Yesterday the conference kicked off into full swing with the two Keynote Speakers. The first speaker was Scott Cook, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board, Intuit Inc. Scott talked about the key process factors that have led to Intuit's success: Team Software Process (TSP), Agile, and the Toyota Production System (TPS). Intuit has realized quite some important gains by using these different process improvement methods. At the conclusion of his talk, he presented an entirely different issue that is ripe for process improvement. Scott showed a slide of various causes of death each year in the US and he asked us what we thought were the top three causes. It turns out that Heart Disease and Cancer are the top two, but the third cause is Hospital-Related. Scott claimed that there are 160,000 Hospital-Related deaths each year, which is the equivalent of a fully loaded 747 crashing and killing all on-board once a day. And the majority of these deaths can be attributed to people and process problems: not enough resources available, wrong diagnoses made, wrong surgical operations performed, incorrect medication delivered, etc. So Intuit is helping the Stanford Medical Center use TPS, based on Intuit's experience, to address these people and process issues and they are already seeing benefit.
The second speaker was Jim Bampos, Vice President, Information & Quality Management, EM Corporation. Jim spoke about the process improvement challenges faced by a primarily hardware company that now has a software component. And the added complexity of EMC continually acquiring new businesses and integrating them into their corporate culture. Jim recommended Marcus Buckingham's book Put Your Strengths to Work.