We hear a lot about lean, Toyota Production System and the like; however, I rarely hear about Lean I.T. A friend and colleague, Vicki Jeter, is exceptional at designing and implementing lean for I.T. which boils down to providing value in the eyes of the customer, driving out non-value added work, and leveraging systems to achieve bottom line results. We’ve worked together on several projects, and I’ve adopted several of her strategies for success as I.T. is core to elevating business performance. A few keys include:
- Provide value – forget about the latest and greatest technical gadgets and software fads; instead, think about how to leverage your systems to provide value for your customers.
- Automate – look at each task for what is non-essential and can be automated. There are endless opportunities to automate in I.T. and for the business.
- Streamline – if you cannot automate, how can you streamline the process utilizing the system?
- Leverage – how can you leverage your systems to improve decision-making and drive bottom line results? Look for underutilized assets, systems, fields, functionality, etc.
- Eliminate waste – are you performing non-value added tasks or extra steps? Routinize maintenance tasks and systematize all tasks that do not require high skill levels so that your valuable resources focus on what’s most important.