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Lean IT implementation for Service Improvements

These days, organizations are steadily focusing on deriving maximum value from IT services by integrating & implementing Lean methodologies in their IT space. Lean philosophy suggests creating value by eliminating waste, enhancing value in customer eyes and  viewing all services from a customer perspective.

Applying Lean to IT services:

This starts by analyzing and optimizing IT Value Streams to remove non-value added activity or waste. Here, the Value Streams are the applications and services that IT delivers to business, along with management of these applications and services.

 Mapping common Lean tools with IT:

  •  "Kanban" (Visual control system) - In an IT context, this would include project dashboard, business footprints charts, real-time dashboards and communications
  • "Jidoka" (Process automation/ tool usage) -  This would include productivity improvement, usage of reusable components and process optimization
  • "Muda" (Waste Reduction) - Identifying items to arrest waste in IT operations or software delivery
  • "Poka-yoke" (Defect Prevention) - This includes defect prevention activities, prevention of error in next stage and phased entry/ exit criteria

Embedding  'Lean principles' in ITSM operations:
Project and Service Managers can focus their attention on implementing Lean principles in their project and service lines. This can be done in the following way:

  • Analyze the As-Is process: Identify projects/ workstream for lean implementation, shortlist the associated activities in the project streams and how it can be split into sub-activities. Develop a uniform framework that includes identification of inefficiencies, investigating the constraints followed by implementing solutions in a phased manner
  • Identify the areas of improvement:  Based on the applicability of Lean tools in the activities identified above, implement these tools after a thorough due-diligence
  • Measure the Value: Once the Lean tool has been implemented, we need to monitor and track those projects/ services for analysis. Try to measure the improvement in terms of Customer Satisfaction, Revenue Enhancement, Increasing Resource Efficiency etc. 

Following and executing Lean principles can result in measurable business benefits:

Reduction in cycle time: Time taken for resolution of tickets i.e. MTTR / STR is significantly reduced
Automation of server agent: Elimination of manual effort & reduction in operations cost
Automation of vulnerability assessments: Scheduling scans, vulnerability analysis & report generation can be automated resulting in more savings


In my next post, I will be focusing on implementation guidelines for Lean principles.

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