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Lean IT: An Overview

Posted by Stephen Parry on Mar 6, 2015 2:49:32 AM

The Lean movement has been around for about 30 years since coming out of the Toyota Group in Japan.

Since then, it has been adopted and adapted by the service industry and now, IT in all of its manifestations: infrastructure management, delivery of services, networks, and the entire supply chain infrastructure.

Whatever business Lean goes into, the principles are always the same but the practices different but always in the aim of fixing problems.

business man writing business strategyIt brings an adaptive capability that allows the organization to adapt in ways that it wouldn’t think of before. Lean IT is a much more strategic player in advising business about what investments they should make and how they should use the IT.

Lean turns the problem solving process right on its head by looking at the conditions of problems and not the cause. Some will say that they are already doing that and that is not untrue. But the difference is the magnitude of the problem-solving: done typically, 10 to 15 per cent of problems are removed whereas with Lean, 40 to 90 per cent is the norm.


The increase in problem-solving is not magic. It is the result of having the entire workforce advising on the process as opposed to an elite group.

Adopting Lean IT results in a massive change in perspective for the workers in the IT industry. Its not about bits and bytes and technical stuff: its about how it performs in the real world for the customer.

It’s about the workforce all asking: ‘what else can I provide the customer to help them achieve their goals?’.

In the coming weeks, I will be presenting a series of articles and accompanying podcasts exploring The Five Principles of Lean IT. 

Topics: Podcast