Lean Initiatives In Service Organizations – Lean IT is the extension and adaptation of lean manufacturing (a management model widely used in industrial processes) to IT environments. Its central concern, applied in the IT context, is the elimination of waste, in the act of consuming the service (external users/customers) and also in the act of providing the service (IT). On the other hand, maximize the value offered to customers and users.
The implementation of Lean IT is a continuous process that begins with the identification of points of waste, then the prioritization of improvement actions, and finally the implementation and control of those improvements. In particular, this philosophy must be viewed in the long term, as it may take years before Lean principles become intrinsic to an organization’s culture.
Lean Initiatives In Service Organizations
JP Womack and Daniel Jones defined in their book The Machine That Changed the World the five principles of Lean Manufacturing that are the fundamental basis of this philosophy.
What Is Lean Manufacturing?
Time to market is no longer an asset, and good service is no longer enough to differentiate our brand. Lean is, in essence, a way of thinking and behaving. It revolves around the following key concepts:
The application of Lean IT includes the involvement of the organization’s management and all its employees. For this reason, it is very important that the people working to implement this philosophy have a vocation to serve and a desire to improve, looking for creative formulas and to be in constant search for excellence.
It must be clear that Lean IT is not studied, but applied. We’re not looking for tools or a best practice process definition, we’re looking at a philosophy, a way of working, which means improving every day. Lean IT offers a generic approach to improvement, with a particular focus on behaviors and attitudes. Lean IT is applied to the entire IT domain, from requirements to maintenance.
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Most companies, especially those related to IT, are facing transformation and repositioning themselves in their sector. The market is moving faster than ever, becoming more and more demanding, and the competition challenges us at every step. Time to market no longer guarantees us success, and being the first is no longer enough, being the smartest is the key factor to use all our resources, to make the most of the information we have within the framework of constant improvement. In order to achieve this, the way of thinking and the way of acting are the essence that will guide the road map of transformation. Our efforts must be focused on a strong commitment to improve, optimize our service and the way we offer it. The call to serve is what should drive us, but with a clear goal, which is to seek excellence in everything we do.
The key concepts for this are improving the user experience, through constant improvements that allow us to react and launch effective and fast solutions. In this way, we will increase our agility and ability to adapt to small gestures and actions that bring immediate added value, reducing the loss of time, costs and resources. In other words, consider a small gesture, which involves almost no costs, is easy to implement and guarantees customer loyalty.
We are a bank and we have a client who meets the conditions for a pre-approved loan. We discovered that this user was withdrawing money from an ATM in China (for example) or that his movements indicated that he was on vacation in that country.
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Initiatives 1. Taking advantage of the fact that the customer is at the counter and needs money, he is offered a loan that he previously received. 2. Offer credit payment alternatives.
Achievements 1. The customer feels that he can go to the bank in case he needs money at any time. 2. The customer will feel more comfortable spending money that he did not plan to use and thus enjoy more attractions abroad. 3. The client will be happy that the bank detects his needs and offers him personalized options.
We are an insurance company, and our client who is traveling in another country has an accident and has to call a towing vehicle.
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Achievements 1. The client will feel followed in a moment of anxiety and uncertainty. 2. The client can tell his friends about his good experience with the insurer, which could encourage him to take out insurance. 3. The customer, having seen the effectiveness of the road crane insurance, will be encouraged to take out another insurance.
We are a manufacturer and every month we have the same batch error, the reactive solution that is applied is to ask the person on duty to restart it. The problem is that the next morning we have mismatched accounting positions, missed transactions that need to be investigated and balanced.
Initiatives 1. Instead of reactively solving the incident, we do a corrective activity in which we definitively solve it. 2. Have a network contingency plan visible to all staff, identifying the different incidents that may occur, differentiating the different applications and affected areas.
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Achievements 1. Fewer incidents during the service (lower price). 2. Fewer affected teams (lower cost). 3. Minimizing quadratic errors (lower cost and avoiding damage to reputation). 4. Detecting incidents that may occur, identifying the best solution and affected persons.
We are an IT consultant. We are currently in the time of COVID or some other pandemic, three times more patients go to health centers per day than in normal times, which has caused large crowds of patients and the collapse of health care staff.
Initiatives 1. To offer hospitals, health centers and private centers an already existing video consultation service, which does not involve large logistical efforts.
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Achievements 1. The influx of patients to hospitals, public and private health centers is reduced. 2. Risks of infection are minimized. 3. The workload of health personnel is reduced. 4. Costs are minimized. 5. To increase loyalty towards patients and the health center.
It seems that the philosophy of Lean IT is not far from the mechanisms of continuous improvement that we traditionally see in other management models such as ITIL, ISO 20,000 or CobiT. The main difference is that Lean IT focuses on providing exactly what is needed (from the user’s point of view), using minimal resources and at the right time, based on service demand (let’s not forget that overproduction or overcapacity of a service is an important source of waste) and in the concept of “micro-changes”: it is not about organizing a large project of improvement actions, but about achieving an organizational culture aimed at permanent improvement thanks to the continuous introduction of small improvements and adaptation of the client’s needs.
In conclusion, by implementing the Lean IT philosophy within the organization, the company can stand out in its sector and thereby achieve better efficiency. This is achieved by taking small steps, a strong long-term strategy, followed by a strong commitment to service level, hand-in-hand with software monitoring, with well-defined quality indicators, ensuring that you have benchmarks aligned with the strategy. and objectives and, last but not least, do not forget that people are the primary point to achieve this, therefore the staff must be trained, motivated continuously and be part of the achieved successes. Are we looking for the right ones? Overview of research priorities and conservation status of down (Gliridae) in Central Europe
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