's Agile R&D Team. In his current role, Dr. Barnhart develops and leads implementation of Agile R&D, a Lean transformation effort tailored to the culture of Pfizer Global R&D. Agile R&D is designed specifically to implant fast-learning systems to improve the innovation, quality and speed of pharmaceutical R&D, and has been applied in the redesign of management systems, business unit strategy and strategic planning, as well as cultural change within Pfizer.

Prior to joining Pfizer, Terry worked as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, as a research scientist at General Electric, and as a manager at Schering-Plough and Uniroyal Plastics. He holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, and a B.Sc. and Postdoctoral fellowship in chemistry from the University of Michigan, and is the author of numerous patents, and scientific and business publications.

Key Benefits

Lean has long been used by manufacturers as a way to reduce costs, increase speed and deliver superior quality. In fact, it has proven so valuable to manufacturers that as many as 80% have implemented Lean in some form or another on the factory floor. By contrast, Lean has been slow to reach R&D, perhaps out of fear that Lean will somehow stifle innovation. As a result, only a handful of Lean R&D examples have surfaced, but in these examples, we find remarkable opportunity for the R&D function. In many cases, R&D output has more than doubled under constant budgets; innovation has soared; time to market has dropped as much as 50%; and customer satisfaction has greatly improved. In a recessionary time of falling budgets and increasing competitive pressure, a Lean R&D function is a competitive weapon that can only increase in value as the economy recovers.

By participating in this workshop, you will come away with:

  1. A detailed understanding of the true drivers of R&D value
  2. Techniques for identifying customer- and company-valued innovation needs
  3. Methods to map and prioritize critical innovation needs
  4. Strategies for how to benefit from fast learning/fast innovation
  5. A3 methods for solving single innovation problems
  6. Processes for mapping and improving innovation value streams to seamlessly integrate the myriad R&D project functions so that innovations can reach the market faster and with less risk
  7. Project management methods to (by tracking and managing how R&D problems are solved) ensure that timelines are met and innovation is achieved
  8. Specific approaches for further accelerating delivery without losing innovation or R&D quality
  9. Methods to monitor R&D system performance, and develop R&D improvement strategies
  10. Practical approaches to develop a successful Lean R&D transformation strategy


Day One: Thursday, April 15, 2009

7:30 – 8:30

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45


8:45 – 8:55

Course Overview

8:55 – 9:15

Drivers of R&D Value

  • Drivers of R&D value
  • Why Lean R&D looks different from Lean manufacturing
  • Identifying customer- and company-valued innovation

9:15 - 9:45

Team Break out – Identifying R&D Value in Your Business

9:45 - 10:00

Refreshment Break

10:00 – 10:30

Aligning Innovation with Business Needs

  • Mapping the critical innovation questions
  • Accelerating innovation 1 – Driving down question size to enable researchers to deliver fast, definitive answers
  • Prioritizing innovation questions
    • Questions that deliver differentiation
    • Questions that recur in successive projects
    • Questions that have been definitively answered
  • Creating innovation flow

10:30 – 12:00

Team Break Out – Creating a Critical Question Map

Noon – 1:00


1:00 – 2:30

Learning Theory

  • Learning models for answering well-defined questions
    • Defining well-defined questions
    • The scientific method as a model to solve well-defined problems
    • Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle as a model to solve well-defined problems
  • Learning models for solving ill-defined, or “wicked” problems
    • Definition of a wicked problem
    • Using Boyd’s Observe-Orient-Decide-Act model to solve wicked problems
  • Innovative problem solving using any problem-solving model
    • Identifying assumptions before starting
    • Intellectual rigor
    • Comparative learning
    • Option value

10:30 – 12:00

Team Break Out

  • Setting up a business-valued question for rigorous inquiry

2:30 – 2:45

Refreshment Break

2:45 – 3:15

Structured Problem Solving Against Business Problems

  • The learning plan
  • The A3 problem solving structure

3:15 – 4:15

Team Break Out

  • Creating an A3 learning plan to rigorously answer a business-valued innovation question

4:30 – 5:00

Wrap Up and Preview of Day 2

5:30 – 6:30

Networking Wine & Cheese Reception



Day Two: Thursday, April 16, 2009

8:00 – 8:15

Review of Day 1

8:15 – 9:15

Organizational Learning

  • R&D work systems (innovation value streams)
  • Social networks
  • Interactions between multiple R&D functions and their effects on R&D quality

9:15 – 9:45

Mapping and Improving R&D Value Streams

9:45 – 10:00

Refreshment Break

10:00 – 10:45

Team Break Out

  •  Mapping and improving an R&D value stream

10:45 – 11:45

Managing Innovation

  • Managing the growth of knowledge (not the completion of tasks
  • Scale
  • Cadence
  • Integration and review points

11:45– 12:45


12:45 – 1:30

Transforming R&D

  • 3 levels of performance – Paradigms, work systems, processes
  • Barrier/enabling mental models
  • The 3-level transformation framework
  • Mapping and improving R&D management systems

1:30 – 2:15

Team Break Out

  • Mapping and improving R&D management systems
  • Creating 3-level transformation strategies

2:15 – 2:30

Refreshment Break

2:30 – 3:30

Strategies for Transforming R&D

  • Designed transformation strategies
  • Emergent transformation strategies
  • Cultural considerations
  • Creating a fit-for-purpose strategy for your company

3:30 – 4:00

Wrap-Up and Q&A


Workshop Concludes


Who Should Attend:

This workshop is designed for R&D leaders and professionals, as well as general managers looking to generate higher levels of innovation from their R&D functions, deliver that innovation more quickly to market, and do so without increasing costs. Specifically, this course is for VPs, Directors and Managers of research, product development and engineering, and for general managers who depend on innovation and R&D productivity for business success.

Program Fees and Logistics

Dates/Schedule: The workshop will be held April 15 – 16, 2009. Registration and continental breakfast begins at 7:30am on Wednesday, April 15th; the workshop commences at 8:30am and concludes at 4:00pm on Thursday, April 16th.

Workshop Fee: $1995/person. Fee includes program materials, luncheons, continental breakfast, refreshment breaks, and networking reception.

Location/Accommodations: The Hilton Suites, 198 East Delaware Place, Chicago, IL 60611.
Rate: $179 (limited block of rooms available – reserve rooms early). For reservations, please call 312.664.1100 and mention Management Roundtable.

No-Risk Guarantee: Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed – money back or credit. If you are not satisfied with the quality of this program, let us know in writing and we will refund your entire registration fee.


Workshop brochure

Download workshop brochure

How to register

Register for this event:

Or register by phone:

Call 1-800-338-2223 or 781-891-8080 (9:00am - 5:30pm EDT)

In company training

This session can be brought directly to your site. Benefits include:

  • Lower cost per participant
  • Time savings
  • No travel required
  • Content tailored to your specific needs
  • Implementation is jump-started through team participation and instructor's hands-on guidance

Contact 800-891-8080 for more information and price quote.

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