Don Kieffer

Senior Lecturer, Operations Management


Don Kieffer

Donald Kieffer is a Senior Lecturer in Operations Management at MIT Sloan.

Kieffer started working in factories at the age of 17 as piece-worker on a metal lathe. He later spent 15 years at Harley-Davidson where he led the Twin Cam 88 engine project and became vice president of manufacturing excellence, responsible for both engine manufacturing and improvement across the company.  He was also senior vice president of operations for a multinational corporation, responsible for 5,000 people globally in manufacturing, engineering, supply chain, quality, and logistics. He works globally with a focus on knowledge, creative, and executive work.

He founded his consulting company, ShiftGear Work Design (, in 2007.

Kieffer holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Faculty Media

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] If You Think Process Improvement Only Works on the Factory Floor, Think Again

    “Intellectual work is different. But contrary to the argument that process improvement ‘only works in the factory,’ my experience is that, when properly applied, the concepts and principles...

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Speeding the Cure for Cancer: Financial Engineering and Dynamic Work Design

    A business school may not seem like the most logical place to find a solution for virulent disease, but it is.

  • The Most Underrated Skill in Management

    There are few management skills more powerful than the discipline of clearly articulating the problem you seek to solve before jumping into action.

  • Let’s Get Visual: Visual Management and Dynamic Work Design

    Visual management is a key part of the Dynamic Work Design toolkit and absolutely critical to creating an effective Dynamic Management System.

  • Using Dynamic Work Design to Help Cure Cancer

    Speeding the Search for a Cure: Using Dynamic Work Design to Improve Genetic Sequencing


Contact Information

Office: E48
Phone: 414-721-1299
Support Staff

Teaches In

Implementing Improvement Strategies: Dynamic Work Design Apr 3-4, 2018 | Jun 14-15, 2018 | Nov 1-2, 2018

Business Process Design for Strategic Management (self-paced online) Jun 6-Jul 24, 2018 | Aug 15-Oct 2, 2018 | Oct 17-Dec 4, 2018

Unlock Your Organization’s Full Potential with Dynamic Work Design

If you’re interested in improving work, no matter what type of work it may be, join us for a complimentary MIT Sloan webinar with Don Kieffer:

April 12, 2018 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT