Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unconference Featured As Part of MESA Gathering

Things are coming together rapidly for the MESA International North American Conference to be held in Dearborn, MI June 21-23. A great keynote on Monday evening, June 21 will get everyone ready for two days of intense learning and sharing about using information technology for improving plant and factory operations.

On Tuesday, high level practitioners and thought leaders will share their ideas and experiences. But if you yearn for more than the usual sit and listen conference, we are providing for an unusual experience for Wednesday, June 23. With the new MESA Unconference, you can directly engage and learn about topics that you pick - and get answers to your most pressing challenges. I have gone from the guy throwing out ideas to accepting the challenge of Unconference Director for the event. I am enthused about bringing something new to manufacturing conferences--something that will raise the energy level and intensity of discussion.

At the Unconference, you can share and learn in an open, participatory environment. It is an intense multi-discussion, multi-room event with no script. Bring your ideas and desires to interact with peers - and test the brains and bounds of the MESA community. Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is invited and welcome!

In this "confer and conquer" environment, you can present ideas or questions and discuss operations topics with other practitioners and subject matter experts in the spirit of MESA's mission - to provide an environment for the sharing of best practices. Leading industry experts, including members of the MESA Technical Committee, will be on hand to help facilitate discussions.

What kinds of topics? Here's an example from a major battery manufacturer - how to deal with the challenges of operational excellence in an ultra high-volume production environment. Other ideas include ISA-95 implementations, cloud computing, virtual machines, Lean in process production environments, and much more.

Do you have an idea for a topic for discussion on Wednesday? Send me an email at

Monday, April 5, 2010

Participate at the MESA Conference

The MESA International North American Conference, Unlocking Your Operations Potential, is coming soon. Organizers have been working hard to assemble an outstanding program. We believe that many people have experiences and knowledge to share. If you are one of these, we have two ways for you to actively participate.

The first way is to present a formal talk, sharing your knowledge and best practices. We are accepting abstracts through Monday April 12. You'll be in good company - and will share the conference stage with nationally-recognized keynotes and industry leading session speakers!

MESA is looking for the best, most quantifiable case studies and real world presentations on the following topics:
  • Tying Operational Metrics to Financial Metrics
  • Real-Time Enterprise
  • Quality & Compliance
  • Asset Performance Management (APM)
  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Lean
  • Sustainability
Here are some tips for presentations that would engage attendees:

  • Focus on how your operations management / plant-wide IT systems support implementation of one or more key initiatives. Subject matter may range from planning and implementation to challenges and results.
  • Feature Manufacturer/Producer presenters or a joint presentation between a Vendor & Manufacturer / Producer.

Have we missed something? Do you have another topic relevant to industrial companies that isn't listed here - interoperability, SOA in Manufacturing, Industrial BPM, or others? If so, please submit the topic for consideration. MESA is working to facilitate knowledge-sharing on as many of the right topics as possible and we are open to your ideas.

Click here to submit an abstract.

If putting a formal presentation together isn't your desire but you still feel like adding in your experiences or engaging speakers and other attendees in greater depth about a topic, the the Unconference program is just for you. Too many presentations can dull your senses. Sometimes you'd like to ask more questions of the speakers and there's no time. Sometimes you see others that share your problems, and you'd like to connect with them.

Rather than hope for a chance meeting in the hallways, MESA has set aside time in the program especially for these meetings. Called an Unconference, attendees can suggest topics they'd like to discuss in more detail. People will self-select into one of these sessions that are led by the attendees themselves with the help of a MESA facilitator. These are all the rage in Silicon Valley. MESA is bringing the concept to manufacturing and production executives.

If you'd like to submit a topic for an Unconference session, please send an email to or