Lean DFW – Dallas & Fort Worth
Here is the link to our “Lean DFW” LinkedIn Group. Please join us.
We are an informal, volunteer networking group for “lean” professionals in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas. If you work with the lean methodology in manufacturing, services, software, or healthcare, you are welcome to participate with us.
Our vision is for this Lean DFW networking effort is to be an informal group, not a formal organization – strictly volunteer participation. We’re not envisioning bylaws or anything formal, at all.Here are some things to think about – things we can discuss online or at the first meeting:
- What would you hope to personally get out of a local lean networking group?
- What frequency and level of involvement would be best for you?
- What are some specific activities would you recommend or suggest?
- How many others do you know who would want to participate?
- Are there any other lean related groups in the DFW area that we should be aware of?
- Are there specific things our group should not do or not be?
- How can/should we interact with similar groups in Austin and Houston?
Some Past Activity from our old website:
Come meet up with other local lean thinkers for networking and informal discussions about Lean and what we can do to strengthen our local Lean community.
Thanks to Mark Tender for organizing this event on Saturday, September 10 at 12 noon. We’ll be meeting up at the Texas Land & Cattle restaurant in Arlington in a room that Mark has reserved there. Hope you can join us. Please register so we can know how many people to expect. More details on the EventBrite registration page.
Lean DFW Planning meeting minutes – July 26, 2011
Today, Jason, Mark, and I (Ray Gao) met at Cohabitat. Together, we discussed various strategies for growing the Lean Startup group / community in the DFW area. We are fully aware that every community (Lean Group) will be unique, in a sense that the local demographic is different from city to city. For example, Austin and San Francisco are very vibrant cities for Startups, where people jump up and down to hear new ideas and to explore new opportunities
While there are good number of startup people in the DFW area, the predominant mentality of our area are geared toward established businesses. Large companies chose to relocated to our area in recent years for advantages of highly skilled workers, favorable tax situation, and relative low cost of production. Regional HQs for big companies include AT&T, Texas Instrument, Exxon, Frito-Lay, … Hence, to grow the Lean Community requires a slight “Pivot” and to reorient ourself to the local business culture here.
The Lean Startup approach is a set of principles to align the value-creation cycle with customer’s interests. It is a paradigm shift from the Product-Development Culture toward the Customer Development Culture. In contrast to the traditional closed-door and dark room mentality, interactions with the market forces (customer’s needs, competition, and technology curves) would be priority number ones. Feedbacks from customers would then help to accelerate the development/growth process. Hence, products and services would be more closely aligned and marketable to end-users. See my blog about various Lean Project Management techniques -> http://www.are4.us/?p=815
At the same time, our group needs to go grass-root and take emergent companies’ interests close to our hearts, and work close with startup hubs, such as Tech WildCatters and Alex Muse’s Startup-happy hour. Instead of telling people what we think the Lean Startup process is, we should ask our potential members and engage them. For examples:
- What are top priorities for them?
- What are primary activities on their calendars for the next 30 days? So, as to better coordinate meetings and networking opportunities.
- How do they envision a Lean Startup Group would work and bring value to their endeavors?
- What issues do they want to hear and discuss at meetings?
- Will there be people who want to take active roles in our group?
In our meetings today, we decided the following:
- Orient our group to the local business environment
- Build closer relationships with key influencers of the startup-circle in the DFW area.
- Engage potential members and ask what are important issues or topics for them. And, using those inputs as the basis for developing tracks and agendas.
In summary, we will grow our group via grass root activities (engaging entrepreneurs and startup hubs) as well as take proactive approaches of cross-pollinating Lean Startup method in the traditional business settings (the predominant business culture in DFW area).
Listening to people will be as important a skill as speaking (marketing our understanding of the Lean Startup methodology).
I (Mark Graban) met today with Jason McGhee and Raymond Gao.
Ray, Jason, and I have talked a few times about how to expand the strengthen the local Lean Startup community. Rather than being silo-ed and segregated by industry (like manufacturing, healthcare, and startups), we have interest in bringing the Lean Startup crowd into our “LeanDFW” fold.
A few immediate thoughts, keeping with the goal of being transparent and customer focused.
- Jason is going to invite people from his Meetup list to join our existing LeanDFW LinkedIn Group. I will write a welcome message and we hope that there are benefits to people in all industries to have general Lean discussions that are related to DFW. People can still do deeper dives into their industry through other LinkedIn groups and online forums.
- Jason, Ray, and I are going to take a stab at “team blogging” here on LeanDFW.com along with others who have an interest in building both the Lean
- Jason, Ray, and I want to help figure out what people want from local lean networking, including a group like ours – going into listening mode to figure out what “customer value” is for local Lean networking.