Lean IT is considered as the extension of the lean services and manufacturing principles to manage and develop information technology services and products. Its main focus is to eliminate the waste that gives no value to the services or product applied in the context of information technology.
Even though the lean principles are well established having a broad applicability, its extension from the manufacturing to information technology is not only emerging. In fact, lean IT has important challenges for the practitioners while raising the assurance of no less benefits. Lean IT’s initiatives can possibly be limited in terms of scope and can deliver results quickly. The implementation of lean IT is a long term and continuing process that can possibly take years before the lean principles become instinct to the organization’s culture.
The Extensions of the Lean IT
As the lean is implemented, the lean principles extensions starts to spread to information technology and in other service industries. The industry analysts have seen that there are many analogues and other things that information technology and manufacturing have in common. The same with the manufacture process, the development of the business services entails a demand management, resource management, security issues, quality control and many more. The information technology also provides an enhancement to the productivity and efficiency of the employee with the use of communication technologies and software. It also permits the suppliers to deliver, collaborate and receive the payments.
Principles of Lean IT
Like others, Lean IT also has a principle that becomes its rule or law that is desirably followed and serves as a guideline on the way the system or nature of a certain thing is constructed. The system principles are those understood by the agile users being the most essential character of the system.
This is the service that is provided by information technology function to parent organization to be used by the suppliers, customers, investors, employees, other stakeholders, and by the media. The services are differentiated into:
Business service: this is the primary value stream. The examples are processing of point of sale, supply chain optimization and ecommerce.
IT service: this is the secondary value stream. The examples are application performance management, service catalog and data backup.
Value Stream Mapping
This is the counterpart of the lean manufacture that involves the methods of value stream mapping – analyzing and diagramming services into the component process and eliminates any steps that never deliver a value.
This is related to the fundamental concepts of the lean formulated in the Toyota Production System or Mura. Mura is a Japanese term means “unevenness” that must be eliminated in the system that is tightly integrated.
Pull or Demand System
Pull or demand is closely related to the mentioned flow concept. It is in contrast with the supply or push system. In the pull system, a pull is the service request. The primary request comes from the consumers or customers of service or product.
Minimizing the waste while maximizing the value of the consumers and customers can be achieved with lean, where the value intended for the customers and consumers are created, having a few resources at hand.
— Slimane Zouggari