Making IT Lean : Applying Lean Practices to the Work of IT book cover
1st Edition

Making IT Lean
Applying Lean Practices to the Work of IT

ISBN 9781439876022
Published November 20, 2012 by Productivity Press
232 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Making IT Lean: Applying Lean Practices to the Work of IT presents Lean concepts and techniques for improving processes and eliminating waste in IT operations and IT Service Management, in a manner that is easy to understand. The authors provide a context for discussing several areas of application within this domain, allowing you to quickly gain insight into IT processes and Lean principles.

The text reviews IT Service Management, with reference to the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) as a framework for best practices—explaining how to use it to accommodate Lean processes and operations. Filled with straightforward examples, it provides enough modeling tools so you can start your Lean journey right away. Examining the work of IT from an IT practitioner perspective, the book includes coverage of:

  • The OM Perspective—considers the work of IT from an Operations Management (OM) perspective, showing how many of the concepts that have been successfully applied within manufacturing can be applied to IT
  • The Lean Improvement Model—explains Lean concepts and practices and details the authors’ Lean improvement model
  • Lean Problem-Solving (Identifying and Understanding Problems)—considers operational work in IT and explains how to apply Lean practices related to problem identification and root cause analysis
  • Lean Problem-Solving (Identifying and Managing Solutions)—describes how to use good problem identification as the basis for identifying the right solutions
  • Lean IT Service Management—examines IT work from an IT Service Management perspective, using the ITIL® framework as a guide
  • Implementing and Sustaining Lean IT Improvements—explains how to implement and sustain Lean IT improvements

Throughout the book, the authors use a simple model for Lean Improvement as the framework for communicating practical guidance on identifying and understanding problems, as well as identifying, implementing, managing, and improving solutions. Emphasizing alignment with core Lean concepts, such as A3 Thinking and Plan Do Check Act, it introduces concepts in a manner that allows you to take away small bits at a time and immediately apply them in your IT operations. Exploring the notion that any IT organization can benefit from the application of Lean, the text supplies you with virtually limitless opportunities for improvement in your IT organization.

Table of Contents

Lean Improvement Model
Narrative of the Book
     A Word about our References

The Work of IT
The IT View of IT
IT Work as Process-Based Work
IT as Service-Based Work
Business–IT Alignment
IT Operations
Lean IT
Making IT Lean

The OM Perspective
Process Types
Process Types in IT Work
Customer Contact Workflow Model
Workflow Concepts
     Volume, Variety, and Variation
     Concepts of Flow
     Waiting in Line
     Looking at the IT Factory
Process Analysis
Process Improvement
Quality Improvement

The Lean Improvement Model
Lean Thinking
     Customer Value
     Value Stream Flow
     Elimination of Waste
     Continuous Improvement
Lean Learning
     A3 Thinking
Lean Problem-Solving
Lean Tools
Lean Enablers
Appendix: Examples of Waste in IT Work

Lean Problem-Solving: Identifying and Understanding Problems
Identifying Waste
Stumbling on Waste from Pain Points
     Tool: Process Mapping
     Tool: Swim-Lane Diagram
     Tool: RACI Chart
     More on Process Mapping
     Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
     Tool: Cause and Effect Diagram
Identifying Waste in Clearly Identified Workflows
     Tool: Value Stream Map
     Tool: 5 Whys
     Tool: Pareto Chart
Clarifying Difficult-to-Identify Workflows
     Tool: Go-and-See (Gemba)
Surfacing Waste and Exposing Problems
     Tool: Removal of Work-in-Progress (WIP)
     Tool: 5S
     Tool: Visual Management
     Tool: A3 Reports

Lean Problem-Solving: Identifying and Managing Solutions
Starting with Root Causes
Identifying Solutions
     Tool: Brainstorming
Planning, Implementing, and Improving Solutions
Tool: PDCA
     Tool: Checklists
     Tool: Mistake Proofing
Creating Flow
     Tool: Pull (versus Push)
     Tool: One-Piece Flow (versus Batch)
     Tool: Rapid Changeover
     Tool: Work Cell Optimization
Automation of IT Operations
Improving Nonlinear Processes
Continuous Improvement
     Tool: Rapid Improvement Events

Lean IT Service Management
IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
Incident Management
Problem Management
Service Request Fulfillment
Service Desk
     External View of the Service Desk
     Internal View of the Service Desk
     Lean Service Desk
Applying Lean to Other ITSM Processes
     Availability Management
     Event Management
     Change Management
Implementing Lean ITSM

Implementing and Sustaining Lean IT Improvements
Continuous Improvement
     Rapid Improvement Events
Lean Enablers
     Dealing with Obstacles
     Tool: 5 Questions
Lean Culture
Metrics and Measurement
Lean IT at Work
     Lean IT in a Healthcare Company
     Lean IT at a Health Insurance Company
     Lean IT in a Hospital

Looking at Lean IT
Future Drivers of IT Work
The Role of Lean


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Howard Williams is an IT Service Management Consultant in Microsoft’s Consulting Services organization, with several years of experience designing and implementing ITSM solutions for a diverse customer population. He is an ITIL® Expert (V3), and has an MBA in Operations Management from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Rebecca Duray is a Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Programs at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs College of Business. Professor Duray received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and her B.S. and M.B.A from Case Western Reserve University. Her research interests are in the strategic use of operations, mass customization, and Lean Information systems. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D., Professor Duray was a management consultant for various firms including Price Waterhouse and A.T. Kearney focusing on operations and systems issues.