Lean in IT
Wikipedia says ‘Lean IT is the extension of lean manufacturing and lean services principles to the development and management of information technology (IT) products and services.’
What are these principles?
Identify Customers and Specify Value – In IT services,any process that create value in the eyes of the customer and the customer would be prepared to pay for that value of the product
Identify the Value Stream/Value-Stream Mapping: In IT services, value streams are easily classified into
- Business services (primary value streams)
- IT services (secondary value streams)
Now, Just break down the value streams into process steps and eliminate the steps which don’t deliver value.
Flow: After Value-Stream Mapping, there might be many activities still remaining which are not adding any value so eliminating this waste ensures that service flows happens swiftly,without any interruption.In other words, concentrate on the remaining value stream activities for a continuous flow of services to the customer. for example:The waiting time of work in progress between processes is eliminated, hence adding value more quickly.
Pull: A pull is a service request which is initiated by the customer or consumer of the product or other service. Here, we give freedom to the customers to pull what they need, and creating internal process to respond to this.This is about understanding the customer demand and creating a demand system. We have an opposite existing case in IT, where push systems often introduce waste through an over-abundance of “just-in-case” inventory.
Perfection – Lean is a journey, not a destination. As we continue with lean journey, we identify more patches of waste lying around and the processes are improveed to achieve perfection and provide more value to the customer.
Two More Lines:
The core idea is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste.
Simple, lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources.
How can it be achieved?
- Emphasizes reducing the amount of cycle time.for example:
- Over Processing: manually processing reports like where processes to be done by hand so that the data can be manually entered into the computer and be maintained in a database
- Identifies areas where there is process waster and bottlenecks and focus on elimination of the same. for example:
- Defects: Lot of development time spent in rectification and rework.
There are 8 types of waste that can be removed from business processes to reduce costs and time.
We can conclude that, Lean is a philosophy that seeks to eliminate waste in all aspects of a firm’s production activities.