Lean has long since stopped being a process just for use at Toyota. Organizations are now getting lean in various ways for the purpose of improving the customer experience. Tom Pesaturo writes for CIO Insight with how lean can be a smart next step for IT leaders.
Lean on Me, IT
One place where lean can improve processes is with regard to the lack of strategic alignment between leadership and employees executing the work. If business leaders cannot effectively convey why work is being done, then the final product employees produce might not be what anyone forming strategy had in mind. Lean however provides a formal method for communication and for establishing agreement on plans throughout all levels of the business.
To give an example of lean IT in action, Pesaturo talks to Michelle Pope, COO of Atrion Networking, who provides the following:
“Business unit leaders are instrumental in helping to establish the strategic initiatives at the Business Unit level and ensuring alignment with the higher-level strategic goals…At Atrion, there are three high-level organizational strategies and each business unit’s strategic initiative [aligns] with one-to-two of these strategies. Each department in the business unit then works as a team to create one-to-two measureable strategic goals that drive performance of the business unit and subsequently the organizational strategic goals.” [source]
A related area that lean can help out with is in deciding which work will best support strategic objectives. Lean allows you to use a hypothesis-based approach to systematically identify waste and get rid of it. The collaborative nature of lean is useful for building excitement, and thus additional adherents, in the business. At Atrion, they have even implemented an overview of lean into their new hire training. Lean is a recipe for long-term commitment to success.
Read the original article summary in AITS here>>