Lean Management Principles for Information Technology  book cover
1st Edition

Lean Management Principles for Information Technology

ISBN 9781420078602
Published July 28, 2011 by CRC Press
368 Pages 112 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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


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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.