Lean IT in 3 minutes (via Van Haren Publishing)
August 28, 2017
When I ask IT leaders at many organizations why they do something in a specific way, the answer is often “because that’s the way we’ve always done it” (or worse, “that’s the way the auditors said we should do it”). These processes tend to have changed very little unless a new tool is introduced or an audit finding is identified. But does it have to be that way?
Built on the Lean Manufacturing model, Lean IT is an approach for managing IT functions in a way that works to eliminate waste (work that adds no value). (Van Haren Publishing has an excellent 3 minute summary of the approach on their blog). Lean IT creates a culture of innovation and problem solving that encourages changing the process when it benefits the customer / end-user while streamlining IT processes.
Keep in mind that Lean IT is not advocating that organizations abandon processes and controls. (In fact, effective and efficient processes are critical to the success of Lean IT.) Rather, Lean IT advocates adoption of the right processes and controls that serve the overall purpose. Some questions to consider when adopting controls in a Lean IT environment:
- Am I creating documentation for documentation’s sake?
- Should this control be applied to all circumstances or can I limit it to exceptions / higher risks?
- Does the control make me stop to consider if I’m delivering a quality product?
Have any Lean IT concepts been applied in your organization? What benefits have you recognized so far?