This document will include a number of reports that may provide ideas, methods, and strategies for enhancing the usefulness of your Information Technology (IT) business using “Lean” concepts. “Lean” concepts concentrate on the recognition and removal of waste which consists of work that adds virtually no benefit to a product or service.
Lean principles have been successfully applied to processing and also have resulted in elevated quality, greater efficiencies, and reduced cost which is the same outcome we hope to achieve in IT. As you will see, determining waste in a manufacturing process could be significantly simpler than IT services because inspecting the procedure as well as the final product is much simpler.
Why is this debate necessary? Since the first days of computers, Technology spending was basically always considered a smart investment and IT businesses didn't have to establish their worth. Nowadays, the industry magazines are full of reports and commercials discussing enhanced linkage to the company, proving IT value, and reducing costs.
IT is becoming a commodity! Exactly how did IT become a cost to be lowered instead of an investment?
The following graph summarizes the results of the Chaos reports by the Standish Group. The Chaos statement studies numerous IT agencies to gather information regarding project results.
Some individuals look at this data and determine that IT project achievement rates are usually improving. Let’s face the facts, a 32% success rate shows that two-thirds of all projects are challenged or fail outright. Additionally, application assistance consumes a larger percentage of the IT spending budget today and assist just isn't included in these project metrics.
During the last Fifty years, the price-performance of computer components has increased exponentially. These days, you can buy a thumb drive that may store gigabytes of internet data for less than 10 dollars. This exact same storage capacity would have cost huge amount of money in the 1960’s.
As a result of high cost of components, early computer applications automated running of large quantities of simple transactions in which the cost-benefit was obvious. Waste materials couldn't be tolerated because of the high cost of computers. Early applications were less complicated and simple to construct and test. Limited processing capacity prevented the development of intricacy. The income cost of IT professionals was a tiny amount of the cost when compared to expense of hardware. It was cost-justifiable to have IT professionals invest extra time to boost processing performance and prevent equipment upgrades.
The precipitous decline in hardware prices has generated essential alterations in anticipation regarding the benefits and deployment of technology. The following list shows some of these changes:
Wages of IT experts have changed equipment as the finest IT cost for many agencies (hence the need to make use of cheaper off-shore resources).
Low-cost equipment offers justified the automation of sophisticated business processes which usually increases software intricacy as well as necessitates the IT staff to experience a greater comprehension of organization processes. Complex programs are more time-consuming and expensive to develop/support and problems are harder to eliminate.
There was an increasing proliferation of applications with overlapping or redundant performance. New programs are created while old programs will never be de-commissioned. The inexpensive equipment can make this acceptable but the effort required to operate and assist redundant programs contributes cost and may be viewed as waste.
Software improvement tools leverage the elevated price/performance from the equipment and provide the capability to create complex and highly practical programs. Regrettably, the complexness and number of the tools demands elevated specialization that actually decreases the development procedure, complicates support and boosts costs.
Lower cost hardware offers digesting potential to enable the automation of complicated business procedures and decision logic. Complex applications tend to be more time-consuming and expensive to develop/support. Difficulties are difficult to identify and company organizations are significantly determined by IT staff to research applications to explain their results. This boosts the assistance expenses and requires IT staff to learn the technology, applications, and company procedures.
IT organizations have become very reactive. Since they will no longer limit the processing ability to high-value software (as was completed previously), IT reacts to the growing needs from your business. Frequently, the requests aren't logged and there is minimum comprehension of the purpose or advantage of the request.
The acquisition or development of IT administration options has brought a lesser priority than organization administration solutions. As a result, the development of IT processes and resources has not kept pace with the evolution of technology and the ever-increasing demands with the organization.
Lastly, the lack of fully developed IT administration procedures has additionally resulted in unclear role definitions and career pathways within the IT profession. Good developers or team leaders turn out to be Project Managers with little management instruction or administration experience. Business Analysts were made to understand technology and business processes but not many folks have the mixture of skills required to perform this kind of role effectively. The biggest gap is the deficiency of a career path resulting in a CIO placement. As an outcome, the function of CIO’s varies broadly. Numerous CIO’s currently have Structure knowledge and no software expertise while others had been business executives with limited knowledge of technology.
Applying Lean Concepts
How do we apply lean principles to handle these problems? As mentioned before, “Lean” principles concentrate on getting rid of waste. Illustrations of waste in IT contain:
Rework as a result of inadequately or partially identified needs or absence of organization involvement
Scheduling gaps and under-utilized resources because of a lack of diverse skills
Excess effort/cost resulting from absence of versions or templates, deficiency of automation, or lack of understanding
Operating and assisting numerous technology platforms
Operating and assisting redundant applications
Within a manufacturing procedure waste is simpler to recognize. The lack of mature IT procedures and resources shows that we don't have the visibility and control necessary to identify easily identify waste materials within IT. Examples of Lean Principles applied to IT range from the following recommendations:
Boost requirements management to eliminate rework
Improve Quality and Testing processes to get rid of flaws. If a defect happens, implement a permanent quality rather than a temporary work-around.
Combine technology systems and eliminate outdated technologies
Retire unnecessary applications
Implementing these principles requires dedication and ownership. Waste should be identified which usually implicitly takes a definition of value. The organization’s tradition must encourage the identification waste through a corporate constant improvement program. Recommendations should be examined and a strategy to get rid of waste should be identified. Finally, the administration processes and tools must supply the presence as well as handle essential to recognize and eliminate waste.