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LMU Engineering Professor Leads Award-Winning Working Group


A working group led by a Loyola Marymount University engineering professor has been given the Best Product Award for 2009 by the International Council on Systems Engineering for formulating Lean Enablers for Systems Engineering.

The product, Lean Enablers for Systems Engineering, is 194 “do’s and don’ts” that focus on a program’s mission assurance or product success and waste reduction. The group was managed by Oppenheim and comprised 14 industry, academic and government experts and 120 practitioners of systems engineering. It created the Lean Enablers by applying the principles of Lean Thinking – the manufacturing and production process of relentless reduction of wasted time and effort coupled with rigorous promotion of customer value – to systems engineering.

“The recognition for this effort is tremendous,” said Bohdan “Bo” Oppenheim, professor of mechanical and systems engineering in LMU’s Frank R. Seaver School of Science and Engineering. “I’m getting invitations from companies, organizations and universities worldwide to present our work.” Oppenheim has talked about the results to groups in England, France, Israel and Singapore and ten venues in the U.S., and has been invited to address MIT’s Lean Advancement Initiative and five other venues in the spring.

The practices and recommendations of systems enablers are organized into the familiar lean principles: value, value stream, flow, pull, perfection and respect for people. While they don’t deal with explicit financial steps, the Lean Enablers for Systems Engineering provide a checklist of good practices in enterprises, programs and at every level of work. 

The award was presented at the INCOSE international workshop in Mesa, Ariz.

For more information on Lean Enablers, click here.