Step #6: Continually Improve
As the name suggests, this principle focuses on an ongoing analysis and innovation on ways to improve Lean IT and its contribution to the company. Finding the best way to execute a task, reduce cost, and improve product or work quality are examples of following this principle. Successful companies start small on a specific area, establish a consistent methodology and framework, and then iterate and expand this to other areas. An IT organization following this principle should cultivate a cultural process for implementing cost-saving and performance-enhancing measures through effective collaboration and communication. Nearly all of these principles require a fundamental understanding of data. So, ask yourself these five key questions and be ready to have the answers:2. How do we measure what we are improving? 3. How can we share this data with other constituents such as partners, customers and other contributors in the organization for the sake of better output? 4. How do we track this over time in an efficient manner? 5. How do we compare our data against industry benchmarks? In the context of the IT industry today, businesses are aligning themselves as service organizations in the manner of outsourcing and SAAS models. This is not only a trend; it's a reality that is driving IT organizations to a greater goal: Lean IT. Lean IT is more than just a practice; it's a revolution of getting IT organizations at the point of a higher utilization rate and at a cost basis that is lower than what it is today. By getting your IT organization to think creatively, collaboratively and consistently, and by implementing a lean methodology, your services will be smoother and face fewer hurdles. The benefits will be reaped by all involved in the business. Sometimes thinking within the big picture is all it takes to understand the principles. The rewards for doing so will be even bigger. Sunny Gupta is co-founder, President and CEO of Apptio. Sunny's career in enterprise software spans more than 16 years, with roles in general management, strategic marketing, product management and business development. Most recently he was the Executive VP of Products at Opsware, and was responsible for all of the company's product businesses (up to its acquisition by HP for over $1.6 billion). Prior to Opsware, Sunny was the co-founder and CEO of iConclude, which pioneered the IT runbook automation market (and drove its acquisition by Opsware for $62 million in less than two years from inception). Before founding iConclude, Sunny ran the Java/.NET Performance Management Product Group for Mercury Interactive (acquired by HP for approximately $4 billion) and served as VP of Marketing and Business Development at Performant (acquired by Mercury Interactive). He also served as General Manager of Business Development at Rational Software (acquired by IBM for approximately $2 billion), while playing a role on the team that helped scale that company from $300 million to $850 million in revenue. Sunny also co-founded Vigor Technology before its acquisition by Rational, and held product management and consulting roles at Easel Corporation and IBM. Sunny earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of South Carolina. He can be reached at email@example.com.
1. What is our cost at every step of the production line?