Lean Management Principles for Information Technology: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Lean Management Principles for Information Technology

1st Edition

By Gerhard J. Plenert

CRC Press

368 pages | 112 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781420078602
pub: 2011-07-28
SAVE ~$20.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429253232
pub: 2011-07-28
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Whether it's because of a lack of understanding, poor planning, or a myriad of other things, 50 to 60 percent of the IT effort in most companies can be considered waste. Explaining how to introduce Lean principles to your IT functions to reduce and even eliminate this waste, Lean Management Principles for Information Technology provides the tools and understanding to make better decisions, increase efficiencies, and make IT a major force in delivering sustainable improvements to your supply chain.

The proven Toyota Production System principles described in this book have already helped many IT organizations double and triple their output. It introduces some of the most powerful Lean tools and techniques—including Six Sigma, value stream mapping, and spaghetti charting—and provides a methodology for implementing them to reduce waste in your IT environment. Discussing information production processes, IT systems, and change management through the lens of Lean principles, the book:

  • Provides step-by-step guidance through the processes of implementing Lean principles in your IT supply chain management system
  • Illustrates successful implementation across a range of industries and countries
  • Examines how to use Lean methods to achieve ongoing improvement in IT personnel
  • Explains how to implement Lean in the supply chain, while reducing IT cycle time and costs

The text reviews the major management challenges facing IT and illustrates solutions with stories, examples, and case studies of how Lean IT has led to unprecedented improvements in the private and government sectors. Demonstrating how to structure the components of your IT system in accordance with Lean, the book details the measures required to achieve and sustain a world-class Lean IT supply chain management system.

Table of Contents


Why Look at IT? What Is the Problem?

Some Examples

So What Does Lean Bring to the Table?

What Does an IT System Look Like?

IT Issues to Avoid

A New Directive for IT Organizations

IT Background

The Twenty-First Century Enterprise

The IT Evolution

The Enterprise Role of IT

The Twenty-First Century Enterprise and IT

Case Study: Wipro

Are We "Doing the Right Things?"

A3 Problem Analysis

The A3 Steps

"Team Members" Box

"Approval Information/Signatures" Box

"Clarify and Validate the Problem" Box

"Perform a Purpose Expansion on the Problem" Box

Break Down the Problem/Identify Performance Gaps" Box

"Set Improvement Targets" Box

"Determine Root Cause" Box

"Develop Improvement Task List" Box

"Execute Improvement Tasks" Box

"Confirm Results" Box

"Standardize Successful Processes" Box

Using the 9-Step A3 Tool

What Loop Am I In?

Case Study: Wipro (Continued)

The Art of Managing Change

A Discussion of Change

Models for Change


How Do We Manage Change?

The People

The Circle

Goal Setting


Values and Ethics

Add Value to Society As an Enterprise

Continuous Learning

Innovation and Change Creation


Stake Holders

Successful Change Management

Some Models for Change

Quality Functional Deployment (QFD)

Total Quality Management (TQM)

The TQM Process

Systematic Problem Solving (SPS) at AT&T

The Good News about TQM

Process Reengineering

ISO 9000



USAF 8-Step

Understanding Change

IT Pitfalls

Case Study: Wipro (Continued)


How Can Lean Help IT?

Leaning IT

Measurable Benefits of Applying Lean to IT

How IT is Changing

Case Study: Wipro (continued)

Some Final Thoughts

What is Lean?

Defining Lean

The Key Principles of Lean

Define "Value" from the Customer’s Perspective

Define the Process by Looking at and Analyzing All the Pieces of the SIPOC

Remove Obstacles (Bottlenecks) That Disrupt the Value Flow

Drive Product and Service Flow at the "Pull" of the Customer

Empower Employees in the Change Process through Teaming

Build a Strategic Plan

Lean Tools

Acceptance Tools

Acceptance Tool #1—Breakthrough Thinking/Concept Management/Purpose Expansion

Acceptance Tool #2—Team Effectiveness Surveys

Goals and Objectives

Roles and Responsibilities

Enthusiasm and Motivation

Trust and Openness

Leadership and Direction

Information and Communication

Acceptance Tool #3—Change Readiness Surveys

Acceptance Tool #4—Myers Briggs

Acceptance Tool #5—JoHari Window

Technical Tools

Technical Tool #1—7 Wastes



Unnecessary Transportation


Excess Inventory

Unnecessary Movement by Employees

Production of Defective Parts

Underused Employee Abilities or Creativity

Technical Tool #2—Value Stream Mapping (Current State/Ideal State/Future State)

Mapping the Process


Mapping Process

Ideal State Value Stream Map/Future State Value

Stream Map

Develop an Action Item List of Improvement Opportunities

Classify the Action Item List

Select Improvement Events Based on the Highest

Priority Areas of Improvement

Technical Tool #3—SIPOC (Supplier/Input/Process/Output/Customer)

Technical Tool #4—SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats)

