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WITI Houston Regional Network
Managing Customer Value in Five Languages When Everyone Has Something to Say

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

This meeting has been postponed. An announcement will go out once a new date has been determined

The transformation of traditional research and development (R&D) organizations into customer-centered entities focused on creating and delivering value to their constituents is a challenge well-known to technology managers. For better or worse, corporations – and to some extent, government agencies – are moving away from a “basic research” model to a “return on investment” (ROI) model for R&D, where funding is expected to yield returns within a short span of time, often as little as 2-3 years. Becoming customer-centered while retaining the creative freedom necessary for innovation is complicated immensely when technology customers are drawn from different cultures, speak different languages, and vary widely in their philosophical and technical approaches to “getting the job done”.

Drawing on her experience managing technology development on the International Space Station program, Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar presents the story of one such effort, where R&D was re-directed toward “designing in value” – in a demonstrable economic sense – during the development of a global technical training and operations collaborative environment. Her presentation will follow the project from its origination to its “proof of concept” 3 years later – an effort that spanned 5 countries on 3 continents and included both industry and government participation. She will describe the unique management issues that can arise in such a complex environment and provide specific examples. Emphasis will be placed on the lessons learned from failure, as well as on the best practices in the creation, delivery and management of customer value that eventually led to a successful technical outcome.

Her experiences and the techniques she used to meet these unique management challenges have broad applicability to challenges faced by all managers in technology-focused organizations, corporations and government agencies. An engaging speaker who tempers her lectures with humor and personal anecdotes, Dr. Dittmar’s presentation is a “must see” for anyone interested in technology development, customer value, and/or international cooperation.

About Our Speaker(s)

Mary Lynne Dittmar, Ph.D.

Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar is President and CEO of Dittmar Associates, Inc., which she founded in 2003. She acts as Program Manager for human factors engineering and other technical contracts and as Senior Consultant in strategic planning, market analysis, and business development.

Previously, Dr. Dittmar was a Senior Manager at The Boeing Company where she served in a dual role as Chief Scientist and Senior Manager of Program Development for Boeing’s commercial space payloads program. Prior to that assignment she focused on business intelligence and strategic planning for Boeing's $2.1B re-acquisition effort for the International Space Station (ISS) Program. Earlier technical assignments included management the ISS Research & Development program for integrated operations and training technologies, Manager of Flight Operations for the ISS where she supervised procedure development for the assembly, activation and checkout of the space station, and Special Assistant to NASA for the ISS International Training Control Board, where she helped to develop and negotiate technical and programmatic issues pertaining to astronaut and cosmonaut training with the Russian, Japanese, European and Canadian space agencies. She was awarded a Silver Snoopy by NASA, a Meritorious Invention award and The Boeing Company Chief Technology Officer’s Corporate Award for Technical Excellence for her efforts during this time.

Mary Lynne is a Fellow of the United States Research Society Sigma Xi and a member of the Economics Technical Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, in addition to memberships and activities in several other professional societies. She has published more than 50 articles in science, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, engineering, and the humanities. In her spare time, she enjoys working in the yard with her husband, spending time with her four stepchildren and new grandchild, and engages in the unusual hobby of "volcano-chasing" - hiking and photographing volcanoes in various stages of eruption.

Event Date and Venue

This event will be held from 6:00-8:30 on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at:

    Whitaker Consulting
    1200 Enclave Parkway, Suite 200
    Houston, Texas 77077

I10 at Eldridge (North side) go to Enclave(light) and turn left, go to 1200 Enclave, Cabot Oil and Gas building. Meeting room is off to the right on the first floor.


6:00-6:30 Registration, Dinner and Networking
6:30-7:00 Announcements, Sponsor Welcome
7:00-7:45 “Managing Customer Value in Five Languages, When Everyone Has Something to Say"
7:45-8:00 Q & A / Roundtable Discussion of Key Questions
8:00-8:30 Networking


Pre-registration for this event is closed and on-site registrations will not be accepted.

About Our Sponsor(s)

WITI wishes to thank Whitaker Consulting for sponsoring the June, 2008 meeting.

Whitaker Consulting
Whitaker Consulting is a national IT staffing firm that specializes in providing project support, staff augmentation and direct hire services for today's highest-demand IT markets: ERP, CRM, Custom Applications and Infrastructure. Since 1993, we have become sourcing specialists in Oracle, SAP and Peoplesoft and have synthesized a unique and successful methodology that is working for our clients and candidates alike. We combine our industry’s most powerful tool— search techniques—with extensive familiarity with both technologies and the marketplace to satisfy consulting needs for today’s most challenging IT environments.
website: www.whitakerconsulting.com

Contact Us

For more info regarding registration or event details, please contact Tracy Rummel ([email protected]).

For more details about pre-registration, contact Tech Support.