1st Edition

Lean Management Principles for Information Technology

By Gerhard J. Plenert Copyright 2012
    368 Pages 112 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    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.


    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 RIE
    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



    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.