Technical Tool #5—VOC (Voice of the Customer)

Technical Tool #6—Systems Flowchart/Information Flow Diagrams

Technical Tool #7—Gemba Walk (Go and See Analysis)

Technical Tool #8—B-SMART Targets

Technical Tool #9—JIT (Just-In-Time)/Kanban/Cells

Technical Tool #10—Spaghetti Chart

Technical Tool #11—Lean Events/RIE (Rapid Improvement Events)/Kaizen Events

Technical Tool #12—Improvement Project

Technical Tool #13—Just-do-It

Technical Tool #14—5S


Set in Order (Straighten)




A Sixth "S"—Safety

Technical Tool #15—Poka-Yoke

Technical Tool #16—Six Sigma/DMAIC

Technical Tool #17—TPM (Total Product Maintenance)

Technical Tool #18—Standard Work

Technical Tool #19—5 Whys

Technical Tool #20—Brainstorming

Technical Tool #21—Fishbone Charts

Technical Tool #22—Pareto Charts

Technical Tool #23—Affinity Diagrams

Technical Tool #24—Control Charts

Technical Tool #25—PICK (Possible, Implement, Challenge, Kill) Chart/Impact/Effort Matrix

Technical Tool #26—Theory of Constraints (TOC)/Bottleneck Analysis

Management Philosophy

Operating Principles

Technical Tool #27—Project Charter


Comparison of Methods

Some Success Stories

Case Study: Wipro (Continued)


Appendix 6-A

The JoHari Window Assessment Test



JoHari Window Test


Are We Working on the Correct Problem? Or Are We Creating More Problems?

A Quick Review of A3 Problem Analysis

The A3 Steps

The Two Case Examples

Case #1

Project Charter

Facilitator Activities

Event Pre-Work

Event Execution

Contents of the A3

Post-Event Activities

Case #2

Project Charter

Facilitator Activities

RIE Event Pre-Work

Event Execution

Post-Event Activities

Using the 9-Step A3 Tool

The Lean IT Event


The Role of the Facilitator

Lean Training

Lean Tools

How the Lean Process Works

Acceptance Stage

Technical Stage

Sustainment Stage

Case Study: Wipro (Continued)

Meaningful Metrics

The Role and Purpose of Measures

The Role and Purpose of Control Systems

An Industrial Example—Managing Your Supply Chain Using Event Management

Defining the Measurement System

What is the Best Measure for your Organization?

Measurement Reporting Tools


IT Maturity

Evaluating Your World Class Status

IT Best Practices


About the Author

Dr. Gerhard Plenert has 25+ years of professional experience in IT quality and productivity consulting and in working on manufacturing planning and scheduling methods. He has 13 years of academic experience and has over 150 published articles and nine books:

EManager: Value Chain Management in an eCommerce World—2001

Finite Capacity Scheduling (an APICS / Oliver White Series Book)—2000

International Management and Production: Survival Techniques for Corporate America

International Operations Management (an MBA textbook)—2004

Making Innovation Happen: Concept Management through Integration

Operations Management (A United Nations Training Manual for Developing Country factories)—2005

The Plant Operations Deskbook (an APICS series book)

Reinventing Lean; Introducing Lean Management into the Supply Chain—2007

World Class Manager

Dr. Plenert has extensive industry experience, including:

Private sector

  • Kraft Foods, Smart and Final, Davis Lay, Ritz-Carlton, Hewlett-Packard, Seagate, Motorola, PPI, Clark Equipment, NCR Corporation, and AT&T
  • Consulting companies—Infosys, Mainstream, AMS, IBM, SCI, SAS
  • Corporate "guru" on supply chain management for AMS and Infosys

Government sector

  • California—DCSS, DHS
  • Federal—DSS, US Air Force, Air Guard
  • International—United Nations
  • Texas—OAG
  • New York—City of New York warehousing system

Dr. Plenert has extensive academic experience:

  • Ph.D. in mineral economics at the Colorado School of Mines, which is their operations and business management degree (under Gene Woolsey)
  • Eleven years as a full-time faculty member (BYU and CSUC)
  • Currently teaching SCM at the University of San Diego
  • Teaching operations, manufacturing, and supply chain management as far away as Malaysia and England

Dr. Plenert has:

  • Worked in senior management
  • Generated up to triple the office productivity with the same staffing
  • Worked as an industry consultant implementing SCM, ERP, and eBusiness systems and designing a next-generation enterprise model
  • Literally "written the book" on leading-edge supply chain management concepts like Finite Capacity Scheduling (FCS), Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS), and World Class Management
  • Taken a 14+% defect rate down to 2%
  • Brought setup times from 20 minutes to as low as 6 minutes
  • Reduced facility-wide inventories by 40%

Dr. Plenert’s ideas and publications have been endorsed by people like Steven Covey and companies like Motorola, AT&T, Black & Decker, and FedEx.

About the Series

Resource Management

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Purchasing & Buying
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Information Management